Throughout the greater Texoma region, you know that there are plenty of open roads. Therefore, you might be tempted to open the throttle whenever you get behind the wheel. Still, one of the most prevalent risks of rural driving is the chance of an animal running out in front of your vehicle. You have to be prepared for any eventuality, because there’s no way to guarantee when a deer or other creature might dart into the roadway, and a collision might occur.
An animal collision is very unpredictable, which is why your auto insurance will generally cover you if the worst ever does happen. However, it’s important to ensure that your policy contains the appropriate benefits to do so from the start.
Auto Insurance for Animal Strikes
Striking an animal can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, you might hit a deer when driving at night, or you might strike an armadillo and cause your tires to burst. Even worse, when swerving to avoid an animal in the road, you might lose control of the vehicle and cause an even worse accident. The ramifications might be vehicle damage injuries and a variety of cleanup costs.
Luckily, your auto insurance plan will generally cover animal strikes, provided that you have comprehensive coverage included in the plan. Comprehensive coverage pays for vehicle damage for hazards other than collisions, and animal strikes fall under this definition of coverage because hitting an animal is different from hitting another car or object. A deductible will apply to any damage cost, and if you total your car, then your plan will usually pay based on your vehicle’s actual cash value.
One thing to remember about comprehensive coverage is that it is not mandatory under state insurance laws. Your vehicle financer, however, might require you to carry it. Still, regardless of requirement, it is advisable to carry this plan for as long as your car has significant value attached to it. All the same, you will likely need to ask your agent to add it to your policy, because it won’t be included automatically.
Avoiding Animal Strikes
There is very little you can do to avoid an animal strike. After all, they could happen at any moment. However, with proper precautions, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of this happening. Primarily, when driving in areas where you know wildlife is present, give yourself the extra benefit of slowing down, keeping both hands on the wheel and putting away mobile devices.
If you do hit an animal, then immediately pull over to inspect the damage. You will also need to contact the police and animal control, if necessary, to remove the animal carcass. At that point, the authorities will help you document the accident for insurance purposes, and arrange a tow truck if necessary. At this point, you can call your insurer.