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Q

I live in Michigan. I hit a deer is there any laws about who pays the deductible?


A

As the Financial and Insurance Division of Michigan government states on their site, comprehensive coverage pays if your car is stolen, collides with an animal or is accidentally damaged by falling objects, fire, flood, or vandalism. You can purchase this optional coverage with a deductible in an effort to reduce the cost of your insurance.

Thus if you purchased comprehensive coverage for your vehicle with a deductible associated with it then you are responsible for that deductible amount if you make a claim under your comprehensive coverage. Some insurance companies may waive the deductible if you have hit a deer however you would need to speak with your insurance agent to see if that is possible in your situation.

Deer-vehicle crashes increased nearly 4 percent in Michigan last year, to 60,875, according to the Michigan State Police. Accidents with deer tend to cost about $2,800 per insurance claim with costs rising up to $10,000 if there is injury to the driver or a passenger, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Here are some tips to avoid injury should you encounter a deer in the road again:

  • Watch for deer at dawn and dusk. Deer are most active then, especially during the fall mating season. In the spring deer will move from cover to find food, and back to cover. They often feed along roads, where grass greens up first.
  • If you see one deer, there may be more. Deer often travel single file so if you see one deer cross the road, chances are more are nearby waiting to cross. When startled by an oncoming vehicle, they can dart out from any direction without warning.
  • Be alert all year long in areas inhabited by deer, and especially on two-lane roads.
  • Watch for deer warning signs. They are placed near known deer crossing areas and are your first alert that deer may be in the area.

If a crash with a deer is unavoidable, the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition (MDCC) recommends motorists:

  • Stay in your lane.
  • Brake firmly.
  • Hold onto the steering wheel.
  • Come to a controlled stop.
  • Get your vehicle off the roadway.

If you have questions about your policy and your deductibles that are associated to your physical damage coverages speak with your agent and/or read through the terms of your policy.


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