Car Insurance Claims Data Show Rise in Animal-Related Accidents

Deer in fieldAs the summer ends, motorists need to prepare themselves for fall and winter road conditions, as auto insurance companies see an increase in claims for animal-related accidents during this time.

In fact, data from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) have shown such claims are almost three times higher in November than any other month.

After reviewing their own claim data, State Farm Auto Insurance estimates that there were 2.3 million deer-vehicle collisions between July 1, 2008, and June 30, 2010, representing a jump of more than 20 percent from five years earlier.

The increase in deer collisions during the fall months may have to do with a combination of factors, including the animals’ migrating and mating season.

Data from the HLDI report says the average claim for an animal-related accident in 2008 was nearly $3,000.

State Farm spokesman Justin Tomczak says accidents involving animals are serious and costly events for which motorists need to be prepared.

“State Farm has been committed to auto safety for several decades and that’s why we want to call attention to potential hazards like this one,” says Tomczak. “We hope our updated information will inspire motorists to make safe decisions.”

Consumers wanting to protect against this type of incident may want to compare car insurance prices for comprehensive coverage, which is most likely to cover damages to an auto resulting from collisions with animals.

Motorists in several states along the East Coast, such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina, are at a higher-than-average likelihood of colliding with a deer. The insurance company estimates that one in 39 West Virginian motorists will get into an accident with a deer in a given year, the highest likelihood of any state.

On the other end of the spectrum, drivers in the Southwest region of the country have a lower risk of getting into such accidents. Motorists in California and Nevada are at a particularly low risk. Additionally, Floridians have lower risks of getting into a car accident with a deer and Hawaiian drivers are least likely with a risk rate of one in 9,931 within the next year.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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