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Tuesday, 12 March 2019 17:54

Now Is the Time of Year for Car-Deer Wrecks in MI

Written by Julie Riddle, The Alpena News
Norm Arlt, owner of Norm’s Body Shop in Rogers City, MI, inspects a vehicle involved in a collision with a deer March 5. The car received about $2,400 worth of damage. Norm Arlt, owner of Norm’s Body Shop in Rogers City, MI, inspects a vehicle involved in a collision with a deer March 5. The car received about $2,400 worth of damage. Julie Riddle, The Alpena News

Index

The cost of a repair can range from a small amount for a simple dent removal to upward of $10,000 for extensive damage.

 

Prices for repairs are often determined by the make of the vehicle. Jeeps, Nissans and high-end luxury vehicles often require expensive replacement parts. Chevrolets and Fords are the least expensive to repair, according to Arlt.

 

Run-ins with deer can require replacement of anything from bumpers and radiators to doors and roofs. Arlt recalled one repair in which the deer made no contact with the front or sides of a Subaru, but the roof had been driven right down into the body of the vehicle.

 

“I guess it was trying to jump right over the car,” Arlt said.

 

Insurance coverage can be a life-saver---or at least a wallet-saver---when it comes to car-deer collisions. Auto owners who opt for comprehensive coverage on their policies are covered, minus any deductible, when their vehicles are damaged by elements out of their control---things like theft, fire, falling tree branches, and deer, according to Christine Idalski, a State Farm employee in Rogers City.

 

Collisions with deer are so common in northern Michigan that comprehensive coverage is regularly classified as “deer coverage” in this region, Idalski said. Most of the claims Idalski sees year-round are deer claims, including 9 of the last 12 she has processed.

 

Idalski said most local drivers are experienced enough to be able to navigate nasty road conditions safely. Despite recent difficult driving conditions, insurance claims in winter are still mostly because of collisions with deer.

 

“They’re so unexpected. They just pop up,” Idalski said. “It doesn’t matter how careful you are; you can’t always avoid them.”

 

Drivers are encouraged to call their insurance companies soon after hitting a deer, Idalski said. Even if the damage is not substantial enough to require a repair, it’s good to have the incident recorded in a driver’s insurance records. It’s not necessary to call instantly, Idalski assures; drivers should first take time to make sure they are safe and contact law enforcement to report the incident.

 

Idalski recalled a relative who has had many encounters, saying with a smile, “Some people just don’t have luck with deer.”

 

We thank The Alpena News for reprint permission.


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