Are Uninsured Motorists Costing You Money?
If you are a licensed driver, you’re probably very aware that driving without auto insurance is not only irresponsible but is also illegal in 49 out of 50 states. Despite the penalties and monetary consequences linked to driving without insurance, nearly 13 percent of motorists in the U.S. still choose to drive while not legally insured. There’s also a large group of drivers who have auto insurance – but only minimal, bare-bones coverage – who are considered to be underinsured motorists and may be unable to pay out the entire cost of damages they cause.
So what does this mean to you as a policyholder? First off, it’s important to understand that approximately one in every seven drivers on the road are uninsured, which poses a significant financial risk to you as a driver. But on a positive note, your state may offer – or even require – uninsured motorist coverage on your premium that will help protect you, your passengers and your property if you are hit or injured by an uninsured driver. Fewer states require policyholders to purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which provides financial protection if you are hit by a driver who has insurance, but not enough to cover the damages caused by the accident.
What states have the most uninsured drivers?
In 2014, the Insurance Research Council (IRC) released a study on uninsured motorists by state, which analyzed data collected from 2010 to 2012. The study found that Oklahoma had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists with a whopping 26 percent – or one in every four – drivers on the road without insurance!
However, states like California with much larger populations, had a lower percentage of uninsured drivers, but as a whole had the greatest number of uninsured drivers. California alone had 4.1 million, followed by Florida with 3.2 million and Texas with 1.6 million. Massachusetts had the lowest rate of insured motorists, with only 3.9 percent driving without being legally insured, followed by Maine at only 4.7 percent.
Check the IRC’s infographic to see how uninsured motorists measure up in your state.
Do uninsured drivers cost you money?
If you’ve ever been involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and have filed a claim, you’ve probably wondered how your insurance company was able to pay for the damages without increasing your premium. Although you may not see an increase from your specific accident, your premium (along with every other insured driver) is negatively affected because of accidents caused by uninsured drivers. According to the IRC’s study, uninsured motorist claims in 2012 totaled $2.6 billion. Unfortunately, it’s the policyholders who end up incurring the costs of damages caused by uninsured drivers, in the form of higher premiums.
How much does uninsured motorist coverage cost?
In 18 states, the law requires all drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage as part of your insurance premium, and in 11 states, underinsured motorist coverage is mandatory. For the remaining states, you can add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your policy voluntarily. Prices vary depending on your insurance company, driving record, and coverage limit. To compare quotes and find the right protection for your budget, give us a call at (800) 258-5101 or visit us online at AnswerFinancial.com