WATCH-OUT! Study Estimates 14% of Drivers Are Uninsured
MALVERN, Pa., Feb. 1 The chances are about 14 in 100 that,
if an insured car occupant is injured in an auto accident in the U.S., an
uninsured motorist caused the accident, according to a recent Insurance
Research Council (IRC) study. However, the problem varies widely from state
to state. Uninsured Motorists 2000 Edition, an update to a previous IRC study
examining the uninsured motorist problem, contains two additional years of the
latest available data.
According to data just released (for the period of 1995 to 1997), the five
states with the highest uninsured driver estimates were Colorado (32%), New
Mexico (30%), South Carolina (28%), Alabama (25%), and Mississippi (25%).
(Colorado's estimate is high relative to other states, however, because bodily
injury claims are subject to a $2,500 monetary threshold and uninsured
motorist claims are not. In other states, the thresholds are the same.) The
five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Maine (4%), North
Carolina (6%), South Dakota (6%), Massachusetts (7%), and Wyoming (7%).
Sixteen states and the District of Columbia had a ratio of uninsured motorists
to bodily injury claim frequencies above the national average, while thirty-
four states had a ratio below the national average. A complete listing of the
estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in each state is provided at the
end of this press release.
"Despite laws in many states requiring drivers to maintain insurance,
about one in seven motorists remain uninsured," according to Elizabeth
Sprinkel, senior vice president, who heads the IRC. "This means that
responsible drivers who carry insurance must bear the burden of paying for
injuries caused by drivers who carry no insurance at all."
The study contains the most recent state statistics on uninsured motorist
claim frequency, bodily injury claim frequency, and the ratio of uninsured
motorist to bodily injury claim frequencies. IRC calculates the uninsured
driver proportion using a ratio of claims made by individuals injured by
uninsured drivers (uninsured motorists coverage) to claims made by individuals
injured by insured drivers (bodily injury liability coverage).
IRC used claims data compiled by the National Association of Independent
Insurers; Insurance Services Office, Inc.; National Independent Statistical
Service; Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund; Automobile Insurers Bureau of
Massachusetts; Texas Department of Insurance; and South Carolina Department of
Insurance to derive its findings.
For more information about the study's methodology and findings, contact
Elizabeth Sprinkel by phone at 610-644-2212, by fax at 610-640-5388, or by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or visit IRC's Web site at http://www.ircweb.org .
Copies of the study are available at $25 each in the U.S. ($35 elsewhere)
postpaid from the Insurance Research Council, 718 Providence Rd., Malvern, Pa.
19355-0725. Phone 610-644-2212, ext. 7569. Fax: 610-640-5388.
NOTE: The Insurance Research Council is a division of the American
Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America. The Institutes are
independent, nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing educational
programs, professional certification, and research to the property and
liability insurance business. The IRC provides timely and reliable research
to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies
and their customers. The IRC does not lobby or advocate legislative
positions. It is supported by leading property and liability organizations.
Percentage of Uninsured Motorists
1995 - 1997 Average
State Uninsured State Uninsured
Colorado 32% Rhode Island 11%
New Mexico 30% Delaware 11%
South Carolina 28% Arkansas 11%
Alabama 25% Wisconsin 11%
Mississippi 25% Hawaii 10%
California 22% Kentucky 10%
District of Columbia 21% Iowa 10%
Florida 20% Pennsylvania 9%
Texas 18% Vermont 9%
Tennessee 18% Montana 9%
Oklahoma 17% Connecticut 9%
Alaska 16% Kansas 9%
Maryland 16% Utah 9%
Arizona 16% New Hampshire 9%
Nevada 15% Louisiana 8%
New Jersey 15% West Virginia 8%
Washington 15% Idaho 8%
Missouri 13% New York 7%
Georgia 13% North Dakota 7%
Michigan 13% Nebraska 7%
Illinois 13% Wyoming 7%
Ohio 13% Massachusetts 7%
Oregon 12% South Dakota 6%
Virginia 12% North Carolina 6%
Indiana 12% Maine 4%
Minnesota 12% Nationwide 14%
Note: IRC calculates the uninsured driver proportion using the ratio of
claims made by individuals who were injured by uninsured drivers (uninsured
motorists coverage) to claims made by individuals injured by insured drivers
(bodily injury liability coverage). Colorado's estimate is inflated because
bodily injury claims are subject to a $2,500 threshold and uninsured motorists
claims are not. In other states, the thresholds are the same.
Source: National Association of Independent Insurers; Insurance Services
Office, Inc.; National Independent Statistical Service; Maryland Automobile
Insurance Fund; Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts; South Carolina
Department of Insurance; and Texas Department of Insurance. Michigan and
North Carolina 1996 and 1997 data from NAII are preliminary.