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Make Sure You’ve Got Adequate California Car Insurance Before the Next Wildlife “Attack” 

Californians have enough to worry about with high housing costs, the highest gas prices in the nation, wildfires, drought, and flooding. (Yes, we get both of the last two, seemingly simultaneously.) Don’t forget to add car-wildlife collisions to your Golden State concerns list. 

No, don’t be overly worried about car accidents with animals — as long as you have adequate auto insurance coverage. Just keep both eyes peeled and drive safely. We’ll explain why that’s so important in our state. 

Yes, the Wildlife Really Does Damage Our Rides in California 

It’s nothing they do on purpose. In fact, we’re pretty sure that all the state’s deer, cougars, bears, coyotes, and other wild animals, large and not quite so large, would do all they could to avoid a collision with your vehicle. The problem is that avoidance isn’t always possible. 

Between the years 2016 and 2020, for instance, the California Highway Patrol reported more than 44,000 wildlife-car collisions. The cost? About $1 billion to the state. 

That’s why it’s so important that you have the right kind of California car insurance coverage to financially protect you against car accidents with animals. 

What Wild Animals Are Most Involved in California Collisions With Vehicles? 

You’ve got your choice. One thing that’s great about this state is its vast diversity of topography, climate, flora, and fauna. 

Depending on where you live and drive in California, you might experience huge cities, nosebleed-altitude and snowy mountain peaks, farm fields as far as the eye can see, vast and forlorn desert vistas, beaches, or a range of other landscapes. Each comes with its own wildlife. 

You’re not likely to collide with a black bear while caught in LA traffic, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter anything bigger than a squirrel. Darting coyotes can be a concern in the more densely populated southern parts of the state. Even mountain lions(!) cross roads here whenever they feel like it, and they’ve been known to cause especially costly accidents with quite surprised city drivers. 

Despite all this exotic wildlife, most California wildlife collisions are with the common mule deer. One reason is that you can find this breed just about everywhere in the state. Civilization continues to encroach on more and more of its living and breeding spaces, and the deer tend to dart into roadways when startled. 

What that means is that you and your passengers must always use seat belts, drive cautiously and within the posted speed limit, and stay alert and focused at all times. 

Deer entering roadway while cars stop

But I Have Insurance, So I’m Safe. Right? 

It depends. What kind of coverage do you have? 

Many drivers save money by buying the minimum legal level of California car insurance. That level is called liability coverage. 

This can be a smart decision if you only consider your monthly premiums. After all, the key advantage of liability coverage is that you’ll save money. It’s the cheapest level of auto insurance, and for good reason. This plan offers less in return. 

The purpose of liability coverage is to protect other people and property when you’re in an accident that’s your fault. So, your policy will pay to fix or replace the other vehicle and help with the medical care of others if needed. But it will do nothing for you and your vehicle. 

Imagine your car disabled at the side of the road, the fluids leaking and steaming from it after a nearly deserted mountain highway collision with a mule deer. Or a mountain lion, for that matter. The cost of towing your vehicle and getting it repaired (which comes out of your pocket) is thousands of dollars. 

Unless, that is, you have comprehensive protection and roadside assistance. 

Add Comprehensive Insurance for Ultimate Peace of Mind 

Comprehensive coverage offers protection against car-animal collisions and a whole lot more, such as damage from a hail storm. If you add collision coverage to your package, along with liability, you have what’s known as full coverage.  

Let’s take a closer look at collision and comprehensive coverage. 


Collision coverage works pretty much like it sounds. If your vehicle hits another, and the accident is your fault, your car insurance company will help to pay the covered damages to both your car and anything else you hit. That might include other vehicles, buildings, fences, and any other property damage. 

Yes, your vehicle is financially protected if you have collision coverage. And that’s true even if the accident wasn’t your fault, but the other driver is uninsured, underinsured, or commits a hit-and-run and is never found. 


Comprehensive benefits cover all the other ways your vehicle might be lost or damaged. That includes theft, vandalism, storm damage, or your garage catching fire with your car inside it. All that and so much more. 

But most importantly, comprehensive coverage offers benefits against California wildlife collisions within your coverage limits. 

Now Consider Adding Roadside Assistance 

We’ve already mentioned the vast topographic contrasts in this state. So, let’s go back to the scenario we previously outlined, featuring the mountaintop collision with an unfortunate mule deer (or mountain lion). You’re stuck on the side of the road with a crumpled fender and an engine that’s at least thousands of dollars away from ever running again. 

What now? 

Adding roadside assistance to your California policy means you can call or use an app to get help, day or night. Weekdays, weekends, or holidays. Sunup or sun long down. Someone will always answer and get to work immediately on getting you the help you need. 

Someone will be dispatched to bring you whatever aid the situation calls for, from a few gallons of gas to a battery charge or tire change. In this case, it will mean a tow to the nearest service garage. 

Make Sure You’re Fully Insured with Affordable Car Insurance in California  

By taking proactive measures, you can protect yourself from the potential of a car accident involving California wildlife. Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in case of an unexpected encounter with a mule deer, cougar, coyote, or other wild animal. Taking these steps now can save you from potential financial hardship and hassle down the road. 

Call your independent Cost-U-Less car insurance agent at 800-390-4071 for affordable financial protection against car accidents with animals and a whole lot more. Or get a quick quote online. You can also find a nearby California office and agent near you

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