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Does your car insurance cover animal attacks?
When you’re the (proud) owner of a car, you need to be prepared to face all kinds of difficulties. One such situation you have to protect yourself and your car against is an animal attack.
Imagine this situation: You’re going on a lovely scenic drive in a forested area, and you’re busy enjoying the beauty of nature.
Then, suddenly, a deer darts in front of your car! What can you do? You might be able to swerve and avoid it, or you might, unfortunately, end up colliding with it.
Even if you never leave the city, your car can come under “attack” from dogs, birds, bulls and more. So, the question is, what can you do in such a situation?
Will you be able to turn to your car insurance for help? Will your car insurance even cover animal attacks?
Well, read on to find out.
What do animal attacks mean in car insurance?
You might be wondering, “What can an animal even do to a car made of metal?” Well, the answer to that is – actually, a lot!
If you’re thinking of an animal attack as a fight between your car and a cheetah – this isn’t likely unless you’re taking your car with you to the zoo! 😆
When we’re talking about animal attacks in car insurance, it’s mostly about the damages that these animals can do to your car, both internally as well as externally.
Here are some common types of damages an animal can do to your car:
- A rodent or some other type of pest can chew up your car’s wiring!
- Stray cats and dogs can scratch the outside of your car and damage the paint
- You might accidentally hit a big wild animal while driving through a forest or highway and it can damage your bumper or windshield
- If you have a pet, they may tear up your car’s upholstery 🙁
- A bird may get into the cabin of your car through a window or sunroof and damage it
Why does your car need protection against animal attacks?
So, you can see that these animal “attacks” might seem pretty familiar to you. Especially in a country like India where you’ll find all kinds of animals like dogs, cats, monkeys, cows, bulls, and even goats roaming the streets!
And when these animals damage your car, whether it is the interior or exterior, it could be pretty severe. Even something as small as a dead rat can leave behind a foul smell that is very difficult to get rid of.
Sometimes, you might not even know that your car has suffered any damage until you go and look for it. For example, if your car has been parked for a long time, you won’t know something is wrong until you try and start the engine, or even until you take it for servicing. Only then you would realize that “Oh no, looks like the wires have been chewed up by rats!” 🙁
In other cases, like if the paint has been badly scratched by a stray dog, you will notice the damage instantly and can take it for repair.
Will your car insurance help cover animal attacks?
After reading this, if you’re wondering if your car insurance covers these situations – the answer is yes.
Basically, with a comprehensive or own damage policy, you will be covered against any accidental damages caused to your own car. It is the best protection against the unexpected (like animal attacks!).
On the other hand, a third-party (or liability only) policy will just protect you from any loss if you accidentally damage any third-party person or property.
How to claim car insurance after an animal attack?
If your car has been the unfortunate victim of an animal attack, you can make a car insurance claim the same way you would for any other accidental damages.
Here is what you need to do with Digit:
- Step 1: Report the damage to your insurer as soon as you identify it by making a quick call
- Step 2: Get a self-inspection link and send us pictures of the damages
- Step 3: Our team will assess the damages and get back to you with an estimate
- And that’s it! You just need to pick the type of repair that you want (reimbursement or cashless) and you’re good to go.
Note: Just keep in mind that some insurers might also want to send a surveyor to inspect the damages before making any settlement.
Can you prevent an animal attack on your car?
Now that you know what to do when your car is damaged by an animal, you might be wondering what you can do to stop it ever happening in the first place.
While animal attacks can be quite unpredictable, there are a few precautions you can take to reduce the chances of them happening to your car:
- Always remember to close the doors and windows - Never forget to properly close all your car’s doors and windows whenever you’re going to leave it unattended. Check twice if you’re a forgetful type of person! 😊 If they are even partially open, some animal might take it as an invitation to come inside!
- Try not to store food inside your car - This once probably seems quite obvious. Food attracts all kinds of animals, from rats and monkeys to flies. And, if you’re going to eat in the car remember to properly clean up all the food crumbs
- Avoid parking your car out in the open - When you park your car in open spaces, like on the road or in a field, it can become a target for animals to get in and damage it, especially in the cold or rainy weather. Parking your car inside a garage can stop it getting all this extra attention!
- Use your car frequently - If you neglect your car for long periods of time it will turn to someone else for a bit of TLC! Unfortunately for you, this “someone else” will likely be a whole lot of animals who will start to use your car as a nesting place, resulting in all kinds of problems. 😲
Apart from these things, you should also consider getting a Comprehensive Car Insurance policy. While it won’t protect your car itself, it will protect you from any losses you can incur animal damages.
So, whether you spend most of your time in a city or elsewhere, you can see that your beloved car is often in danger of being damaged in an animal attack.
While the best way to protect your car is by getting the right insurance, as they say, “prevention is better than cure”. By doing everything you can to stop such an incident in the first place, you can avoid a whole lot of trouble.
But in case something bad still happens, you can fall back on your insurance to look after you. After all, that’s exactly what it’s there for!