If you're tired of paying high car insurance costs, there could be an answer. It involves mountain lions and reintroducing them to the East Coast. And yes, it sounds crazy at first, but there's actually a real benefit to this semi-crazy act.
According to National Geographic, the explosion in deer population is partially related to the fact that humans hunted mountain lions. In the early 1900s, mountain lions were viewed as a threat to both livestock and deer. So, humans hunted them until there were no more mountain lions left on the East Coast.
Without the existence of a natural predator, the deer populations increased. Today, deer overpopulation in the East is a serious issue, with hunters being the only real regulation to the deer population, explained Nature.
The solution? Bring back the mountain lions to the East. Mountain lions could help to regulate the deer population. And with less deer, there will be less deer strike car accidents, according to National Geographic.
A study published in Conservation Letters examines just how much reintroducing mountain lions to the East could save the society as a whole. The study found that, over the course of 30 years, Easterners could save $2.1 billion. That includes significant savings via reduced deer strike car accidents.
According to data from State Farm, the average cost per claim for a deer-related car accident in 2015-2016 was $3,995.00. In West Virginia alone, 1 of every 41 drivers would have a claim for an accident with a deer in 2016. That adds up to a serious cost for car insurance companies.
The ultimate obstacle? Who will be responsible for funding such a project? Should the auto insurance companies cover the cost, as they'll be reaping many of the benefits of fewer car accidents involving deer?
According to the study published by Conservation Letters, a mountain lion would kill 259 deer during its lifetime. This could save lives, prevent injuries, and save car insurance companies money. It's hard to ignore the benefits of mountain lion reintroduction, even if the idea may seem a little crazy at first.