Across the United States, if someone is injured in an auto accident, the chances are about one in seven that the at-fault driver is uninsured. According to a recent Insurance Research Council (IRC) study, the estimated percentage of uninsured motorists increased nationally from 12.7 percent in 1999 to 14.6 percent in
2004. However, the magnitude of the uninsured motorists problem varied widely from state to state.
The recently released study, Uninsured Motorists, 2006 Edition,
examines trends from 1999 to 2004 in the percentage of uninsured drivers by state. In 2004, the five states with the highest uninsured driver estimates were Mississippi (26 percent), Alabama (25 percent), California (25 percent), New Mexico (24 percent), and Arizona (22 percent).
The five states with the lowest uninsured driver estimates were Maine (4 percent), Vermont (6 percent), Massachusetts (6 percent), New York (7 percent), and Nebraska (8 percent).
IRC estimates the uninsured driver population using a ratio of
insurance claims made by individuals who were injured by uninsured drivers to claims made by individuals who were injured by insured drivers. The study contains recent statistics by state on uninsured motorists claim frequency, bodily injury claim frequency, and the ratio of uninsured motorists to bodily injury claim frequencies.
“Even though most states require drivers to maintain insurance, the
problem of uninsured motorists persists,” explained Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC. “Responsible drivers who purchase insurance end up paying for injuries caused by uninsured drivers.”
The IRC study examined data collected from eleven insurers,
representing approximately 58 percent of the private passenger auto
insurance market in the U.S. For more detailed information on the study’s methodology and findings, contact Elizabeth Sprinkel by phone at (610) 644-2212, ext. 7568; by fax at (610) 640-5388; or by e-mail at email@example.com; or visit the IRC’s Web site at http://www.ircweb.org .
The Insurance Research Council is a division of the American Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America. The Institutes are independent, not-for-profit organizations dedicated to
providing educational programs, professional certification, and research for the property-casualty insurance business.
Estimated Percentage of Uninsured Motorists by State in 2004
Mississippi 26% Oklahoma 15% Virginia 10%
Alabama 25 Rhode Island 14 West Virginia 10
California 25 Wisconsin 14 Pennsylvania 10
New Mexico 24 Arkansas 14 South Carolina 10
Arizona 22 Hawaii 13 Georgia 10
Tennessee 21 Kansas 13 New Jersey 9
Dist. of Col. 21 Montana 12 Utah 9
Florida 19 Iowa 12 Idaho 9
Washington 18 Oregon 12 South Dakota 9
Nevada 17 Missouri 12 New Hampshire 9
Michigan 17 Maryland 12 North Dakota 9
Texas 16 Connecticut 12 North Carolina 8
Illinois 16 Kentucky 12 Nebraska 8
Indiana 16 Delaware 12 New York 7
Ohio 15 Wyoming 11 Massachusetts 6
Alaska 15 Minnesota 10 Vermont 6
Colorado 15 Louisiana 10 Maine 4
Source: Insurance Research Council