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Worst states for deer collisions

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West Virginia leads the nation as the state where you are most likely to hit a deer, according to a claims analysis by State Farm. Montana, Pennsylvania, Iowa and Wisconsin rank, respectively, behind the Mountain State as the worst states for deer collisions.

The chances of hitting a deer while driving incrased a bit compared to last year, and the claims cost for deer collisions jumped by $184. The average deer strike car insurance claim is $4,179, compared to $3,995 for 2016, according to State Farm.

Odds of a deer collision are 1 out of 162, but that likelihood doubles during deer season, from October to December. Last year the national average for hitting a deer, elk or moose was 1 in 164. In West Virginia, the odds are 1 in 43,  down nearly three percent from 2016, State Farm says. Here is the likelihood of collision with a deer by state for 2017, according to State Farn:

StateRank2016 - likelihood of deer collision

% more or less likely

compared to last year

WEST VIRGINIA 1 1 in 43 2.6% less
MONTANA 2 1 in 57 .8% more
PENNSYLVANIA 3 1 in 63 5.2% more
IOWA 4 1 in 69 1.3% less
WISCONSIN 5 1 in 72 6% more
SOUTH DAKOTA 6 1 in 73 4.6% less
MINNESOTA 7 1 in 74 8.1% more
WYOMING 8 1 in 79 6.6% more
MICHIGAN 9 1 in 85 .1% more
NORTH DAKOTA 10 1 in 87 5.6$ more
VIRGINIA 11 1 in 94 .1% less
MISSISSIPPI 12 1 in 95 8.3% less
SOUTH CAROLINA 12 1 in 95 2.1% less
ARKANSAS 14 1 in 97 1.2% less
KENTUCKY 15 1 in 100 3.5% more
NORTH CAROLINA 16 1 in 109 5.5% more
MISSOURI 17 1 in 112 4.4% more
GEORGIA 18 1 in 122 3.5% more
KANSAS 19 1 in 127 1.3% less
MAINE 19 1 in 127 9% more
MARYLAND 19 1 in 127 9.6% more
OHIO 22 1 in 128 1.6% less
ALABAMA 23 1 in 131 2.9% more
DELAWARE 24 1 in 132 12.5% more
NEBRASKA 25 1 in 134 1.5% less
TENNESSEE 26 1 in 143 2.8% more
INDIANA 27 1 in 145 6.3% less
VERMONT 28 1 in 150 16.5% more
IDAHO 29 1 in 151 2.9% less
NEW YORK 30 1 in 161 .3% less
OKLAHOMA 31 1 in 194 .4% more
ILLINOIS 32 1 in 204 6.1% less
UTAH 33 1 in 222 32.6% less
NEW JERSEY 34 1 in 229 9.4% more
NEW HAMPSHIRE 35 1 in 252 7.3% less
COLORADO 36 1 in 253 4% more
OREGON 37 1 in 254 5.8% less
TEXAS 38 1 in 269 7.1% more
RHODE ISLAND 39 1 in 280 23.6% more
CONNECTICUT 40 1 in 304 2.9% more
LOUISIANA 41 1 in 332 9.7% less
WASHINGTON 42 1 in 356 13.9% less
NEW MEXICO 43 1 in 397 19.6% more
ALASKA 44 1 in 407 15% more
MASSACHUSETTS 45 1 in 593 7.1% more
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 46 1 in 713 3.3% less
FLORIDA 47 1 in 847 6.7% more
NEVADA 48 1 in 966 5.3% more
ARIZONA 49 1 in 973 20.8% more
CALIFORNIA 50 1 in 1,117 4.7% less
HAWAII 51 1 in 6,823 177.8% more

Drivers in deer-dense states should carry comprehensive insurance

Damage from deer collisions is covered by comprehensive insurance, which is optional coverage. It also covers theft, vandalism, hail, fire and other incidents largely beyond your control. Comprehensive claims don't generally raise your rates unless you have recently filed additional claims, says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for CarInsurance.com. However, it will only pay out up to the actual cash value of your car, and you will have to pay the deductible, so be sure claim amount is higher than your deductible.

If you swerve to miss a deer and are successful but crash, say you hit a tree or guardrail, that damage is covered by collision insurance, says Gusner. If your vehicle doesn't make contact with the animal the damage is considered a collision claim because you hit another car or object (or rolled your vehicle).

Comprehensive and collision coverage typically won’t bust your budget, as the average cost is fairly affordable. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) the average annual rate for collision is $488, for comprehensive it’s $172. Even if you have an old car, if you drive in areas with a high deer population (or elk, moose or other large animals that may cross roads), it's wise not to drop comprehensive and collision coverages.

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