British Motorists Hit Fifty Percent More Wildlife

Thu 18th Nov 2021

The Covid pandemic lockdown and subsequent rise in staycations has led to an unintended spike in claims for vehicles hitting wildlife says on the UK’s leading insurers.

With more Brits out on the roads, visiting more areas of natural beauty in their cars, the rate of collisions has jumped by 54 per cent on 2019. The impact of staycations on the country’s wildlife is even more worrying, when compared to a 25 per cent fall in collisions in 2020, the first year of pandemic lockdown.

The average cost of repairing a vehicle is £2,400 when hitting an animal, which may seem quite steep, but when you factor in the news that Deers make up 61 per cent of claims, then it is perhaps no surprise.

“With more of us holidaying on home soil, and higher traffic volumes on the roads, the risk of hitting an animal has increased,” said Phil Ost, Zurich’s head of personal lines.

“Summer saw a significant spike in animals killed or injured as more holidaymakers ventured into rural areas and other beauty spots. 

“Animals could also have grown used to quieter roads during lockdown, contributing to the increase.

“Collisions with animals now exceed pre-pandemic levels, and with ongoing uncertainty about overseas travel, this could be a trend we see continue into next year.”

Zurich’s analysis estimates that the insurance industry paid out £63.8million a year to help customers repair cars damaged by wildlife. And the problem is so common that the company actually factor in free counselling to motorists who accidentally hit wildlife.

Wildlife most likely to be hit by vehicles on UK roads 

1. Deer - 61% of claims

2. Pheasants - 11%

3. Badgers - 8%

4. Birds - 7%

5. Foxes - 5%

Other animals (incl rabbits, horses and dogs) - 8%

 Source: Zurich