Hello! I’m Dan Lyles with Lyles Insurance. In this video, we’re going to go over whether or not you should add or increase deer coverage on your auto insurance policy.
First, let’s go over some statistics. The peak months for deer related crashes occurs between October and January, with November being the peak month. And in the United States nearly 200 people are killed and 10,000 people are injured every year. And the average cost of a claim keeps going up. It is now at $4314. There are 1.5 million deer related crashes every year, with most of them occurring here in the Midwest. This video is going to go over your options, and tell you what you need to know about maybe adding or increasing deer coverage on your policy so you can make an informed decision.
There are five major parts to an auto insurance policy. And the specific part that covers deer related crashes is what’s called Comprehensive coverage. In other states it’s known as “other than Collision” coverage, which I think is a better description. “Comprehensive” is a little misleading in this case. But anyways, Comprehensive covers you for hitting animals, and it also covers you for things such as theft, fire, vandalism, weather damage, things like that.
So if you have Comprehensive coverage, and you hit a deer, how much exactly is it going to pay out? And the answer is, it pays for the cost of the damage up to the value of the vehicle minus whatever your deductible is. Remember, the deductible is your out of pocket expense if you ever have a claim. So for example: let’s say you have a vehicle that is worth $10,000. And you hit a deer and it causes $4000 worth of damage. If you had a $500 deductible, then your policy is going to payout $3500 ($4000 for the damage minus the $500 deductible). That’s how it works.
So the question is, should I add deer coverage on my policy or not? And really there is no right or wrong answer. You simply need to find out how much extra it will cost you to add or increase coverage. And then decide for yourself whether or not it’s worth it. Many of you may already have Comprehensive coverage on your policy, but a lot of you don’t. Whether you have coverage or not, the following slides are going to show your options, as far as adding or increasing coverage.
So let’s start with those of you who don’t already have Comprehensive coverage, which covers your vehicle in case of damage done by deer. All you need to do is make a call to your agent. It only takes a few minutes, and ask “how much more will it cost me to add comprehensive coverage to my policy?” And also, you need to look into adding collision coverage as well. There are a couple reasons why that I’m going to go over on the next slide. But although deer crashes fall under Comprehensive coverage, sometimes they can be caused claims to fall under Collision coverage as well. So let’s get into that.
Here’s a strategy that some drivers use to protect them from hitting deer. Just during the fall months, they will add Comprehensive coverage to their policy without adding Collision coverage. And that saves them quite a bit of money as opposed to buying Collision coverage with it. And that’s fine to do, but there’s a couple things you need to be aware of. First of all, only about half of auto insurance companies will allow it. The other half, they want you to choose either both of them together or neither one. They won’t allow you to just go with Comprehensive coverage. So that limits about half of you from that option. But here is the major drawback and this is something I want to make sure you are aware of: when you hit a deer it is under comprehensive coverage. But if you swerve and miss a deer, but hit something else, then it becomes a Collision claim. So, let’s say a deer jumps out in front of you, you swerve and miss it and hit a tree telephone pole, another car, mailbox, whatever, that falls under collision coverage. So, you could end up getting nothing if you only select Comprehensive coverage. That’s the downside to this strategy. It does save you money, but you need to be aware, if you go with that, make damn sure you hit the deer or you’re not covered!
And for those of you who already have Comprehensive coverage which covers you hitting a deer. There’s only two ways to increase your coverage but they’re worth looking into. Number one of course is to add Collision coverage if you don’t already have it. And I explained on the last slide why that is. If you already have Comprehensive and Collision coverage, then what you would need to do to increase coverage is lower your deductibles. All it takes is a simple phone call, and say “hey. How much more will it cost me to lower my deductible (let’s say from a $1000 down to $500, or $500 down to $250)? Well you will know that’s the amount extra would get in a claim. See how much it cost, crunch the numbers and make a decision.
For those of you who live in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia or West Virginia, if you would like for me to personally run you an auto insurance quote, I will be very happy to do so. I’ve posted a link from my website where you can get an auto insurance quote. And I’ll also post that link below the video to make it easy for you to click on. Or, if you would rather just call me for a quote, I’ve also posted my phone number. Thank you for watching and have a great day!
Dan Lyles is an Independent Insurance Agent serving Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia..