W.Va. Study Shows Auto Collisions With Deer Average $1,700 Per Claim

November 9, 2005

The average cost of an automobile claim directly attributable to a driver having a collision with deer or wildlife is more than $1,700 per claim and totaling approximately $33 million, according to an annual study sponsored by the West Virginia Insurance Commission in Charleston, W.Va.

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, Jane L. Cline has announced that according to the study over 19,000 deer and wildlife claims were paid by the top auto insurance carriers in West Virginia.

“West Virginia’s wildlife is a great resource for our state; however, for many West Virginia motorists it can be a daily threat to life and property,” Cline said. “Not surprisingly, the number of auto related accidents involving deer and other wildlife increase during the months of October, November and December, which coincides directly with both hunting and mating seasons.”

The study is based on data supplied by insures with 5% or more of the West Virginia market and includes only claims paid involving collision with wildlife. The data does not include damages caused by drivers avoiding wildlife and subsequently colliding with other objects. Although the number of claims is down from last year, they are comparable to previous years and represent a substantial impact on auto premiums paid by West Virginia drivers.

Commissioner Cline urged West Virginia motorists to be aware of deer crossing signs, stay alert and always wear a seatbelt. Also, deer tend to move in groups, so if you see one there are likely to be more.

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