HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today reminded drivers that their insurance company cannot add a surcharge to their auto premium for a crash involving a deer. She issued this reminder as a study by a national insurer shows Pennsylvanians are the third most likely to have a deer involved crash of drivers in any state in the country. She also warned drivers to be alert for deer, as this is the time of year when auto crashes with deer are most likely to happen.
"I want to remind drivers that under Pennsylvania law, a crash involving a deer is considered a not-at-fault accident, and insurers cannot add a surcharge to your premium for an accident with a deer," Commissioner Miller said, adding this exclusion does not apply if your car does not come in contact with the deer. "In addition, vehicle damage from deer-related crashes is handled under a driver's comprehensive coverage, and surcharges are prohibited for accidents with animals or fowl."
Figures compiled by State Farm Insurance show that Pennsylvania drivers are the third most likely of motorists in any state to have a collision with a deer, having a one in 67 chance of a deer-related accident. PennDOT reported more than 3,600 deer involved crashed in 2015, resulting in 639 injuries and six fatalities in Pennsylvania. State Farm Insurance says the average cost of a deer involved collision is just under $4,000.
November is the month when drivers are most likely to have a crash involving a deer, according to insurance industry information. October and December have the second and third highest number of deer related crashes.
"The fall is breeding season for deer, and they may be less aware of their surroundings. Deer also often travel in groups, so if you see one deer, there are often more nearby," advised Commissioner Miller.
Dawn and dusk are the peak times of day for deer activity, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. With daylight savings time ending November 6, more drivers will be traveling to and from work at these times of day.
To report a dead deer for removal from state-maintained roads, motorists can call the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.
If consumers have questions about auto insurance, they should contact the Insurance Department Consumer Services Bureau at www.insurance.pa.gov under the "Consumers" tab, or by calling 1-877-881-6388.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman, Insurance Department, 717-787-3289
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance