Wildlife accident – how to react correctly

Wildlife accident: How to react correctly

Collisions with wild animals often occur, especially in October and November – at least in rural areas. However, the car insurance does not always pay out. Read here how to avoid a wildlife accident and how to act correctly if it happens anyway.

It often happens in the dark and more in the fall and winter: Wild animals cross the road, you see them too late and can no longer brake, a collision occurs. Such an accident with a wild boar or a deer is dangerous – and a lot of trouble. After a wildlife accident, you cannot simply drive on, but must take care of the animal.

How to avoid a wildlife accident

To avoid a collision with a deer, wild boar or pheasant, you should immediately take your foot off the gas and drive on, ready to brake, if you see signs warning of a deer crossing. Especially in the dark hours of the day and night, that is, from early evening to early morning, you should be on your guard. New roads are also dangerous, because the animals do not know that cars are now driving through their former territory.

If you see a wild animal, slow down, turn off your lights and honk your horn. Always remember: animals are rarely alone on the road. If a collision is unavoidable, you should hold the steering wheel, drive straight ahead, brake – and at most swerve very carefully. It would not be the first time that a driver tries to avoid an animal but hits a tree.

After the collision: Secure the accident site

As with any accident, the first thing to do after a collision with a wild animal is to secure the accident scene. So: Switch on the hazard warning lights, put on a high-visibility vest, set up a warning triangle. You must move the animal to the side of the road to avoid subsequent accidents. Attention: Because a wild animal could also have rabies, you should never touch it without gloves. It would not be a good idea to put the game in the trunk and drive on. Doing so would make you guilty of poaching. If the animal is not dead, but possibly injured, run into the woods, you should note its direction of escape.

After securing the accident scene, call the police. You may need to refer the case to the hunting leaseholder. He will dispose of the dead animal or search for the injured animal in the forest. Important: For the car insurance you need a confirmation of the game accident from the police or the hunting leaseholder. You should also take photos of the animal or at least of the damage to the car.

When the insurance pays after a wild boar accident

You have comprehensive insurance? Then the insurance pays after a game accident. But: If you have a high deductible, you should think twice about reporting what might be a small claim. Because this will increase your insurance premium.

If you have partial coverage, it depends on the age of your policy or the rate: If you find the term "furred game" in your policy, the insurance company will not necessarily pay in the event of a collision with a pheasant. After all, this is not furred game, but feathered game. If the bird has flown into the windshield, the insurance will usually pay, because a glass breakage is usually covered.

In newer contracts or comfort tariffs, the term "vertebrate animals" is used. This means that accidents with both wild and feathered animals are insured – and even collisions with horses or cows, which, unlike wild animals, are domestic and farm animals.

Tip: Especially if you live in rural areas or frequently drive your car on highways or country roads outside urban areas, you should check your car insurance policy. Your savings bank advisor will be happy to assist you in this regard.

The Bund der Versicherten has described this topic in detail on its website. The German Automobile Club (ADAC) also has tips on what to do after a wildlife accident.