The Potomac Highlands Watershed School 

Oh Deer!" 2008 Environmental Forum

 

Points of View w/ Thoughtful Questions - Insurance Co.

 

Insurance Companies POV & TQ Navigation

Geico  ●  The Geico Catastrophe ●  JaMoGa Insurance   HampCo. Geico

TIG - The Insurance Group   Insurance Investigators

 

Navigation to other POV pages

farmer, hunter, forest, forester, homeowner, insurance company, Others

 

 

 

 

Geico North Harford H.S

                                                                                                                           10/29/2008

                                                                                                                           10:35:00 AM

We are the Insurance Company named Geico.  We are important because when people get

into accidents they donít go and see the deer   no they come to us because we are their

safety net when they are in an accident.  When there is an overpopulation of deer there

are more accidents which means we have more cases for us to review and more money for

us to give out.  Accidents involving deer has doubled over a time period of 1988 to 1996

and when you think about that number should be even higher.  During this period of time it

has cost us $10 million due to property damage.  One of our solutions is to build a fence all

around the highways to keep deer from straying onto the highway causing problems for

drivers and insurance companies.  Another solution would be to introduce wolves back into

the forest because deer destroy the forest but by reintroducing the wolves then we will

help regrow the shrub layer.  Also we should make deer season longer so hunters can

decrease the deer population.   These ideas would cost a lot of money but in the long run I

believe that it will save money by not causing as many accidents which would lower property

 damage.  This will allow our customers to feel safer on the road and more comfortable

behind the wheel.Cites:

http://gis.esri.com/library/userconf/proc00/professional/papers/PAP358/p358.htm

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond


Thoughtful Questions:

 

From:     JaMoGa Insurance - Insurance Company - HHS                           Statement

                                                                                         10/30/2008           12:22:00 PM

     We think that your ideas are good. We also think that letting wolves run loose is

     poorly thought out and inefficient. We actually found this humorous (in the best way

     possible). Great Job. Thank you.

       Response    Geico - Insurance Company - NHHS

                                                                                       11/7/2008        11:14:00 AM

             I have no idea why you are laughing at this, this is a serious matter!  Also it is

              a great idea because when the deer are being hunted they wonít go out into

             the open anymore.  This is due to the fear of the deer being killed by the

             wolves whom have no reason to go out into the open if they are hunting deer

             in the woods which is covered.

 

From:     Artist - Other Stakeholder - HHS                                               Ask

                                                                                            11/1/2008             1:42:00 PM

     This idea may work for a while, but it would also put the wolves in harms way.  Do

     you feel this is fair?

       Response    Geico - Insurance Company - NHHS

                                                                                       11/7/2008        11:08:00 AM

             No I feel this is fair because if we didnít make the wolves extinct than they

             would have been in danger anyway.  Also I donít think the wolves would go

             into the road because they would be chasing deer in the woods and since the

             deer are being hunted they wouldnít go into open areas as much.

 

  From:   The Elmer Fudd's - hunter - NHHS                                            Ask

                                                                                            11/5/2008           12:33:00 PM

     Do you think that wolves are "tamed" enough to run around without any attempt of

     conrtolling them to a certain area? Do you think they could possibly have the power

     to enialate all the deer? What would that do to the forest itself?

 

  From:   Girl With Big Guns - hunter Ė BGHS                                            Ask

                                                                                            11/6/2008             8:13:00 AM

     Having been in a car accident involving deer on the highway I can understand the

     financial setback that it causes. However, fencing off the highways I feel wonít be

     an extremely effective method of keeping the deer off the roads. A lot of accidents

      can be avoided by safer driving. I live in a heavily forested area with a high deer

     population. Ever since my accident Iím more cautious when driving during times deer

     will be out and have put sound devices on my car that keep deer away from the road.

      The deer population is a problem but people should also practice being safer drivers.

       Response    Geico - Insurance Company - NHHS

                                                                                       11/7/2008        11:00:00 AM

             Your idea is a good one but having everyone driving better is not a reasonable

              soluion because everyone thinks they are in a hurry and have to be there

             soon so they speed.  Also those sound devices only work when you are going

             over 30 miles per hour so if you are going through an area with a speed limit

             of 25 you could still potentially hit a deer.

 

  From:   Wile E. Coyote - forest - NHHS                                                 Ask

                                                                                            11/7/2008           11:36:00 AM

     Do you acctually plan to do all three options to reduce problems, and how do you

     plan to pay for all of this. I am sure that your country wide customers would not

     want to pay for this localized issue, so where does the money come from.

  From:   Farmers of WV! - farmer - HHS                                                  Statement

                                                                                            11/7/2008             1:52:00 PM

     We, the farmers of West Virginia, feel some of your ideas could work. Extending

     deer season for the hunters does seem to be an easy, efficient idea. Though your

     comment on building fences along all the highways isn't very well thought out. There

     are already fences along roads, yet it doesn't stop the deer from jumping them.

     Your other thought on releasing wolves seems highly unsafe, and I do not suggest it!

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Statement

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:27:00 AM

     I like your idea because me along with a lot of other people have been involved in car

      accidents with deer and ya'll gave me a lot of money to get my vehicle repaired.

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Ask

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:29:00 AM

     Won't it be really expensive to put up these fences?

  From:   Buck Masters - hunter - BGHS                                                          Ask

                                                                                          11/21/2008            7:44:00 AM

     you have good ideas toward lowering the population. however, have you done

     research on putting wolves back into the woods? i do not think this is a strong idea.

 

  From:   Girl With Big Guns - hunter Ė BGHS                                                 Ask

                                                                                          11/25/2008            8:36:00 AM

     Deer in the road are definitely a hazard to humans. People need to think about the

     environment they live in when driving. Donít you think that if people just drove safer

     there would be less collisions with these animals?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Geico Catastrophe Hampshire H.S.

                                                                                                                           10/29/2008

                                                                                                                           11:07:00 AM

The deer population has risen tremendously in the past several months.  It has risen from

67 per square mile to at least double that.  The insurance company has taken a real hit

from the rise in deer population.  In the last 6 months 12% of the Maryland state

population have reported a car accident involving a deer.  Over 75% of the reports claimed

more than $500 in damage.  The same situation in Maryland is present in West Virginia.  In

opinion the insurance companies will sooner or later crash.  The most logical answer to this

problem is to decrease the limit on hunting.  If hunters can hunt longer with less regulation

than the deer population will quickly go down.  So forth that is our solution to help the

insurance company and limit the deer population. 

 

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond

 


Thoughtful Questions:

  From:   JaMoGa Insurance - Insurance Company - HHS                           Statement

                                                                                          10/31/2008           12:58:00 PM

          We think that your ideas are very intellectual. Also, your statistics are very

     practical. They offer useful facts about deer, and how the state of Maryland is

     besieged with this predicament. Knowing that other states are going through the deer

      overpopulation dilemma is reassuring. We like your point of view statement, but we

     think there are other ways to deal with this overpopulation of deer.      Two other

     ways would be by deer fencing or contraception. Although these ethics are very

     expensive, so thatís why increasing hunting season and not having limitations on how

     many deer you kill could be functional.     As an insurance company I know you

     understand the pressure we are under by this overpopulation of deer. The car

     accidents that entail animals, such as deer, cost us an immense deal of money each

            year. All insurance companies should do their part in trying to resolve this problem.

 

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Ask

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:32:00 AM

     How long do you think the hunting season should be extended?

  From:   Buck Masters - hunter - BGHS                                                          Ask

                                                                                          11/21/2008            7:50:00 AM

     have you thought about making the big limit higher? instead of making the season

     longer.

  From:   Girl With Big Guns - hunter Ė BGHS                                                 Ask

                                                                                          11/25/2008            8:39:00 AM

     I have experience a head on collision with a deer in the road. The expense was not

     pretty I agree. Sometimes these collisions canít be avoided but safer driving can

     help. Donít you think drivers should be more aware of their surrounding when driving?

 

 

 

JaMoGa Insurance  Hampshire H.S.

                                                                                                                           10/29/2008

                                                                                                                             1:05:00 PM

Deer hurt many people places and things. A population larger than 15-20 per square mile

can cause problems. State Farm Insurance estimated that in 2006, deer-car collisions

caused more than $1.1 billion in damage nationwide. As an insurance company, deer cause us

 a lot of  money. When deer run out into the road and a car hits them, it causes us

insurance companies a lot of money. We have to pay to get our clientsí cars fixed.  We

think all deer in West Virginia should be killed.There are many ways to eliminate deer. One

way is contraception. Some places have had luck with contraception. It involves hitting the

deer with a dart, then injecting a contraceptive. It is very expensive because of the cost of

 capturing the deer. With contraception only a few place can afford to capture the deer.

Many people have different views on whether it has given results.Our method of removing

deer from our community would be to encourage more hunting and more deer fences. If

our method was put in a trial, it would be very effective. It would save us money on

accidents. All insurance companies would appreciate a great loss of deer.

 

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond


Thoughtful Questions:

Anonymous comment: i like it. It was very detailed. Good job!!

 

  From:   Farmers of WV! - farmer - HHS                                                  Ask

                                                                                            11/7/2008             2:03:00 PM

     Your group seems very passionate about this issue. We don't believe  all the deer

     populations should be exterminated as your group does. We would probably be able

     to give you a better response if your suggestion was more explained. We would like

     to hear more on the process of contraceptives, how effective they are, the success

     rate, and areas that have ran a trial of this method. We, the farmers of West

     Virginia, thank you for your participation. :)

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Ask

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:35:00 AM

     Why use contraception if it expensive. The same thing happens when you shoot them

     with a gun.

  From:   Buck Masters - hunter - BGHS                                                          Ask

                                                                                          11/21/2008            7:54:00 AM

     how do you know it would be affective? but i do think that the insurance companies

     do suffer.

 

 

 

HampCo. Geico Hampshire H.S.

                                                                                                                            10/31/2008

                                                                                                                            8:48:00 AM

We are HampCo. Geico. On Nov. 14, 2006, there was a study that found that deer related

auto accidents were up 6%. These results show that there is 150 deaths a year due to auto

 crashes with deer. Our insurance group has a list of safety tips: Observe the speed limit

and always stay alert. Be very cautious during fall and winter, because it is the deer's

mating season. You should invest in deer whistles, devices that attach to your car and alert

you when deer are around. It is wise on your part to switch to comprehensive coverage. You

 should consider lowering your other-than-collision coverage. You could also consider buying

 a safer car. But the safest way to prevent auto crashes is to stay alert and focused.

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond


Thoughtful Questions:

  From:   Artist - Other Stakeholder - HHS                                               Ask

                                                                                            11/3/2008            9:47:00 AM

     But how do you plan to protect the deer?

  From:   Insurance Investigators - Insurance Company - MVGS                Statement

                                                                                          11/13/2008            7:06:00 AM

     Hey HampCo     Your ideas seem well thought out.  Drivers should be alert and more

      aware while driving, but some of your ideas about preventing collisions with deer are

      not effective.  First of all, deer whistles do not work.  They do not alert you when a

      deer is approaching your car, they instead are supposed to deter deer from the

     path of your car.  These deer whistles supposedly emit a frequency that deer ears

     are sensitive to, but they in fact, have no effect on the deer.  Also, don't you think

     as the insurance company, you might want to put forth more effort in keeping your

     drivers safe instead of "Be careful!"??  Just some thoughts.     Yours Truly,    

     The Insurance Investigators

  From:   Foresters of Mt. Vista - forester - MVGS                                  Statement

                                                                                          11/13/2008             7:12:00 AM

         Clearly the insurance company wants less accidents, but you need to consider how

      to solve these problems.  Safety tips are a part of driving education and clearly

     have little impact.  If you plan to solve the problem by education, then you have to

     give examples and methods of how this would work.  We've heard that deer whistles

     are ineffective, but if you wish to put them into your solution you need to provide

     data.    So you've presented the problem, but you need to work on your procedure

     for a solution.

  From:   TIG - The Insurance Group - Insurance Company - MVGS         Ask

                                                                                          11/13/2008            8:48:00 AM

     What solid, government action do you plan to take to fix the problem?  Your

     sugestions are good, but they are not completely realistic.  People will not drive

     slower just because you ask them to.  Will you have any additional enforcement of

     existing rule? Would you try to bring about lower speed limits?  What investments

     will you make?

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Statement

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:38:00 AM

     Even if your going the speed limit and your paying attention you can still hit a deer;

     especially on the interstate when the speed limit is higher.

 

 

 

 

 

TIG - The Insurance Group Mountain Vista Governors School

                                                                                                                              11/3/2008

                                                                                                                             1:53:00 PM

     As affected members of the community, we feel that it is our duty to inform ourselves

on the hugely consequence-laden topic of deer overpopulation, and subsequently to share

our findings and view on this issue. The insurance industry is a heavy stakeholder in this

dilemma, as it is a financial victim of deer-vehicle collisions, or DVCs.

       The deer

population has undergone a reproductive boom over the past several decades, going from

roughly 200,000 whitetailed deer in Virginia during 1968, to about one million when

measured in 2004. Even as the deer population climbed, citizens continued to expand and

urbanize more and more of our state. As interstates and highways continued to wend their

way through Virginia, deer were forced to travel over these, as well as other densely-

trafficked roads, in order to survive. Natural food sources that had previously been more

than abundant to support the deer population, had in just a few short decades, become a

scarcity. 

      Many deer who are not killed or maimed by a DVC, are continuing to feel the

effects of starvation. As they age, the deer become less of a competition for the food

sources, and die off painfully from hunger as the younger deer claim these resources for

themselves. Regulated hunting has been proven to be a far more efficient and humane way

of controlling the deer population. It has been proven that deer experience shock much in

the same way humans do. Therefore, they are unable to feel any of the pain from a hunting

 wound, and expire before they suffer at all from it; Indeed, the worst the animal feels is

an airiness, akin to waking up late. This is why we, as concerned Virginians, believe that

hunting regulations should allow for privileges and benefits to skilled hunters, such as

extended hunting seasons and increased hunting allowances. 

      Such programs have

proven to be successful, and have been implimented and shown results in under a decade.

In Lynchburg, for example, a hunting benefits program was established in 1992, and since

then DVCs have decreased by approximately 75%. A similar program was launched in

Blacksburg, VA, in 2000, and by 2004, DVCs had decreased by over 50% in that town.    

  This allowance for hunting benefits all parties to this issue.  Homeowners are able to

maintain their garden without the need for fencing, farmers could worry less about their

crops, and foresters are still able to enjoy the beauty of such a fine creature as the deer.

Hunters are even more motivated to improve their skill, in order to qualify for such

benefits, and those already possessing such refinement in their ability will be able to enjoy

their sport that much more. Even the remaining deer benefit from this program, as their

original resources become more and more available as the deer population comes back

under control.

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond


Thoughtful Questions:

  From:   Insurance Investigators - Insurance Company - MVGS                Statement

                                                                                          11/13/2008            7:29:00 AM

     Hey TIG,While we feel that you are on the right track, we feel that you did not

     fully explore the other options that could be used to prevent DVC's.  Hunting, which

     tends to be the cheapest, will become an issue once the deer population is lowered. 

     Hunters will want to continue to hunt at with the same new regulations that will have

     to be changed once the population is lowered; culling the entire heard is not an

     option.  The other options, such as technology to alert drivers of the presence of

     deers on highways, should be explored.  By only providing one alternative method to

     protect drivers, you limit your options and the possibility of getting one of your ideas

     passed. 

  From:   Deer Assassins - hunter - BGHS                                                        Ask

                                                                                          11/19/2008            8:40:00 AM

     How do homeowners keep the deer out without fencing?

 

Moderator comment.  Very well written and thoughtful POV.  At the moment, most decisions made about deer management are made by wildlife agencies.  Who else should have a seat at the table?  Should you?  Farmers?

 

 

 

Insurance Investigators Mountain Vista Governors School

                                                                                                                              11/3/2008

                                                                                                                             2:14:00 PM

     The increasing deer population is presented a huge problem for insurance companies.  In

 the United States, there have been over 750,000 animal-vehicle collisions.  Deer-vehicle

crashes cause over 200 deaths per year, tens of thousands of injuries, and over $1.1 billion

 dollars in property damages.  The Erie Insurance Company, using over 10 years of data,

estimated that one in every 100 drivers will be likely to have a collision with a deer.  While

over the past 10 years claims have decreased around the country, in states like West

Virginia, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, claims for vehicle-deer collisions have increased.  In

West Virginia, you are three times more likely to hit a deer than in any other state.  While

all of these claims have been reported, Cornell University conducted a study that concluded

 that only one out of every six collisions is reported.

     Nearly two-thirds of these deer accidents occur in the months between October and December.  This is the deerís mating season.  With the deer having nothing but mating on their mind, they are even less conscious of the road and the consequences of running out onto one.  While some believe that it is

hunters that are causing the deer to flee from their forests and into the roads, scared of

the men stomping around their forests, studies have shown that there are just as many

deer-vehicle crashes on roads surrounded by forests that have banned hunting.  Also, there

 is no hunting at night, when most vehicle crashes occur. 

      In order to avoid collisions with deer, insurance companies have several suggestions for drivers.  These tips are simple,  ones that any safe, cautious driver should be practicing: Be conscious, specifically on the

lookout for deer.  Around twilight and at night is the time when most deer are active.  Look

for the silhouettes of deer or the reflection of the headlights in their eyes so that you

know to slow down.  If you see a dear, do not assume it will run.  Brake and honk your horn.   If you cannot avoid hitting the deer, do not swerve. 

      While these tips tend to be the best, and surest, ways for avoiding deer-vehicle collisions, companies and states have been experimenting with alternatives.  One alternative is being experimented with in Colorado.  An  electromagnetic sensor has been installed next to the highways.  These will be able to

sense the deer, alerting the drivers by flashing lights so that they know to slow down. 

However, the effectiveness of this technology depends on the awareness of the drivers. 

Another is a deer whistle, which emits ultrasonic sounds to warn the deer of the oncoming

vehicle.  These whistles, however, have not always proved effective.  In Iowa, the

government has erected eight-foot tall fences near the highways in hopes that the deer will

 get the hint and stay off the highway. 

    Another idea that insurance companies had to reduce the amount of deer-vehicle collision claims was to reintroduce predators into the wild.  Because the deerís natural predators have been hunted until they have been reduced drastically in numbers, the deer population has exploded.  With no real natural predators,

they have nothing maintaining their numbers and thus have become a huge problem.  By

introducing the deerís natural predators, insurance companies are hoping that the deer

population will be reduced to a manageable number and that more deer will be kept off of

roads and highways. 

    The best predator to re-introduce into the wild would be the mountain lion.  These animals tend to shy away from large communities, preferring solidarity to large groups.  They do not travel in packs, so the odds of encountering more than one would be extremely slim.  In areas such as Florida, where mountain lions have been re-introduced, the lions were castrated so that they could not reproduce.  The cats

had also been raised in captivity so that they were accustomed to human encounters, and

thus less likely to attack. 

    In order to re-introduce predators into the wild, the public would need to be comfortable with the idea.  Some think that re-introducing the predators would cause the population of deer to drop below the ideal level, thinned out more than was  needed.  However, predator and prey populations are directly correlated.  A high population of predators cannot survive with a low population of prey.  If the population of

deer dropped, then so would the population of mountain lions. 

    The publicís worry about mountain lion attacks is not a rational fear.  In the United States and Canada, there are about 6 attacks per year, resulting in about 1 death.  While an attack is possible, it is

extremely unlikely.  The public is just unsure of this idea because it is unfamiliar.  In most

areas of the country where mountain lions could be re-introduced, they already deal with

natural predators in that area.  In the north, they deal with bears.  In the south along the

coast, they deal with alligators.  The people of those areas have found ways to either co-

exist or completely avoid those predators.  The re-introduction of the mountain lion is one

that needs to be warmed up to.  With a wary public, it cannot just be jumped into, but it

cannot be disregarded as an option either.  This is a viable option that needs to be

introduced to the public as a way to manage the booming deer population.

     The most logical, and probable, way to reduce the deer population would be to put fewer restrictions

on hunters.  This seems to be easiest and cheapest way to reduce the deer population. 

Hunters are anxious to go deer hunting, wanted less restrictions.  Fewer hunting

restrictions would allow the population to be reduced, thus keeping the deer off of the

road.

      These measures to protect the drivers from collisions with the deer can only be

taken with the insurance companyís influence on the government.  Insurance companies

cannot possibly take these deer management measures into their own hands.  The highways

are owned by the states and federal government and thus can only be changed by those

bodies.  However, insurance companies can lobby for laws to be improved.  They have to be

 willing to give fund the change, which entails donating a large percentage of money.  For

example, the electromagnetic sensors will be extremely expensive.  The only way to get this

 idea approved would be to appeal to the senators, showing that they would be willing to

fund that plan to reduce vehicle-deer collisions.

       The rising deer population has become  a huge issue in the United States.  In order to protect drivers, solutions need to be found to reduce the number of deer.  While the easiest and cheapest way to go about this would be to put fewer restrictions on hunters, there are several other options that should be

considered.  One is to use technology on highways that would inform the drivers of the

presence of deer.  However, funding by insurance companies would be needed for the

state and federal government to allow this alternative to be put into action.  The other and

what seems to be the most controversial alternative would be to re-introduce the deerís

natural predator into the environment.  All of these solutions need to be taken into account,

 not simply dismissed; with vehicle-deer collisions being so frequent, we need to take

advantage of every option we have to protect our drivers.

 

 

Ask a Thoughtful Question or Respond


Thoughtful Questions:

Moderator comment.  Very well written and thoughtful POV.  You covered a lot of bases, but I can't let you get by without any questions.  So here are a few:

  1. You say it would be very expensive to put  electromagnetic sensors along roads to warn drivers about deer, and suggest that funding by insurance companies would be needed.  Have you seen any cost:benefit analyses on this?  Could insurance companies band together and do this collectively, and all save money - or would it be too hard to do this in enough locations to make a dent in the problem?

  2. You noted that in Iowa, the government has erected eight-foot tall fences near the highways.  Any results on that to report?  One issue with extensive barrier fencing like that is the increase habitat fragmentation even more than the highways already do.

  3. At the moment, most decisions made about deer management are made by wildlife agencies.  Who else should have a seat at the table?  Should you?  Farmers?

  From:   Girl With Big Guns - hunter Ė BGHS                                                 Ask

                                                                                          11/25/2008             8:41:00 AM

     The immense deer population does need to controlled and hunters can help with this.

     People need to practice safer driving as well. Have you spoken with drivers about

     installing deer whistles on to their vehicles? I have found these really help.

 

 

 

Thoughtful Questions:

Insurance POV & TQ Navigation

   

Back to Top 

 

 

 

 

Thoughtful Questions:

Insurance POV & TQ Navigation

   

Back to Top