Every autumn the number of deer related accidents seem to rise and the statistics are staggering. In 2016 the highest number of fatal and none fatal accidents occurred in the month of September. Deer are known to have a mind of their own and can react unexpectedly when approached with a vehicle. In most cases, the only thing you have control over is your own reaction. Have you checked your policy to see if you’re prepared for a potential deer accident? Read more and learn the answers to common questions regarding your insurance.
Should I swerve to avoid hitting a deer?
No! Never swerve to miss hitting a deer.
Swerving to miss wildlife is a natural reaction however it can actually cause a lot more damage and injury. Once you swerve, you are at a much greater risk of hitting a tree, light post, mailbox, ditch or even worse oncoming traffic. The damage from hitting wildlife is often minimal in comparison to hitting one of these other objects. Injury is also a lot more probable when you swerve to miss a wildlife.
In regards to your policy, the consequences for swerving to miss wildlife can be significant. Hitting an inanimate object with your vehicle is a collision. Collision accidents often come with higher deductibles and higher surcharges.
While wildlife can cause damage to your vehicle as well as injury, the potential for injury or damage is much greater if you crash into a tree or light post. Take your foot off the gas, try to lower your speed and keep a straight course to reduce damage and higher insurance rates.
Am I covered in a deer accident?
Deer accidents are covered under the comprehensive coverage of your insurance policy. If you are unsure of your coverage, please give your HMS broker a call so we can review your policy.
Do I have a deductible?
Comprehensive coverage is often purchased with a deductible. Some companies do offer a zero deductible, so it depends on terms of your policy. Comprehensive is less expensive than collision and is often sold with a lower deductible. If you have a deductible listed on comprehensive, it will definitely apply to a vehicle to deer accident. If you have more questions regarding deductibles, call us today, one of our customer representatives would be happy to assist you.
Do I need a police report?
Usually they are not required for a deer claim to be paid out, however they can be quite useful when it comes to claims. Documentation makes the claim process cut and dry. It is recommended to get a police report especially if you have hit multiple deer in the past. If you are able to get a report filed with the police department, get it done and speed up the process.
Will it affect my insurance rate?
Comprehensive claims do not impact your insurance premiums. However, if you acquire multiple comprehensive claims in a short period of time you insurance carrier may way to remove this coverage or increase your deductible.
Deer accidents are quite frequent in many areas of Canada. Knowing what your policy covers is important, and can possibly affect how you will react in your next deer encounter. Knowing exactly how to react and what precautions to take can minimize your injuries and insurance bills. Know what your coverage is before a claim arises. Understanding how much your deductibles are and when they apply will prevent a lot much heart ache. Speak with your customer service representative today and ask questions about your coverage.
If you are involved in an accident, and are a HMS client, please give our office a call or visit our claims page for 24/hr claims numbers.