Deer collision season opens: Are you ready?
If you live in a state where accidents involving deer are common, you might want to lower your deductible on your comprehensive coverage.
This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.
If you live in West Virginia, Montana, Iowa, South Dakota or Pennsylvania, better make sure you've got $3,414 lying around.
That's the damage a typical deer-car collision causes, State Farm says, and those are the five states where you're most likely to hit a deer in the next year.
The company's annual update on deer collisions comes as peak season for conflict between car and mammal approaches: November is the worst month for collisions, with October and December right behind. The odds of a licensed driver hitting a deer in West Virginia over the next 12 months, State Farm says, are a staggering 1 in 41. The runners up:
- Montana: 1 in 65
- Iowa: 1 in 73
- South Dakota: 1 in 75
- Pennsylvania: 1 in 77
Nationwide, a typical driver has a 1 in 174 chance of hitting a deer in the next 12 months; odds are lowest in Hawaii, just 1 in 6,787. You can see State Farm's estimates for every state here.
Though the price tag of a deer encounter has risen 3.3% over the last year, the company says, the odds of a strike have actually slipped a little in recent years.
"This data is encouraging," says State Farm Director of Strategic Resources Chris Mullen. "We would like to think the attention we call to this issue each fall has had an impact. Obviously there are other factors at play as well."
Collisions remain far from rare: Researchers estimate there were 1.22 million deer-related collisions in the year that ended June 30.
Car insurance coverage for deer-inspired damage comes under the comprehensive portion of your policy. Comprehensive covers theft, fire, hail, vandalism and other events largely beyond your control. A claim typically will not raise your car insurance rates unless you have additional recent claims.
If you live in a deer-dense state, it might make sense to lower your deductible. And if you're armed with only liability coverage, drive very, very carefully.
More from CarInsurance.com:
One mistake a lot of people make when they see a deer jump out from the side of the road or in front of them is to immediately swerve to avoid hitting them. That's fine if you are in great road conditions and you know for sure that you are alone on the road. If you miss the deer on a wet or snowy road you may find yourself heading rt into an oncoming car or running off the road and hitting a tree. Guess what, no deer/animal impact no proof of deer and you are 100% responsible for the accident. As my agent told me in the case of a deer meeting just let it happen, it's usually safer in newer cars and you have the coverage. In my state MI we have a coverage specifically to cover deer or large animal strikes. If I hit a deer it costs me nothing no deductible no out of pocket, just so long as I made impact and didn't just hit the tree trying to swerve. YOU NEED PROOF.
Another thing about deer and there relatives. THEY ARE EXTREMELY STUPID you are flying down the road and spot a deer in the middle of your lane and you start hitting your lights and your horn to make the animal move. Guess what wrong move. The deer is going to stand there trying to figure out where all the commotion is coming from and then decide which way to go and it isn't always away from the commotion. Just because he is facing the other side of the road doesn't mean he will go that way, he might just turn around and head back the way he came which is where you swerved to trying to avoid him. The best thing you can do is slow down if you have time and stop until he moves. I have even seen deer that turned to head away from me still staying in the lane. There is no telling where they will go.
Another big mistake some people make is really a bad move. After you hit any large animal you can't ever think it is actually dead and approach it. You might have only knocked it silly and when you come near it and it wakes up it is going to be one very scared shaken up pissed off animal capable of kicking you right in the head. And definitely do not pick the animal up and put it in your car (if its still drivable) and take it with you for proof or heaven forbid to take it to a vet. When that animal wakes up in your back seat he is going to do everything possible to try and escape and guess what, you are about to be in worse shape than when you hit it. What you should do is if you have a cell call 911 and report the incident right away. They will notify the proper parties and send you assistance very quickly. If you have no cell and you car can be moved, then move to the side of the road and set out flares so other drivers will see the carcass, when one stops ask to use there phone. Remember a police report is as good to an ins agent as if he had been there himself.
In the event that your damage is not great and you are able to drive home before calling anyone, DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT take you vehicle to a car wash before your agent or the police can see it. If you was away all the evidence that it was the fault of an animal then you are back to NO PROOF
I have 2 memorable experiences with deer and vehicles.
One occurred at night as I was driving and having a WTF moment as two deer came charging out of the ditch along side my vehicle. A second or two sooner, I would of taken one (if not both) out. A second or two later and I wouldn't even of seen them.
The other occasion was driving home from work one afternoon and seeing a deer cross the median and into the path of a late model HD pickup. Talk about being blindsided, that deer was thrown at least thirty feet at a max height of 12 ft and the pickup just shedded a variety of vehicle body parts.
That's why I always have a good hunting knife in my vehicle at all times.........
It's one of the saddest things seeing a severely injured animal
in pain and suffering after a vehicle collision........
You can call the Law, but it's of low importance to them....hence, they don't exactly "race"
to get there.......and that's just too long for an animal that's suffering horribly.....
Besides, when the cops finally do get there.......They shoot It.............
I simply eliminate the middle man and alleviate the suffering......
Be sure to ask around about Venison Donation Programs in your area.....Excellent program....
Some programs will accept (Fresh) deer hit by vehicles......During Hunting season...be sure to apply for extra "Tags" and Donate to the Food Programs that Acept Venison!!!
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