Each state has its own concerns and issues when it comes to safe driving. South Dakota is certainly no exception. One of the biggest problems when it comes to South Dakota auto insurance claims is the potential to hit wildlife while driving. In the United States, around 1.5 million wild animals are hit by a vehicle each year. The news gets worse, of those animal accidents more than 200 people are killed annually as well. The country also racks up around a billion in property damages associated with these incidents each year as well.
Deer are a very common type of animal struck by cars around the country. In fact, South Dakota ranks third highest in the nation for vehicle claims involving deer. According to statistics from car insurance company State Farm, the only two states to have a higher incidence of deer related car accidents are West Virginia and Iowa. Deer are a big part of the problem, but other animals frequently struck by drivers include moose, elk, cows and wild cats.
The South Dakota Division of Insurance and the Division of Wildlife warn drivers that the fall/autumn months are even more likely to involve wildlife driving problems. Peaks times for these times of crashes are in October and November are the most dangerous. This is because of animal mating season since creatures are more likely to be moving around and searching for mates during this time of the year.
How does this information affect car insurance rates? Anytime there is an influx of insurance claims, there is the potential for a rate in car insurance. The past year has shown a decrease in the amount of deer related car crashes but the costs or repairing those accidents has actually gone up. The more accident claims processed and paid out, the higher the chance that auto insurance rates will rise to counter the costs of paying out those claims. It only makes sense for the community to work together to decrease the chance for animal and vehicle collisions.
For drivers in South Dakota, it’s important to ensure that car insurance policies have the right amount of coverage to protect drivers and property in the event of a wildlife collision. For individuals who have only purchased liability insurance, they may find that their car insurance policy will not cover their medical expenses or damages. Plus, understanding how much the deductible is will be important when it comes time to cover bodily injury and property damages incurred when a vehicle strikes an animal.