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A Deer Accident and your Comprehensive Coverage

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 10/13/2011

Filing a comprehensive coverage claim for a deer accident can happen any time during the year, but the odds of one happening increase in the fall.

You have an increase chance of a deer accident in the fall

Fall brings cooler weather, beautiful colors and a spike your odds of having a deer accident.

This topic may feel more like a community service message than an insurance topic. However, all drivers need to be alert for a peak accident season coming up within the next month that you will need insurance coverage for.

Is it the drunk driving season? Well-yes, but we will cover that one in a different post.

The peak accident season that I am talking about right now is deer accident season. The higher number of deer on the roads this time of year increases your chance that you will end up having to file a claim for a deer accident.

Why the Peak in Deer Accidents?

For deer (and other animals) the fall holds two critical seasons for them. First, it is hunting season. But, contrary to popular belief, hunting season is not the reason for the increase in deer accidents. During hunting season deer still stay very close to their normal habitat. Also there is little hunting done close to the main roads to cause a deer to be spooked by a hunter and dart out into traffic.

Second, November is the mating month for deer. Now this is the main reason behind the increase in car vs. deer accidents. During mating season, deer venture off to find a mate. They leave their normal habitat and whether alone or with the herd they are going to be crossing roads to find that mate. Naturally, the more deer out on the roads the higher chance of a deer accident.

The roaming behavior during this time of year, in addition to more and more humans living in what is deer habitat, brings us together. Throw in a vehicle and an animal that spooks easily and you have the perfect conditions for a car/deer accident.

Why Comprehensive Coverage and Not Collision Coverage for Deer Accidents?

If you think about a deer accident, technically a collision has occurred. But, no matter if it is you hitting them or even them hitting you (yes, these animals have been known to run into vehicles), any animal hit actually falls under your comprehensive coverage. It doesn’t matter if the animal is alive when you hit them or dead it is all the same.

This is actually good news for you as comprehensive coverage claims have less impact on your insurance premium. Also your comprehensive coverage deductible is usually lower than your collision coverage deductible.

On the other side, if you were to swerve to miss a deer and you ran into a guardrail or a tree; this would fall under your collision coverage.

Lowering Deductible For Deer Accident Season

With the increased chance of having a deer accident during this time of year, you may want to consider lowering your comprehensive coverage deductible during this time. Yes, this will create a small increase in your comprehensive coverage premium. However, the increase will be smaller than what you would end up paying out for your comprehensive coverage deductible if you were to have a deer accident.

It would also be a good idea to add this coverage to your insurance if you don’t already have it. It is better to have the comprehensive coverage and not need it, rather than need it for a deer accident and not have it.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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