The impact of deer on insurance rates is great. If you drive in Wisconsin for any amount of time you will often spot deer just off the road and it will be immediately apparent why deer have such a large impact on insurance. If you drive through beautiful Northern Wisconsin you will feel like your on Bambi Safari. With the ever-present reminder to stay alert laying right on the road distractions like cell phones are just not safe. I myself have had several close calls.
As an insurance agent in Northeast Wisconsin we see real impact on our “comprehensive” insurance premiums especially when people move to other parts of the state. The top three counties for car-deer accident reports were Waukesha with 809, Dane with 786 and Shawano with 748 reports. In Green Lake, Taylor and Shawano counties, more than half of all reported crashes in 2013 involved deer. Animal collisions are covered by comprehensive coverage along with windshield damage, hail, theft and vandalism. When more than half of all vehicle collisions are attributed to deer in Shawano county you can see why that particular premium is higher than in other counties. Deer accidents, or near misses, also tend to cause multiple vehicle collisions as well so those premiums are also affected.
Reasons for increased deer activity
Part of the reason we see a large volume of deer accidents in Shawano county is due to the agricultural areas next to our two major highways. The long grass makes it hard to see a deer attempting to make its move. As a result reaction time is reduced. Two other components that increase the likelihood of deer on the roads is time of day and mating season. Deer tend to run more during mating season and have more erratic judgement when crossing busy roads. More deer – more chances for collision.
Stay safe out there and remember to keep a weather eye on the ditch-line.