The Growing Deer Population in Pennsylvania and it’s Impact on Car Insurance

Pennsylvania, known for its lush forests and picturesque landscapes, is experiencing a unique challenge – a surge in the deer population. While this might seem like a natural occurrence, it has far-reaching consequences, including a significant impact on car insurance rates for drivers across the state. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind the increased deer population in Pennsylvania and delve into how it affects car insurance costs for its residents.

Pennsylvania has long been home to a thriving deer population due to its extensive forests and abundant vegetation, providing the ideal habitat for these graceful creatures. However, over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in the deer population. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon:

  1. Reduced Predation: With the decline in natural predators, such as wolves and cougars, deer populations have been able to grow unchecked.
  2. Abundant Food Supply: Ample sources of food, including agricultural crops and suburban gardens, have allowed deer to thrive and reproduce at a rapid rate.
  3. Milder Winters: Climate change has resulted in milder winters in Pennsylvania, which means deer have an easier time finding food and surviving harsh weather conditions.

While a thriving deer population is a testament to Pennsylvania’s natural beauty, it comes at a cost for drivers in the state. The surge in deer-related accidents has led to significant consequences for car insurance premiums:

  1. Increased Collision Rates: As deer populations grow, the chances of encountering these animals on the road also rise. This has led to an increase in collisions between vehicles and deer.
  2. Vehicle Damage: Collisions with deer often result in substantial damage to cars, including dented fenders, shattered windshields, and more. Repairing this damage can be costly, driving up insurance claims.
  3. Personal Injury: In some cases, accidents involving deer can lead to personal injuries, further driving up insurance costs due to medical expenses and potential lawsuits.
  4. Comprehensive Coverage: Many drivers in Pennsylvania opt for comprehensive insurance coverage to protect against deer-related accidents. As claim frequency increases, insurance companies raise premiums to offset their payouts.

Tips for Pennsylvania Drivers: Considering the impact of the growing deer population on car insurance, Pennsylvania drivers should take proactive steps to reduce the risk of deer-related accidents:

  1. Drive Cautiously: Be alert, especially during dawn and dusk when deer are most active. Reduce your speed and exercise caution in wooded areas.
  2. Use High Beams: When driving at night, use high beams when possible to improve visibility and spot deer on the road.
  3. Install Deer Whistles: Some drivers find success in deterring deer by installing deer whistles on their vehicles, emitting a high-pitched sound that alerts deer to the approaching vehicle.
  4. Comprehensive Coverage: Evaluate your insurance policy and consider comprehensive coverage if you haven’t already. While it may increase your premiums, it provides valuable protection against deer collisions.

The increasing deer population in Pennsylvania is a natural phenomenon driven by various factors. However, it has significant implications for car insurance rates in the state. To mitigate the financial impact of deer-related accidents, Pennsylvania drivers should remain vigilant, adopt safe driving practices, and consider comprehensive insurance coverage. Understanding these dynamics can help residents navigate the challenges posed by the growing deer population while staying financially protected on the road.

Tips to Help Prevent Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents, accounting for about one-third of all collisions in the United States. In 2017, they represented nearly 18% of all fatal collisions in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute. Considering the frequency of these types of accidents, read on to avoid a potentially dangerous rear-end collision.

Rear-End Collisions: Common Causes

If you engage in the following behaviors, you may be putting yourself at risk of being involved in a rear-end collision:

  • Failing to pay attention to hazardous road conditions and posted speed limits.
  • Following other vehicles too closely.
  • Engaging in distracted driving, including texting or talking on the phone.
  • Participating in aggressive driving practices, including tailgating and brake-checking.
  • Failing to yield the right of way.
  • Choosing not to signal when you change lanes.
  • Driving too fast in slippery conditions, resulting in hydroplaning or failing to control your vehicle.

Generally speaking, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is often found to be at fault, regardless of the number of cars involved. If you are the driver found to be at fault, you will likely be held responsible for property damage and medical bills resulting from the accident. In this situation, having collision coverage in addition to your liability coverage can be extremely important. Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle in the event that it is damaged in a collision, even if you are at fault.

Avoiding Rear-End Collisions

There are a number of safe driving practices that can help you to avoid this type of collision:

  • Avoid distracted driving practices, including texting, adjusting the radio or chatting with passengers. The number one cause of rear-end collisions is distracted driving.
  • Pay attention to the road in order to spot and react to approaching hazards, including traffic jams or construction zones.
  • Consider the weather conditions in which you are driving. Rain, snow and ice may decrease your ability to stop quickly.
  • If another driver engages in a risky driving behavior, remain calm. For example, if another car unexpectedly cuts you off, slow down and resist engaging in road rage. Along similar lines, control your urge to engage in aggressive driving, like speeding, slamming on the brakes and other dangerous practices.
  • Keep an eye on the drivers around you, including drivers who are engaging in distracted or aggressive behaviors. Stay aware of their movements, and you’ll be able to make a better effort to stay safe on the road.
  • Never drive under the influence of any substances, legal or otherwise. Certain medications, alcohol and drugs may impair your judgment and your ability to operate a vehicle or heavy machinery. If you are planning to consume alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver or use an alternative transportation method, like a taxi, Uber, Lyft or public transportation.
  • Avoid driving if you are tired. If possible, delay your trip or pull off to the side of the road and rest for a while. Sleepy drivers have a tough time paying attention and driving defensively.
  • Don’t tailgate, and keep plenty of distance between you and the car in front of you.

The Three-Second Rule: What Is It?

The three-second rule is a way to figure out how much distance you should keep between your car and the car in front of you. Keeping a safe distance between vehicles is the ideal way to make sure you have enough time to reach to a sudden stop and avoid a rear-end collision.

Here’s how the three-second rule works:

  • Select a stationary object, such as a tree street sign, or light post that is located ahead of the car in front of you.
  • When the car ahead of you passes that object, begin counting using the “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three” counting method that many of us learned in elementary school.
  • If you pass the object before you finish counting, you are probably following too closely and need to slow down to increase your distance. If you pass the object after you finish counting, there is probably enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, in the event of a sudden stop.
  • If you’re driving in inclement weather, such as rain, ice or snow, you should increase the distance between you and the car in front of you – and as such, your count needs to increase. If you’re driving behind a large vehicle, such as a big-rig truck or emergency vehicle, you may need to increase your distance even further.

Keep Your Insurance Rates Low By Avoiding Accidents

If you have a safe driving record, you can avoid increasing insurance rates, and you could even qualify for a safe driver discount! Whether it’s driving safely to prevent accidents involving you or your passengers or helping keep your insurance premium low, it pays to engage in safe driving habits! If you have questions about whether you have the coverage you need to protect you in the event of a rear-end collision, reach out to your local National General insurance agent. We’re here to help answer any questions you may have, and will get you the coverage that fits your budget and lifestyle!

Why Are My Auto Rates So High or So Low? (Media, PA)

Hi, I’m Fred Burns insurance agent at Risk Averse Insurance. And today we’re here to talk about the million dollar question. Why are my insurance rates so high or sometimes low?

Well, there’s a thing called an insurance score that carriers use to determine what your rating tier is and every carrier varies on what they weigh that insurance score on to determine your rate. Some factors that go into that insurance score we’re going to get into right now. Some you may be well aware of others. You might not. Number one and what most people know that they’re rated on is your driving history. Obviously, carriers are gonna run your motor vehicle report and your loss report to determine if you have any accidents or violations that will, you know that show up on the report that you’re more susceptible to accidents. Obviously, if you have a ton of at-fault accidents, you’re gonna get a higher rate than someone with no accidents. One common misnomer with that though is at fault versus not at fault if you have a not-at-fault accident that actually can impact you as well, but we’re gonna do a video on that at a later date.

Another factor that goes into your insurance score is your zip code and this is a big one. Have you ever moved somewhere? And you just change your address and your rate changes? Well, that’s because that zip code is tiered specifically to that carrier. So if you’re in an area, let’s say it’s a high crime area, you’re gonna have a higher rate than someone in a lower crime area. Let’s say you’re in an area where the parking is on the street, bumper to bumper where you’re parallel parking a lot. So a lot of those fender bender accidents happen in that zip code that’s gonna be tiered higher than an area with maybe a driveway where you’re not, you know, near other cars as much when you’re parked. So zip code is a big factor in determining your insurance score, another one credit score and everyone hates this.

I hate it personally actually, but carriers use your credit to determine what your rate is. Some carriers more than others. Now, we don’t get your actual insurance score, but they do what’s called a soft hit. So it doesn’t impact your credit as far as an inquiry goes, but it does show a gauge of where your credits at. People with better credit are going to get a better rate than people with lower credit, agree or disagree with it. That that’s the way it is.

Unfortunately, another one is your age and experience. Younger drivers are gonna be significantly higher than an older driver. Um, carriers want to see experience at least three years of experience on your license. Uh There’s one tier and then it moves up from so on. So once you get to about the age 25 is when you start to be able to see better rates than you would if you were say a young driver at 16, 17 on your parents’ policy. Also, as you get older, your rates kind of tier as well. Uh Depending on your driving history that you have as you grow.

Finally, another huge factor that people are unaware of is prior insurance. Yes. What you have prior to coming into your new carrier is huge. So if you’re shopping around from carrier to carrier every six months, every year, you are gonna, you think you’re doing a good job by, you know, getting the best rate, but actually you’re on a, on a hamster wheel, you’re in the same cycle because the carriers like to look and see you have at least 3 to 5 years with one carrier to tier you the best. And now some carriers are even going as high as eight years. Also your prior insurance limits. If you’re someone that has state minimum limits as opposed to someone that has maybe 100,000 per person up to 300,000 per accident, you’re gonna get tiered better with the higher limits going into the new carrier. All these factors combined determine your insurance score, which then determines your rates. Now, there’s other factors like if you’re married or a homeowner that can give you discounts that can help with that. But these are the main factors if you didn’t know about this or you have more questions about this, contact your local agent or call us.

We’d be happy to review your insurance coverage options with you! Give us a call at 610-335-1139 or visit