The chance of a collision is high.
Canadians encounter a lot of wildlife while in our cars. From waiting for ducks to cross the road, to avoiding moose, deer and cats who love to hangout roadside, we have a lot to watch for. Unfortunately, there are over 14,000 collisions with animals each year in Canada!
Collisions with deer are the most common, and incidents spike during the Spring and Fall in Ontario. They are unpredictable and really hard to spot, so avoiding a collision can be a challenge, and you can really only control how you react. So, here is how an interaction with a deer can be avoided, and what to do if you find yourself in a collision with one.
Should you swerve to avoid a deer?
The animal-lover answer is yes, but the insurance answer is no and here’s why. When you swerve to avoid a collision with an animal, you are at higher risk of hitting another object such as a car, building, hydro pole or road sign. The damage to your car is likely to be far greater from these items than from the deer. Additionally, you may now be responsible for paying to replace or repair these damaged items, and that can add up quickly!
If you swerve to miss the collision with the deer (regardless of whether you are successful or not), and cause an accident with someone or something else, this insurance claim is filed under your collision coverage. Collision coverage is primarily used to provide coverage for physical damage to the vehicle if you are found to be wholly or partially at fault for the cause of the incident. If you swerve to avoid the deer and cause another incident as a result, you will likely be found at fault for that incident, and need to use your collision coverage.
If you do not serve to avoid the incident, and you have damage to your vehicle from the deer (or animal in general), you will file the claim under your comprehensive insurance coverage. Comprehensive coverage can pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
If you want to check to see what coverage you have or to request more, create or login to your McConville Omni Client Portal account!
What's your next step?
There are lots of ways that this could play-out, but you’re likely roadside with damage to your vehicle. Hopefully, everyone is uninjured! If someone is injured, your first step is to seek medical help. Call 911, or call your local EMS directly. Always make sure that the people involved are safe, that’s step number one!
Now you have to deal with your car/ any damage. If there are other people involved, collect and share insurance information. You can use the McConville Omni Client app to collect claims information and to share your insurance information with others. If your car is un-drivable, someone is injured, or you need a rental and it is outside business hours, be sure to call the after-hours claims line to get immediate insurance support from our team (1-833-236-7839).
If you haven’t called the after-hours line, be sure to call or email your broker to let them know what’s going on, and they can help you through the claims process. They will be able to advise you how to best proceed, and to counsel you through the process.
How it affects your insurance.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to the question of how your rates will be affected by hitting a deer. Insurance companies have varying rules on comprehensive claims. Many times, comprehensive claims do not affect your insurance rate, but it is something we will have to verify with your carrier. Then at your renewal time, we will assess whether it’s a good idea to move your policy to a new insurance carrier or to stay with your current one.