West Virginia Is the Per Capita Leader in This Car Insurance Claim

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Lisa Steuer McArdle
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 · 3 min read
In 2020, West Virginia was the top state for animal collision
car insurance
claims, with one in 37 drivers affected.
Most animal collisions tend to be with deer. In fact, there were 1.5 million deer claims industry wide. Deer season generally runs from October through December and there’s an increase in sightings and collisions during this time, especially on highways and in suburban areas.
Some states see more animal collisions than others, so your chances of putting in such a claim depends on where you live. Still, it’s best to be prepared in case it does happen, and to understand
comprehensive coverage
, which covers collisions with animals.
Deer can cause a lot of damage to you and your car | Twenty20

Car insurance claims by state

According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III),
there were more than 1.9 million animal collision
car insurance
claims in the U.S. between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.
Drivers in West Virginia have the highest odds of hitting an animal (1 in 37 drivers), followed by Montana (1 in 47 drivers), Pennsylvania (1 in 51 drivers), South Dakota (1 in 53 drivers) and Michigan (1 in 54 drivers).
Hawaii had the lowest risk of animal collisions, with only 1 in 649 drivers making an animal collision claim last year.
The III reports that from 1975 to the mid-2000s, there was an uptrend in deaths from animal collisions. This has leveled off in recent years, with 190 deaths from animal collisions in 2018.

Comprehensive car insurance

State Farm says that the average U.S. driver has a 1 in 116 chance of colliding with an animal in any given year.
If you’re concerned about animal collisions, make sure you have comprehensive insurance in place, because you won’t be able to add additional coverage following an accident. If you only have
collision coverage
, you’re only covered for accidents with other vehicles or collisions with fixed objects.
Comprehensive coverage also includes other unpredictable events such as natural disasters, vandalism, theft, and fires.
Before needing to make a car insurance claim, compare car insurance with
, and see how much it will cost to add comprehensive coverage to your policy. We show you the best rates from up to 45 insurers, so it might cost less than you think.

Avoiding deer and other animals on the road

It’s important to take precautions and stay alert while driving, especially if you live in an area that has a high rate of collisions with animals.
State Farm
has some handy tips for avoiding animals when driving.
Importantly, if you see an animal in the road, simply flicking your high beams may cause the animal to run off. Don’t swerve if a crash is inevitable—try to maintain control of your vehicle and don’t veer off the road.
If you think you can avoid hitting the animal, slow down, honk your horn and tap the breaks to warn other drivers. If there are no other drivers behind you, it’s OK to break hard.
Always wear your seat belt and remember that most animal collisions typically happen during October and December, which is hunting and mating season.

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