Figures compiled by State Farm Insurance show that Pennsylvania drivers are the third most likely of motorists in any state to have a collision with a deer, having a one in 67 chance of a deer-related accident.
With this in mind, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller is reminding drivers to be alert for deer, particularly during this time of year when auto crashes involving deer are most likely to happen. Miller also warned drivers that their insurance company cannot add a surcharge to their auto premium for a crash involving a deer.
“I want to remind drivers that under Pennsylvania law, a crash involving a deer is considered a not-at-fault accident, and insurers cannot add a surcharge to your premium for an accident with a deer,” Commissioner Miller said in a press release issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, adding this exclusion does not apply if the car does not come in contact with the deer. “In addition, vehicle damage from deer-related crashes is handled under a driver’s comprehensive coverage, and surcharges are prohibited for accidents with animals or fowl.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported more than 3,600 deer involved crashes in 2015, resulting in 639 injuries and six fatalities in Pennsylvania. State Farm Insurance says the average cost of a deer involved collision is just under $4,000.
Dawn and dusk are the peak times of day for deer activity, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. With daylight savings time ending November 6, more drivers will be traveling to and from work at these times of day.
“The fall is breeding season for deer, and they may be less aware of their surroundings,” Commissioner Miller said in the release. “Deer also often travel in groups, so if you see one deer, there are often more nearby.”
Source: Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
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