As a society, we generally like to be prepared for emergencies, don’t we?  As consumers, we are happy to buy things that protect us and the safety of our families.  You’ve seen deer whistles for sale in stores and you may know people who have them, or have some yourself. They are inexpensive, made of plastic, and easily attach to the bumper of a car or truck.  These whistles seem to be common in rural areas, perhaps because hitting a deer on a secondary road is seven times more likely than on an interstate.  Some people swear by their effectiveness, but the thing is, there really isn’t a way to test them.  We cannot actually ask the deer if they hear the whistle and are subsequently alerted that they should move off the roadway because a vehicle is headed their way.

Whistles aside, deer mean costly business. They are two times more dangerous for motorists while they are on the move during mating season, which usually lasts from October through December.  While Bambi™ may look harmless, she and her friends are responsible for an average of $4 billion in annual insurance payouts, with each claim totaling near $4,000.

Car Insurance Coverage

You’ll be happy to know there is still something you can buy to protect yourself and your family from an accident with a deer. Comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy will reimburse you for any damage a deer causes to your vehicle, less your deductible.  To help cover any medical bills if you or your passenger(s) is injured, you may want to purchase, or increase the limit of your Medical coverage.

When All Else Fails, Hit the Deer

The agents at Kasmann Insurance have already submitted a number of deer claims during this peak season, and they would like to provide you with a list of tips to help you drive safely.

  • Always wear your seatbelt.
  • Adjust your headrest so it is behind the back of your head to prevent whiplash.
  • Deer are most active during dawn – 6 a.m. and dusk – 9 p.m.
  • If you see one deer, be on the lookout for more – they often travel in groups.
  • Use your high-beam headlights, but make sure to dim them if you see any deer. This will prevent the deer from “freezing” in the roadway.
  • If you see a deer in the road, and no one is behind you, hit your brakes and slow down.
  • If you cannot slow down or stop, do not swerve. HIT THE DEER. That sounds crazy, right? Ask anyone in the insurance industry and they will all tell you the same thing, “Hit the deer.”

If you swerve, you greatly increase your chance of losing control of your vehicle and of something much worse happening.  When people swerve to avoid the deer, they often hit a guardrail, a tree, end up in a ditch, or even worse roll their car. Deer are covered under comprehensive coverage (mentioned earlier), whereas the tree or ditch will fall under collision coverage.  Insurance companies look much more favorably upon comp claims than they do collision claims when it’s time to renew your auto policy.  Please also note, this is one of those times it is important to assess your priorities.  It is, after all, just a vehicle and vehicles can be fixed or easily replaced, which we know is not the same with people.

And After You Hit the Deer?

  • Check to make certain your car is not missing any parts or leaking obvious fluids.
  • If possible, move your vehicle to a safe place off the roadway and turn your hazard lights on.
  • Call the police or 911.
  • Stay clear of the deer.
  • Take photos of the damage to your vehicle.

Call your agent at Kasmann Insurance to notify them of the accident.  If your policy has the necessary Comprehensive and/or Medical coverage, a claim will need to be reported to your insurance company for your

Insure With The People You Trust

Missouri is ranked 17th in the nation for automobile accidents involving deer.   Along with deer, drinking and drowsiness account for a majority of the vehicle fatalities in our state.   The Kasmann Insurance Agency wants you to be prepared during deer season with the list of safety tips we compiled above.  Contact our office to inquire about comprehensive or medical coverage requirements, options and rates.  Please pay attention to speed limit and deer caution signs when you are traveling this holiday season, and arrive harmlessly to enjoy time with your families.  On behalf of Kasmann Insurance, we want to wish all of our clients, our friends, and our neighbors a Safe and Happy Holiday Season.

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