Uninsured Motorists

Uninsured Motorists

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage reimburses policyholders in an accident involving an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have mandatory requirements for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. A handful of states, including Nevada and Texas, have passed laws and begun to develop and implement online auto insurance verification systems to identify uninsured motorists.

In 2012, 12.6 percent of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, was uninsured, according to a 2014 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). The percentage has been declining in recent years. Oklahoma had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists, 26 percent, and Massachusetts had the lowest, 4 percent. IRC measures the number of uninsured motorists based on insurance claims, using a ratio of insurance claims made by people who were injured by uninsured drivers relative to the claims made by people who were injured by insured drivers.

 

UNINSURED MOTORISTS, 1992-2012 (1)

Year Percent
1992 15.6%
1993 16.0
1994 15.1
1995 14.2
1996 13.8
1997 13.2
1998 13.0
1999 12.8
2000 13.4
2001 14.2
2002 14.5
2003 14.9
2004 14.6
2005 14.6
2006 14.3
2007 13.8
2008 14.3
2009 13.8
2010 12.3
2011 12.2
2012 12.6

(1) Percentage of uninsured drivers, as measured by the ratio of uninsured motorists (UM) claims to bodily injury (BI) claims frequencies.

Source: Insurance Research Council.

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TOP TEN HIGHEST AND LOWEST STATES BASED ON ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED MOTORISTS, 2012 (1)

Rank Highest Percent uninsured Rank Lowest Percent uninsured
1 Oklahoma 25.9% 1 Massachusetts 3.9%
2 Florida 23.8 2 Maine 4.7
3 Mississippi 22.9 3 New York 5.3
4 New Mexico 21.6 4 Utah 5.8
5 Michigan 21.0 5 North Dakota 5.9
6 Tennessee 20.1 6 Pennsylvania 6.5
7 Alabama 19.6 7 Nebraska 6.7
8 Rhode Island 17.0 8 Idaho 6.7
9 Colorado 16.2 9 South Carolina 7.7
10 Washington 16.1 10 South Dakota 7.8

(1) Percentage of uninsured drivers, as measured by the ratio of uninsured motorists (UM) claims to bodily injury (BI) claims frequencies.

Source: Insurance Research Council.

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ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE OF UNINSURED MOTORISTS BY STATE, 2012 (1)

State Uninsured Rank (2) State Uninsured Rank (2)
Alabama 19.6% 7 Montana 14.1% 15
Alaska 13.2 21 Nebraska 6.7 44
Arizona 10.6 29 Nevada 12.2 23
Arkansas 15.9 11 New Hampshire 9.3 34
California 14.7 13 New Jersey 10.3 30
Colorado 16.2 9 New Mexico 21.6 4
Connecticut 8.0 41 New York 5.3 49
Delaware 11.5 27 North Carolina 9.1 35
D.C. 11.9 24 North Dakota 5.9 47
Florida (3) 23.8 2 Ohio 13.5 17
Georgia 11.7 26 Oklahoma 25.9 1
Hawaii 8.9 37 Oregon 9.0 36
Idaho 6.7 45 Pennsylvania 6.5 46
Illinois 13.3 20 Rhode Island 17.0 8
Indiana 14.2 14 South Carolina 7.7 43
Iowa 9.7 32 South Dakota 7.8 42
Kansas 9.4 33 Tennessee 20.1 6
Kentucky 15.8 12 Texas 13.3 19
Louisiana 13.9 16 Utah 5.8 48
Maine 4.7 50 Vermont 8.5 39
Maryland 12.2 22 Virginia 10.1 31
Massachusetts 3.9 51 Washington 16.1 10
Michigan 21.0 5 West Virginia 8.4 40
Minnesota 10.8 28 Wisconsin 11.7 25
Mississippi 22.9 3 Wyoming 8.7 38
Missouri 13.5 18      

(1) Percentage of uninsured drivers, as measured by the ratio of uninsured motorists (UM) claims to bodily injury (BI) claims frequencies.                    
(2) Rank calculated from unrounded data.                    
(3) In Florida, compulsory auto laws apply to PIP and physical damage, but not to third party bodily injury coverage.                    
                    
Source: Insurance Research Council.

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AUTOMOBILE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LIMITS AND ENFORCEMENT BY STATE

State Insurance required (1) Minimum liability limits (2) Insurer verification of insurance (3)
AL BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 c, d
AK BI & PD Liab 50/100/25 a
AZ BI & PD Liab 15/30/10 a, b
AR BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/50/25 b, d
CA BI & PD Liab 15/30/5 (4) a, b, d
CO BI & PD Liab 25/50/15 a, d
CT BI & PD Liab 20/40/10 a
DE BI & PD Liab, PIP 15/30/10 a, b, c, d
DC BI & PD Liab, UM 25/50/10 a, c, d
FL PD Liab, PIP 10/20/10 (5) a, d
GA BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 a, d
HI BI & PD Liab, PIP 20/40/10 a
ID BI & PD Liab 25/50/15 none
IL BI & PD Liab, UM 20/40/15* a, b, c
IN BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 a
IA BI & PD Liab 20/40/15 a
KS BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM,UIM 25/50/10 a,c
KY BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/50/10 (5) a, d
LA BI & PD Liab 15/30/25 a, d
ME BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM  50/100/25 (6) b
MD BI & PD Liab, PIP (7), UM, UIM 30/60/15 a
MA BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 20/40/5 a, d
MI BI & PD Liab, PIP 20/40/10 a
MN BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 30/60/10 a, c
MS BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 a, d
MO BI & PD Liab, UM 25/50/10 a, c, d
MT BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 d
NE BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/25 a, b, d
NV BI & PD Liab 15/30/10 a, d
NH FR only, UM 25/50/25 (6) a
NJ BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 15/30/5 (8) a, d
NM BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 a, c
NY BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM 25/50/10 (9) a, d
NC BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM (10) 30/60/25 a, d
ND BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 25/50/25 c
OH BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 a, c
OK BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 a, c, d
OR BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 25/50/20 a, c
PA BI & PD Liab, PIP 15/30/5 a
RI BI & PD Liab 25/50/25 (5) d**
SC BI & PD Liab, UM 25/50/25 a, d
SD BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/25 a
TN BI & PD Liab 25/50/15 (5) a, d
TX BI & PD Liab 30/60/25 a, d
UT BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/65/15 (5) d
VT BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/10 c
VA BI & PD Liab (11), UM, UIM 25/50/20 a, b, c, d
WA BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 a
WV BI & PD Liab, UM 25/40/10 a, d
WI BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/10 a
WY BI & PD Liab 25/50/20 c, d

(1) Compulsory Coverages:
      BI Liab=Bodily injury liability
      PD Liab=Property damage liability
      UM=Uninsured motorist
      PD=Physical damage
      Med=First party (policyholder) medical expenses
      UIM=Underinsured motorist
      PIP=Personal Injury Protection. Mandatory in no-fault states. Includes medical, rehabilitation, loss of earnings and funeral expenses. In some states PIP includes essential services such as child care.
      FR=Financial responsibility only. Insurance not compulsory.
(2) The first two numbers refer to bodily injury liability limits and the third number to property liability. For example, 20/40/10 means coverage up to $40,000 for all persons injured in an accident, subject to a limit of $20,000 for one individual, and $10,000 coverage for property damage.
(3) a. Insurer must notify Department of Motor Vehicles or other state agency of cancellation or nonrenewal.
      b. Insurer must verify financial responsibility or insurance after an accident or arrest.
      c.Insurer must verify randomly selected insurance policies upon request.
      d. Insurers must submit entire list of insurance in effect, which may be compared with registrations at a state agency. Also known as a computer data law. Also includes cases where insurers are required to report new issues and/or renewals.
(4) Low-cost policy limits for low-income drivers in the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan are 10/20/3.
(5) Instead of policy limits, policyholders can satisfy the requirement with a combined single limit policy. Amounts vary by state.
(6) In addition, policyholders must also carry at least $2,000 for medical payments.
(7) May be waived for the policyholder but is compulsory for passengers.
(8) Basic policy (optional) limits are 10/10/5. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage not available under the basic policy but uninsured motorist coverage is required under the standard policy.
(9) In addition, policyholders must have 50/100 for wrongful death coverage.
(10) Mandatory in policies with UM limits exceeding 30/60.
(11) Compulsory to buy insurance or pay an Uninsured Motorists Vehicle (UMV) fee to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

*Effective January 1, 2015, Illinois’ limits will rise to 25/50/20.
**Companies will begin submitting monthly records to the Department of Insurance on November 7, 2014

Source: Property Casualty Insurers Association of America; state departments of insurance and motor vehicles.