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Wildlife On The Road – They Are Bigger Than You Think!

Summer is here! And, many us are out and about enjoying life, experiencing nature and searching for ways to relax with our families. As evening time comes we often take 30 minutes out of our day to watch the nightly news. During the week of June 19, 2018, a local Tennessee story caught our attention when ABC WATE’s headline reported “Bear Runs Into Car Near Cosby!” So, today we thought it might be a good idea to remind our readers about wildlife on the road…they are bigger than you think!

Before we offer you some facts and hints on avoiding such collisions, watch up close and personal Brittany Ogle’s encounter with a bear.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

NICB Study: Animal-Related Insurance Losses Facts

On May 23, 2018, the Insurance Information Institute (III) published the results of a study by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) which reported that animal-related insurance losses are up by 6 percent from 2014-2017. Here are the facts:

  1. The study reviews claims for losses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  2. Reported losses in 2017 were 1,740,425, 99.9% of the losses included vehicles.
  3. While deer losses actually declined, the top five animals were deer, raccoons, dogs, turkeys and coyotes.
  4. The top five states were Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina.
  5. One major insurer reported the average animal-related claim in 2016 was $4000.

Tips To Avoid Wildlife On The Road

Automobile accidents happen, that’s why we encourage consumers to be protected by purchasing auto insurance. We also know that there are “best practices” guidelines to increase a driver’s ability to avoid wildlife on the road. Most consumer resources offer tips dealing with deer and this makes sense given that losses related to collisions with deer are the most frequently reported across the United States.

In October 2017, Consumer Reports offered the following tips to specifically avoid colliding with a deer, but each can be adapted to most wildlife.

  • Slow down
  • Be aware
  • Be alert
  • Brake, don’t swerve (Many experts offer that moose are the exception. An adult male can weigh up to 1600 pounds, which compares to a small vehicle. Swerve, if it is safe to do so.)
  • Assume they have friends…deer travel in groups
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles
  • Buckle up

“If you hit an animal, move your car safely off the road and call police or animal control. Do not attempt to touch an injured animal. Photograph the scene, then call your insurance company when you get home.”

Are you covered for an animal collision?

This might be a good time to review your auto insurance policy. At John Bailey Company, our team would be happy to review your current policy to determine “what if” you were to collide with wildlife on the road. It is important to remember that if you carry only liability insurance, your damage will not be covered.

It may surprise you to learn that in most states the coverage line that applies to an animal collision is your comprehensive coverage (also known as “other than collision”). So, if for some reason you did not purchase comprehensive coverage, your animal collision accident will not be covered. Also, your comprehensive deductible will need to be paid in the event an animal collision claim is filed.

One final thought, be prepared and remember if you need to make a claim you can utilize our convenient John Bailey Insurance Mobile App.

Insure a great life…


Question or Comment?

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