It’s the “Deer-Car Collision Season.”
October through December sees the highest number of deer-car collisions in the country. That’s because deer are preparing for winter, migrating, and mating. They are on the move.
In other words, the deer are feisty. Remember: when the leaves are turning, the deer are running across the roads you drive. And that’s a recipe for disaster.
Bambi is a lethal weapon.
There are over one million deer-car accidents every year. That’s a staggering number.
Thousands of people are hurt, and over 200 are killed each year.
Add to that over 4 BILLION DOLLARS of damage, and it’s easy to see why Bambi may be cute, but he’s also dangerous and expensive.
Here are five safety tips to survive this season:
- Watch for deer, especially at sunrise and sunset.
- Never swerve to avoid a deer. It’s safer to hit the deer. Really.
- Deer run in herds. If you see one, look for the others too.
- Use your high-beams at night. Then watch for the glowing eyes.
- Buckle up. In 60 percent of deer accident fatalities, the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
What should you do if you hit a deer?
- Make sure you don’t go near the animal. A wounded deer can be dangerous.
- Turn on your emergency flashers and get out of the way of traffic.
- Call 911. Law enforcement can clear the road and document the accident.
- Take pictures of the accident scene and damage.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible.
Does insurance cover deer-car collisions?
Comprehensive Coverage does cover deer collisions. But Collision Coverage doesn’t.
I realize that might not make sense. Shouldn’t Collision Coverage cover a “collision” with a deer? Well, you might think so, but insurance companies look at deer-car accidents differently. They see it as an “Act of God” that could not be avoided. Kind of like lightning strikes and falling trees. It’s not your fault.
That’s good news, because in most cases, you won’t be penalized with a rate increase just because you hit a deer. Comprehensive Coverage was made for this type of accident.
HOWEVER, if you swerve to avoid a deer, and hit a light pole, your Comprehensive Coverage will not apply. Instead, your Collision Coverage will kick in, and that could mean a rate increase.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I have Comprehensive Coverage?
- What’s my deductible? Is it the best deductible for me?
- Do I have proof of insurance and a claims phone number in my vehicle?
You should meet with your agent. Now. Not later.
If you haven’t seen your local insurance agent in a while, a deer-car collision could be the reason you get reacquainted. A barbecue would have been a better reason. So plan to meet with your agent now, before an accident happens. Make sure you have proper coverage.
Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates helping clients with insurance needs for personal, commercial and business insurance. Bruce can be reached at 707-931-0186, firstname.lastname@example.org