No matter what state you live in, there's always a risk that you'll run into some sort of animal while you're on the road. Even people who drive as carefully as possible can't always predict what's coming right around the corner. Whether it's a deer or a dog, you might ask if you can file a claim for any damage your car sustained in the accident.
Here's more on what you can inspect in this situation.
If The Animal Has An Owner
It's the owner's responsibility to keep their animal from straying into harm's way. A cow on a dairy farm, a house pet, or even an escaped bird can all damage your car. It's the owner who should be covering the damages at the end of the day. Usually, damage done by their pet falls under their insurance - such as their homeowners insurance or business insurance policies. Unfortunately, it's not always a possibility to track down the animal's owner if there's no corresponding information (such as a collar tag or a brand). In such cases, your car insurance policy might be able to help.
If The Animal Doesn't Have An Owner
Animal damage is generally covered under comprehensive insurance only. Liability and collision coverage won't help in this case. Even though hitting the animal might seem like a collision, it is not, in insurance terms.
Hitting an animal can be a traumatic experience for many people - both in terms of harming another living creature and potentially putting the driver's life in danger. Having a strong car insurance policy won't reverse the problem. But it can provide some much-needed assistance during a difficult time. The policy needs to be able to adequately address the car's value.
In Either Case, Have Your Car Checked Out
It's strongly recommended that you take your car to a mechanic after you've hit an animal. Even smaller animals, such as raccoons, can do serious damage to the underside of your vehicle and to your tires. The longer it takes you to discover the damage, the more likely it is that it will worsen. Make sure that you take pictures of the damage and that the cost of repairs will exceed your deductible.
All drivers should consider comprehensive coverage to avoid having to pay serious repair costs if they hit an animal. If you live in an area that has high populations of deer or similar animals, factor in these risks before you opt for a lower degree of coverage.
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