11/3/2017 9:29:14 AM
SAINT PAUL- You don't have to be a hunter to come into the crosshairs of wildlife during the fall months. More deer accidents occur in October and November than the rest of the year. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHSA) reports there are about 1.5 million annual deer-related auto accidents.
“In Minnesota, deer are on the move during the fall months, which increases your risk of hitting an animal while driving your vehicle,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “It is important for Minnesotans to check their coverage. Drivers should be aware that standard collision insurance typically will not cover deer or other animal-vehicle collisions.”
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has these tips to make sure you understand what insurance coverage you need before a collision--and how you can enhance your safety when driving.
Damage to a vehicle from a collision with an animal is covered under an auto policy's optional comprehensive coverage. If you only have collision coverage or liability coverage, your insurance carrier will not cover damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an animal. The NHSA estimates damage caused by deer accidents alone result in more than $1 billion in annual insured losses. To make sure your vehicle is covered for animal collisions, contact your agent or carrier to discuss adding comprehensive coverage to your policy. Filing a claim for an accident covered by your comprehensive coverage means you'll still need to pay a deductible. After that, your insurer will cover the costs of the claim up to your policy limits.
These tips may help reduce your chances of an animal collision:
Some accidents are unavoidable. Knowing how to react in the event of an animal collision can help keep you safe. If you are about to hit a deer or other animal, hold firmly onto the steering wheel, apply your brakes and come to a stop. If you can't avoid a collision, try not to swerve. If you do swerve, you could lose control and hit a tree or veer into oncoming traffic. After a collision with an animal, follow these steps:
Commerce is here to help
If you have a question or concern about your insurance policy, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 | firstname.lastname@example.org