Bambi Collisions Can Affect Your Car Premiums
Fall is deer hunting season, meaning it’s time to hit the brakes for Bambi, and also review your auto insurance.
From September to December, deer migrate and mate, increasing chances of collisions. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the top month for deer–vehicle collisions is November, with October second.
Many are serious: An estimated 200 people die in deer–vehicle crashes annually. But even minor collisions will cause costly damage. One large insurer’s claim history indicates that deer hit over one million vehicles in a 12-month period – that’s one million reasons to double check your current policy to be sure you have adequate coverage
III says the average cost of a deer collision claim totals $2,800. Typically, animal-related damage is covered under comprehensive coverage, not collision, but only if you hit the animal. If you swerve to miss Bambi and hit a tree, guardrail, or other car, it becomes a collision claim.
Although the damage would still be covered under your collision coverage, collision claims are rated the same as at-fault accidents by insurers, which likely means an increase in your premiums. Comprehensive claims – unless several claims are filed around the same time period – won’t generate an increase.
If you have both coverage types, review your deductibles. Raising deductibles is a popular way to save money, but are you ready to pay $1,500 towards deer damage? Even if you answered “yes,” it’s easier to save money by avoiding deer altogether, which you can try to do by following these tips:
Fall Driving Tips
Keep your eyes open between sunset and midnight, and early morning when deer are most active.
If you see one deer, more are likely to follow.
Slow down at deer-crossing sites.
If you have no choice, hit the deer, not another vehicle or object.
Following these tips will help protect you . . . and hopefully, Bambi.