Date: November 9, 2009
For more information contact: Jim Guidry, (608) 264-6239 or email@example.com
Commissioner reminds consumers to take precautions for deer
on the road and check auto coverage
Madison, WIDeer hunting season is approaching and the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance reminds consumers to review their auto insurance policy to make sure they have coverage for deer hits.
"This is the time of year that the deer are on the move and running onto roads," said Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg. "If you don't have the proper auto coverage in place and you hit a deer, you'll be faced with a large repair bill, or worse, a totaled vehicle with no coverage."
Deer hits and other auto-animal collisions are covered under the comprehensive coverage of an auto policy, sometimes referred to as "other than collision." This optional coverage is found in the section entitled "Coverage for Damage to Your Auto." Comprehensive coverage provides financial protection beyond that of collision coverage, including hail, theft, falling objects, and deer hits. Drivers should call their insurance company or agent and check their policies to see if they have comprehensive auto coverage.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) logged nearly 16,000 deer hits reported with $1,000 or more in property damage. Auto insurers, however, report well over 50,000 claims filed by policyholders for car-deer collisions.
The DOT and the OCI encourage Wisconsin's drivers to be aware of the increased chance of hitting deer in the coming months and take the proper precautions. Drivers are encouraged to heed the following suggestions:
- Be attentive in the early morning and evening hours; this is the most active time for deer.
- Pay close attention to deer crossing signs; they are installed in places where there are typically more deer crossings.
- Wear your safety-belt, stay sober, keep your headlights correctly adjusted, and use your high beams where possible.
- If you see a deer near the side of the road, slow down and blow your horn; some suggest also flashing your headlights to scare the deer away.
- If you see a deer in front of you, brake firmly, don't swerve, stay in your lane and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop. It is better to hit the deer than to swerve and lose control of your vehicle and risk rolling over or hitting a tree or oncoming traffic.
- If you hit a deer, do not leave your vehicle. The injured deer could hurt you. Try to get your car off the road and call the police.
OCI publications, such as Consumer's Guide to Auto Insurance, can be ordered free from the agency by writing to OCI Publications, P.O. Box 7873, Madison, WI 53707-7873, calling 800-236-8517 or visiting the OCI Web site at oci.wi.gov. The publication is available in English or Spanish.
Created by the Legislature in 1871, Wisconsin's Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.