HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 19, 2015 /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. The commissioner urged drivers to be alert for deer, as this is the time of year when auto crashes with deer are most likely to happen.
"In another push for consumer protection in Pennsylvania, I want to remind drivers that under state 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. "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 second most likely of motorists in any state to have a collision with a deer, having a one in 70 chance of a deer-related accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports 15 fatalities in Pennsylvania because of collisions with animals in 2013, the latest year for which this information is available. The cost of a deer involved claim rose six percent to more than $4,100 in 2014.
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 1, 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
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance