SCC Advises Drivers to be Mindful of Deer on Virginia Roadways this Fall
OCT 17, 2023
RICHMOND – The autumn season brings shorter days and falling leaves. It also brings an increase in vehicle collisions with deer.
An increase in vehicle-deer crashes during the fall is attributed to deer mating and migration that typically takes place this time of year. In fact, next month (November) is the peak month for insurance claims related to vehicle collisions with deer. The State Corporation Commission’s (SCC’s) Bureau of Insurance offers Virginia drivers a reminder to remain alert for deer when driving on roadways.
“A deer in the roadway poses a threat to even the most careful driver,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott White. “As fall arrives, contact your insurance agent or company to find out if your automobile policy provides coverage for claims involving a crash with deer or other wildlife.”
Insurance policies with liability-only coverage may not cover damage to your auto from a deer crash. Vehicle collisions with deer typically fall under an optional coverage called “other-than-collision” (or “comprehensive”) coverage. In addition to deer crashes, other-than-collision coverage often covers other types of damage to your vehicle, such as damage resulting from theft, wind, hail, flood, fire or vandalism.
Lowering your travel speed and staying distraction-free may help you avoid a crash with deer. If a deer runs out in the road, drivers should stay in their lane and brake as carefully as possible. While startling, striking a deer is often safer for the driver and vehicle occupants than swerving sharply and putting surrounding vehicles and their occupants at risk.
If a collision with a deer happens while on the road, notify law enforcement and your insurance company as soon as possible. When safe to do so, take photos of the scene of the crash, as well as damage to the vehicle if you plan to file an insurance claim. If you see leaking fluid, tire damage, broken lights or other damage, call a tow truck.
The Bureau of Insurance is here to assist Virginians with their questions regarding auto and many other types of insurance. For more information, call the Bureau toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at 804-371-9741 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/Insurance.
Contact: Jordan Bondurant, 804-371-9141
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