What Insurance Coverage Applies If I Hit a Deer?

You’re driving the same commute you drive every day and it’s starting to get dark. There’s light traffic and you’ve got the radio on and the windows down, not a care in the world. Suddenly, before you can even react – BOOM. No, you didn’t hit another vehicle; a deer jumped out to cross the road and collided with your front end. Thankfully, you’re okay. But your car isn’t. You get out to check the damage and know you’ve got a call to make. Once you’re done dealing with the police and the tow company, it’s time to think about insurance. Hopefully, you have the right coverage.

Living in New England, you may have already experienced this firsthand or know someone who has. Insurance companies want their customers to be protected from risks – including accidents involving wild animals. Many people wrongly assume vehicle damage of this kind is covered by collision insurance. It is a collision after all, right?

Although running into a deer seems like it would be viewed the same as any other accident, the language in Massachusetts auto insurance policies classifies it differently. Customers need what’s known as comprehensive coverage to be protected from financial loss in these instances.

The Automobile Insurers’ Bureau’s standard Massachusetts Insurance Automobile Insurance policy states “We consider….the following types of losses to be Comprehensive and not Collision losses: losses caused by vandalism, fire and theft, missiles, falling objects, larceny, explosion, earthquake, windstorm, hail, water, flood, malicious mischief, riot or contact with a bird or animal.“

Comprehensive insurance is optional and is not required by law, and many consumers incorrectly believe they are covered in the event of any collision.  An independent agent can make sure you have the right insurance policy to protect yourself from financial loss.

Call us today at 781-943-1555 to make sure you do! We’ll be happy to review your insurance and shop our selection of more than three dozen companies to find the best and most affordable policy for you so that if you ever do hit a deer, you won’t lose a whole lot of “doe.”

Replacement Cost vs. Market Value of a Home

As insurance agents, we are often asked, “Why is my house insured for more than the market value?”

Typically your insurance policy is based on “replacement cost.” According to Business Dictionary, replacement cost is defined as the “current cost of replacing an existing asset or property with the same quality of construction and operational utility, without taking depreciation into account. Replacement cost is usually higher than the item’s book value.” In other words, the replacement cost of a home is the amount needed to repair the damage or rebuilt the home to its condition prior to the loss.

If you experience a covered loss, your insurance company will pay the “replacement cost” value of the damaged property (up to the coverage limits). Keep in mind the replacement cost does not include the value of the land – it is simply the cost of rebuilding your home.

The market value of a home is the price that a particular home, in its current condition, will sell within 30 to 90 days. There are three important pieces associated with determining the market value of a home: the particular home, current condition, and 30 to 90 days. Core Logic explains, “Market value is the estimated price at which your property would be sold on the open market between a willing buyer and a willing seller under all conditions for a fair sale.”

While there are many differences between replacement cost and market value, we hope this helps understand the main – and possibly most important – differences.

As always, do not hesitate to contact an agent at Cochrane & Porter for any of your insurance needs. 781-943-1555 or info@cochraneandporter.com