June 28, 2006 MALVERN, Pa.-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.�
(For a tabular and graphical representation of the estimated number of uninsured motorists by State, visit http://www.ircweb.org/News/20060628.pdf )
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. 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-casualty organizations. For more information, visit http://www.ircweb.org.