Think you don’t need uninsured motorist coverage? Think again.
A study released by the Insurance Research Council revealed approximately one in six drivers in the United States may be driving without insurance this year.
The group said the estimated percentage of uninsured drivers fell from 14.9 percent in 2003 to 13.8 percent in 2007, but is expected to reach an all-time high thanks to the economic downturn, which is causing more than its fair share of unintended consequences.
Apparently a one percentage point increase in the unemployment rate is associated with a more than three-quarters of a percentage point increase in the uninsured motorist rate.
So based on current unemployment rate projections, the percentage of uninsured motorists is expected to rise to a staggering 16.1 percent in 2010. That said, the need for uninsured motorist coverage is clearly growing.
In 2007, New Mexico had the highest percentage of uninsured drivers (29 percent), followed by Mississippi (28 percent), Alabama (26 percent), Oklahoma (24 percent), and Florida (23 percent).
The five states with the lowest estimated percentage of uninsured drivers were Massachusetts (1 percent), Maine (4 percent), North Dakota (5 percent), New York (5 percent), and Vermont (6 percent).
The IRC study examined data collected from nine insurers, who represent roughly half of the private passenger auto insurance market in the United States.