‘The damage can be pretty severe from a deer hit’: What you need to know as deer-hit season peaks
MADISON, Wis. — October and November are peak months for the number of deer hits and vehicle crashes. Knowing what to do and how to handle the aftermath could prevent injury or further damage.
“The damage can be pretty severe from a deer hit,” said Lucas Hancock, a physical damage adjuster with American Family Insurance.
Hancock said on average in 2017, American Family Insurance customers filed more than 32,000 insurance claims from deer-hit incidents, each averaging $3,631.
In Wisconsin, customers filed 9,046 deer-vehicle claims in 2017. In 2016, there were 9,393 claims filed. While the number of claims filed decreased, the average cost to fix the damage increased from $3,175 to $3,362.
Hancock said the price rises as time goes on due to advances in car technology.
“There’s a lot more safety equipment,” he said. “We have sensors in the front end of vehicles that can often be damaged when you do hit a deer.”
He recommended simple safety tips upon initial sighting of a deer on the road.
“Firmly braking, maybe blow your horn, but you definitely do not want to swerve,” he said.
Hancock said cars can be totaled from hitting deer. He recommended those who do not see damage on the outside of their vehicles after hitting a deer, still take their car in to get checked out as internal damage is a common occurrence that might not be obvious upon first glance.
Hancock said staying alert, wearing a seat belt, avoiding distractions and paying attention to deer-crossing zones are ways to avoid hitting a deer.
If you do hit a deer, pull off to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights and contact authorities, as you may be required to report an incident with significant car damage, depending on state laws. This will also help when you file a claim with your insurance company. You should also take photos of the damage and scene, but keep your distance from the deer. The deer-hit claim will be covered under the comprehensive section of your auto insurance policy if you’ve signed up for it.
Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.
COPYRIGHT 2023 BY CHANNEL 3000. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.