Deer Collision Season Opens: Are You Ready?

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This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.

If you live in West Virginia, Montana, Iowa, South Dakota or Pennsylvania, better make sure you’ve got $3,414 lying around.

That’s the damage a typical deer-car collision causes, State Farm says, and those are the five states where you’re most likely to hit a deer in the next year.

The company’s annual update on deer collisions comes as peak season for conflict between car and mammal approaches: November is the worst month for collisions, with October and December right behind. The odds of a licensed driver hitting a deer in West Virginia over the next 12 months, State Farm says, are a staggering 1 in 41. The runners-up:

  • Montana — 1 in 65.
  • Iowa — 1 in 73.
  • South Dakota — 1 in 75.
  • Pennsylvania — 1 in 77.

Nationwide, a typical driver has a 1-in-174 chance of hitting a deer in the next 12 months; odds are lowest in Hawaii, just 1 in 6,787. You can see State Farm’s estimates for every state here.

Though the price tag of a deer encounter has risen 3.3 percent over the last year, the company says, the odds of a strike have actually slipped a little in recent years.

“This data is encouraging,” says State Farm director of strategic resources Chris Mullen. “We would like to think the attention we call to this issue each fall has had an impact. Obviously there are other factors at play as well.”

Collisions remain far from rare: Researchers estimate there were 1.22 million deer-related collisions in the year that ended June 30.

Car insurance coverage for deer-inspired damage comes under the comprehensive portion of your policy. Comprehensive covers theft, fire, hail, vandalism and other events largely beyond your control. A claim typically will not raise your car insurance rates unless you have additional recent claims.

We’ve answered some typical deer-collision questions in “You hit a deer: Are you covered?

If you live in a deer-dense state, it might make sense to lower your deductible. And if you’re armed with only liability coverage, drive very, very carefully.

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