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Make sure your auto insurance covers accidents involving deer

Posted On Thu, October 1, 2009

As the winter months approach, so does the importance of checking with your auto insurance provider to make sure that they are covered in the event that damage is sustained by an accident with a deer.

According to a study from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), from 2006-2008 each year saw the amount of animal-related car accidents increase drastically as the summer came to an end, beginning at close to 4,000 animal strikes in August before peaking in November at close to 14,000 strikes.

"The months with the most crash deaths coincide with fall breeding season," said Anne McCartt the IIHS senior vice president for research. "Crashes in which people are killed are most likely to occur in rural areas and on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or higher. They're also more likely to occur in darkness, at dusk, or at dawn."

The IIHS additionally found that the amount of deaths relating to accidents involving animals were on the rise. While 101 fatalities relating to the accidents were reported in 1993, the figure had jumped to 223 deaths by 2007.

The Insurance Information Institute estimated nearly 1.6 million accidents occurred between deer and vehicles every year, resulting in an average of 150 human deaths. It also estimated that the crashes cause nearly $4.6 billion in total damages - including vehicle repairs and hospital costs - and that the average auto insurance claim for deer-vehicle collisions is $3,000.

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