Will car insurance cover me if I hit an animal?

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Written by Michael Foote , founder of Quote Goat, with over 13 years experience working in the finance, insurance and currency sectors.

Between wild creatures and domestic pets, animals are responsible for thousands of car accidents each year. Whether it is from cats darting across roads, birds hitting windshields or deer crossing dark country roads, animals pose a real concern for drivers and are capable of causing anything from minor damage writing a car off completely.

It is important to be aware of what types of animal could pose a danger to your car depending on the area you are driving in because they are incredibly difficult to spot and most accidents occur as animals jump out in front of cars at the last minute, giving drivers little time to react.

What should I do if I hit an animal?

There are laws and guidelines surrounding what you should do in the event of colliding with an animal. Obviously your safety, and that of other drivers is paramount and you should avoid swerving into oncoming traffic should an animal enter the road or braking too harshly.

If you do hit an animal with your vehicle, find a safe spot to pull over, make sure nobody within the car is hurt before checking on the animal itself. Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 you have a legal responsibility to inform police if you hit any of the following:

  • Dog
  • Horse
  • Cattle
  • Pig
  • Goat
  • Sheep
  • Donkey/Mule

Will my car insurance cover an animal collision?

Damage caused by any animal should be covered by most car insurance policies. But you should always check your policy’s terms and conditions as you may need to provide photos from the scene of the incident or submit witness statements to back up your claim.

Unfortunately, it is likely you will lose your no claims bonus if you do hit a wild animal that results in you making a claim. So, make sure you drive safely, especially in built up areas and dark country roads where these accidents are most likely to happen.

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