Do Deductibles Apply to Deer Car Accidents?

Deer crossing road caught in headlights
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Deer season for hunters is also deer season for drivers. Body shops love this time of year, while insurance companies dread it. A common deer accident question is whether or not a deductible applies. As an insurance agent in Michigan, I get this question all the time.

Deer accidents are so frustrating because they often occur at no fault of the driver. Rumors fly around about deductibles being waived because a deer accident is an act of God.

Or the state pays your deductible because of the high number of deer. Neither are true for any state or insurance company. Whether or not a deductible applies, depends on how you originally set the car insurance policy up.

Damage to your vehicle from hitting a deer is covered under the comprehensive coverage or sometimes referred to as "other than collision". Some companies offer a zero deductible on comprehensive, but you pay a higher price for that option. A small deductible is recommended because it will help reduce the cost of your insurance expenses. Meanwhile, it is still manageable when you go hunting with your car.

How Do Deductibles Work?

A deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket in a claim. The deductible will reduce the overall cost of a car insurance policy. Insurance companies love them because they know you have something invested, motivating you to protect your vehicle.


Most people hate deductibles. They feel they should not have to pay for any repairs what with paying the high cost of insurance. The thing is, they are necessary. Think about most claims having a deductible, now think about removing them. All car insurance would be unaffordable. Deductibles also give drivers incentive to try to protect the vehicle to the best of their ability.

Pick the Best Deductible for Comprehensive Coverage

What makes a good deductible? The cost of the coverage versus the dollar amount of the deductible. Check the cost of different deductible limits. I believe you will find, a higher deductible on comprehensive coverage does not save a whole lot of money. Often, a low deductible on comprehensive is the best option. So many perils, causes for loss, fall under the coverage making it highly possible at some point in time you will file a claim. 

Comprehensive does not only cover deer-car accidents. It will cover damage from hitting any animal, fire, theft, vandalism, tree fall, hail, flood, and other weather related losses. The deductible you select for comprehensive coverage will apply to all these types of losses. 

Make sure you can afford your car insurance policy and your deductible. So many people choose the wrong deductible. Either they choose too low of a deductible making the policy too expensive or choose too high of a deductible making it so they can't get their vehicle repaired once the damage occurs.

Call Your Car Insurance Agent

Deductibles are a discussion best left for your agent. Find out what your options are, what you currently have on your policy, and decide what is the best option for you and your family.

There really is no wrong choice, the options are available so you can pick what is best for your particular situation. Regardless of what you select, know that you will be required to pay your deductible if you hit a deer or even if the deer hits you.

You will probably have better luck getting the state to pay for a pothole damage deductible versus a deer accident, however, even that can be extremely difficult.