Animal-Strike-Related Claims Dipped Last Year

Oct. 19, 2023
A sudden, unforeseen dip in animal strikes last year makes it hard to predict what can be expected this year.

Last year, the rate of animal-strike-related insurance claims inexplicably dipped beneath that of pandemic-lockdown numbers, IIHS reports.

The Highway Loss Data Institute has conducted an analysis of claims from 2013 to 2022, which found that the rate of animal-strike-related insurance claims traditionally spikes in November as deer mating season begins.

This trend predictably changed in 2020 as pandemic-related lockdowns came into effect, with the November animal strike claim frequency dropping from 14.1 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years in 2019 to 12.6 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years in 2020.

In 2021, numbers returned to the 10-year average with 13.6 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years. For reasons that are unclear, however, this number once again plummeted in 2022. That year saw 11.9 claims per 1,000 insured vehicle years, falling to below what was reported during 2020 lockdowns.

With no significant changes taking place with the rate of travel in the U.S., the deer population, or safety functions in vehicles such as automatic emergency braking, it isn’t apparent what has caused the random decrease in animal-strike-related insurance claims in 2022, calling into question what 2023 may bring.

“This is a real head-scratcher,” confessed Matt Moore, senior vice president of HLDI. “It might be related to changes in commuting patterns as people continue to work from home, or we might just be seeing variations in the data. Time will tell.”

About the Author

FenderBender Staff Reporters

The FenderBender staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and collision repair experience.

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