Monday, May 20, 2024
Auto Insurance

Uninsured Motorists: The Truth About America’s Risky Gamble

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No car owner debates the fact that driving without insurance is a risky gamble. If caught, you may have your license suspended and get hit with penalties. And, in the event of an accident, you incur huge costs that may jeopardize your financial stability.

That notwithstanding, there’s still a considerable percentage of accidents that involve uninsured motorists

Why Are There So Many Uninsured Drivers?

So, how many people drive without insurance?

According to an Insurance Research Council (IRC) study, 1 in 8 drivers, or 12.6% of motorists, are uninsured. The 2021 study lists the percentage of uninsured drivers by state, and Mississippi leads the pack with 29.4% uninsured motorists.

Below are four top reasons why there’re still many people who drive without insurance.

Some states Don’t legally require car insurance

One of the reasons why there’re many uninsured drivers is that auto insurance is not legally required in all states. For instance, New Hampshire and Virginia are two states that don’t require auto insurance.

But, there’s a catch: though your license won’t be suspended for going without car insurance, there’re financial liability laws in place. Uninsured motorists are required to make certain payments to the state for forgoing auto insurance. 

You also bear the cost of damages, injuries, and medical bills out of pocket in the event of an accident. If you can’t pay, you might be taken to court and face stiff penalties.

Thus, you may end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket, which is quite costly compared to shopping for affordable auto coverage.

Not every driver owns a car 

Drivers who borrow or rent cars add to the high percentage of uninsured drivers by state. Basically, these are motorists who borrow a car from a friend, parent, or family member.

Such uninsured motorists go without standard auto coverage because they are covered under the car owner’s insurance policy. In case of an unexpected road event, their friend’s or parent’s auto policy pays for damages.

Caution: If you borrow or rent a car frequently, ask the owner to add you to their auto coverage and get listed as a covered driver. Alternatively, consider purchasing non-owner auto insurance, which offers liability coverage to you, the driver. In case of an accident, the policy will pay for bodily injury and property damage.

The cost of auto coverage

No one enjoys adding a monthly bill to their budget. According to MarketWatch, the average annual cost of full-coverage auto insurance is $1,730. Given the cost of car insurance, some drivers just decide to take the risk and drive without insurance.

However, most insurance companies offer policy discounts and programs to help you lower your auto insurance premiums, including:

  • Usage-based savings programs
  • Annual payment discounts
  • Paperless billing perks
  • Safe driving discounts
  • Driver’s education discounts

Finding the best insurance deal can be a hassle

To get the best auto insurance rate, you should first determine how much coverage you need, and what discounts you qualify for. Then, rate shop with different carriers to find the best insurance company and get a lower rate. That process can be time-consuming and hectic.

Throw into the mix the misleading myths about car insurance, and you’ll realize why there’s a high percentage of uninsured drivers by state. 

Uninsured drivers: How an independent insurance agent can help

Driving without car insurance may end up being more costly than buying an affordable auto policy. A qualified independent insurance agent partners with top insurance carriers to offer you the most comprehensive auto policy at the cheapest rate possible.

They also help you determine how much coverage you need and the discounts you qualify for. Then, rate shop on your behalf to help you slash the cost and hassles of finding an affordable auto policy.

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