You know those fascinating statistics that show how not dangerous wild animals are; the kind that say more people have been killed by toasters in the past two months than by sharks in the past 10 years? Well, sometimes wild animals can be dangerous, but not necessarily in the way we think. For example, did you know that deer cause an alarmingly high number of vehicle collisions in the US and UK?
And did you know that you might not have the proper insurance to cover the damage?
North Carolina is deer country
At least it’s deer country as far as drivers are concerned. Official statistics show that over the past three years deer have been responsible for 17,550 automotive collisions. Other animals accounted for only 1950 collisions in the same period (Insurance News Report).
What’s quite interesting is that US states have actually been ranked according to their risk for car-deer collisions and North Carolina is in the top sixteen. Other states with road un-savvy deer include Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
The Insurance Information Institute has reported that 200 people die annually from car accidents with deer, that the damage to cars exceeds $3.6 billion and that each accident results in more or less $3000’s worth of insurance claims. It’s been estimated that there are between one and two million deer-related collisions in the US per year (foxbusiness.com).
The UK is not exempt
The AA in the UK has revealed that in October and November 2012, animals were involved in 112 motor vehicle collisions or ‘animal strike cases’. Once again, deer seem to be the most reckless when it comes to roads. Other animals that consistently put lives at risk include dogs, foxes, badgers and squirrels.
MSN UK Cars reports that 450 people per year are injured in collisions with deer and that the number of fatalities per year has risen since 2010.
People who live in deer, elk and moose territory may have enough experience to know exactly what kind of insurance they need to survive the cost of an ‘animal strike’, but often this is a hard learned lesson. New comers to high-risk states or people just driving through may be surprised to find that their collision cover is not all that comprehensive when it comes to local wildlife.
Apparently, animal-related collisions are ‘other collisions’ which places them under the comprehensive cover umbrella. Of course, there are times when collision cover is necessary, which is why a lot of people in animal strike areas carry both.
As populations continue to grow and spread into wildlife habitats, the number of wildlife/vehicle collisions is expected to increase. If you live in high-risk areas you might want to check in with your insurance company to ensure that you are properly covered.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1112569
Written by Sandy Cosser on behalf of Direct Axis, a financial services provider that specialises in vehicle insurance and consolidation loans.