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John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).


He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 05 May 2021 19:59

Overall Rate of Uninsured Drivers Nationally Remains Flat

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The Insurance Research Council issued a report this year showing the rate of uninsured drivers ranges from a low of 3.1% of drivers in New Jersey to a high of 29.4% in Mississippi. The Insurance Research Council issued a report this year showing the rate of uninsured drivers ranges from a low of 3.1% of drivers in New Jersey to a high of 29.4% in Mississippi.

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Efforts to crack down on uninsured motorists in the U.S. appear to be having little effect, according to the most recent findings from the Insurance Research Council (IRC).

In a report updated every three or four years, the IRC in April estimated one in eight drivers on the road in 2019---12.6%---lacked insurance. That’s down from 13% in 2015, but up from 12.3% in 2010.

 

The figure potentially impacts collision repairers in that insured vehicles are more likely to be repaired after an accident, and because at-fault drivers who lack insurance increase insurance costs for those with policies.

 

But state law regulates insurance, including enforcement of insurance requirements for drivers, and the rate of uninsured drivers varies widely by state, according to IRC data.

 

Just 3.1% of New Jersey drivers lacked insurance in 2019---down significantly from 14.9% in 2015---but at the other end of the spectrum, nearly three in 10 drivers (29.4%) in Mississippi were driving uninsured. That was up from 23.7% in 2015, which doesn’t bode well, given the state implemented an insurance verification system for traffic stops in 2017 and further toughened penalties for driving uninsured in 2018.

 

Tennessee similarly launched an insurance verification system in 2017, but saw the percentage of uninsured drivers there rise from 20% in 2015 to 23.7% in 2019.

 

More than one in four drivers in Alabama in 2007 lacked insurance, but tougher state regulations brought that down to 18.4% in 2015. State regulators earlier this year said they expected that had dropped still further, to 10% or less by 2019. But the IRC report pegs the number as actually having risen to 19.5% that year.

 

North Dakota also saw a big spike in uninsured motorists, from 6.8% in 2015 to 13% in 2019. Idaho last summer implemented increased efforts to crack down on uninsured drivers, which comprised about 8.2% of the state’s drivers in 2015, but jumped to 13.2% by 2019.

 

Arkansas also began cracking down on uninsured drivers last year. A new law that went into effect in January 2020 requires...


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