When Driving, Be Alert for Animals In Or Near the Road
Hitting a deer or other animal with your car can be traumatic, stressful and costly.
If you’re involved in a collision with an animal, you can be confident that Nationwide is here to help.
What to do after you hit an animal
- Pull to the side of the road.
- If anyone is injured, call 9-1-1 immediately and try to remain calm and focused.
- Turn on your emergency lights or use flares to warn other drivers.
- Don’t approach the injured animal. Wait for authorities.
- Report the accident to police. (Some states have laws about leaving the scene of an animal-related accident.)
- Start a claim online or you may call our On Your Side® Claims Service at 1-800-421-3535.
- From a safe location, photograph the scene and any damage to your vehicle.
Does my car insurance cover an accident with an animal?
Nationwide’s comprehensive car insurance typically pays for damages due to your car striking an animal.
Certain basic car insurance policies, such as liability insurance or even collision insurance, may not cover these damages.
Learn more about auto insurance coverages and talk to your agent about reviewing your insurance plan to be sure you’re adequately protected.
Filing an auto accident claim
Although all insurance claims may be different, our claims process is designed to handle each promptly, professionally and with minimal inconvenience to you.
Starting a claim
Start a claim online
or you may call our
On Your Side
Claims Service at
You will be assigned a Nationwide claims representative who will contact you to gather all essential information and to schedule an inspection of your car.
Your claims representative will review your insurance policy and explain what’s covered and how your deductible may come into play. The representative will walk you through the claims process and answer any questions related to your claim.
You can select your own repair shop or you may choose a facility from our On Your Side Auto Repair Network®.
If you choose one of our On Your Side shops, you'll receive fast, seamless service. We work directly with these pre-screened, pre-qualified shops to streamline estimates, repairs, and payments.
Settling your claim
Once repairs are completed, we settle your claim and send you or the repair shop final payment, minus any deductible amount you’re responsible for.
If your vehicle is determined to be a total loss – costing more to repair than its value – you'll receive an amount based on your car's actual cash value before the damage occurred.
Plus, if your vehicle is totaled, we can help you save money on your next car.
The Nationwide Auto Shopping Service, powered by TrueCar® , shows you what others paid for the vehicle you want and gives you access to up-front savings from an expansive dealer network.
Learn more about our auto claims process.
Tips to avoid hitting an animal
- Stay extra alert on 2-lane roads bordered by woods or fields, or where streams cross under the roadway.
- Know that wildlife is particularly active around dawn and dusk.
- If you see a single animal crossing ahead, odds are there others, such as young animals following their mother.
- Use high beams at night, especially on long rural stretches when there’s no approaching traffic.
- Don’t swerve to avoid hitting a deer. You put yourself at risk of a worse collision with another vehicle or running off the road. Stay in your lane and try to slow down.