10/23/2015 11:26:22 AM
For Immediate Release
(Saint Paul, MN) Motor vehicle accidents involving deer tend to peak in the fall months. Between 2012 and 2014, nearly 7,000 vehicle crashes with deer were reported to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
As Minnesotans hit the road for hunting and other fall activities, the Minnesota Department of Commerce offers tips to help motorists stay safe. Before a collision occurs, make sure you're protected with the right type of insurance and understand how to prevent animal accidents.
“Deer accidents can be dangerous and costly,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “These accidents can sometimes be avoided by exercising caution during peak times when deer are most active. Many times these accidents are unavoidable, but you can avoid being hit with a large repair bill by checking your insurance in advance.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that damage caused by deer accidents results in over $1 billion in annual insured losses.
Damage to a vehicle from a collision with an animal is covered under an auto policy's optional comprehensive portion. If you only have collision or liability coverage, your insurance carrier will not cover damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with an animal. If you want to make sure your vehicle is covered for animal collisions, contact your agent or insurer to discuss adding comprehensive coverage to your policy.
Filing a claim for an accident covered by your comprehensive coverage means you will still need to pay a deductible. After that, your insurer will cover the costs of the claim up to your policy limits.
Some accidents are unavoidable. Knowing how to react in the event of an animal collision can help keep you safe. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety advises that if you can't avoid a collision, try not to swerve. If you swerve, you could lose control and hit a tree or veer into oncoming traffic. After a collision with an animal, follow the steps below:
Call our Consumer Services Center at 651-539-1600 or toll-free at 1-800-657-3602 (in Greater Minnesota) if you have any questions or if you believe you have been a victim of a scam or fraud.