Iowa drops to third for risk of car-deer collisions
DES MOINES – Odds of hitting a deer in the coming year are better for an Iowa driver than for drivers in all but two other states, according to a State Farm Insurance Company study.
An Iowan has a one in 72 chance of such a collision. A West Virginian has a one in 40 chance, and a South Dakotan has a one in 68 chance. The best way a person can protect themselves against the financial risk associated with these accidents is by having the right kind of insurance.
“Some consumers don’t realize that collision insurance does not cover damages that occur when a car hits a deer,” said Susan Voss, Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner. “Automobile owners should check the declarations page of their policy to see if they have purchased the ‘Comprehensive Coverage’ [sometimes referred to as ‘Other Than Collision’ coverage.]”
That kind of coverage provides coverage for damage to a vehicle caused by hitting a deer, as well as damage from hail, theft or falling objects. It is optional and a deductible applies.
Other protection is afforded by following some defensive skills:
• Be extra attentive at dawn and dusk, the time of day when deer tend to travel.
• Scan the sides of the road. If one deer is present, more are likely to be nearby.
• If deer are sighted, flash headlights and honk the horn to scare them away from the road.
• If deer are in the road, avoid hard braking or swerving. It is better to hit the deer than to cross the centerline or leave the road.
The IID reminds Iowans of the importance of reviewing their policies regularly.
“If consumers have questions about their policies, they should contact the insurance agent first and ask for an explanation,” Voss said. “If they are still not getting the answers they need, they can call our office for assistance.”