Facts + Statistics: 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. More than half of the states have passed laws and begun to develop and implement online auto insurance verification systems to identify uninsured motorists.

In 2019, 12.6 percent of motorists, or about one in eight drivers, were uninsured, according to a 2021 study by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). The percentage was at a nine-year high of 13.1 percent in 2017 but fell to 12.6 percent in 2018 and 2019. Mississippi had the highest percentage of uninsured motorists in 2019, 29.4 percent, followed by Michigan (25.5 percent), Tennessee (23.7 percent), New Mexico (21.8 percent) and Washington (21.7 percent). New Jersey had the lowest, 3.1 percent, followed by Massachusetts (3.5 percent), New York (4.1 percent), Maine (4.9 percent) and Wyoming (5.8 percent). The 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. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia had uninsured motorist rates in 2019 greater than the countrywide rate (12.6 percent) while 29 states had rates below the countrywide rate.

 
Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists, 1992-2019 (1)

 

Year Percent Year Percent Year Percent
1992 15.6% 2002 14.5% 2011 12.3%
1993 16.0 2003 14.9 2012 12.6
1994 15.1 2004 14.6 2013 12.7
1995 14.2 2005 14.6 2014 13.0
1996 13.8 2006 14.3 2015 11.3
1997 13.2 2007 13.8 2016 12.2
1998 13.0 2008 14.3 2017 13.1
1999 12.8 2009 13.8 2018 12.6
2000 13.4 2010 12.3 2019 12.6
2001 14.2        

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

Source: Insurance Research Council.

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Top 10 Highest And Lowest States By Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists, 2019 (1)

 

  Highest   Lowest
Rank State Percent uninsured Rank State Percent uninsured
1 Mississippi 29.4% 1 New Jersey 3.1%
2 Michigan 25.5 2 Massachusetts 3.5
3 Tennessee 23.7 3 New York 4.1
4 New Mexico 21.8 4 Maine 4.9
5 Washington 21.7 5 Wyoming 5.8
6 Florida 20.4 6 Pennsylvania 6.0
7 Alabama 19.5 7 New Hampshire 6.1
8 Arkansas 19.3 8 Connecticut 6.3
9 District of Columbia 19.1 9 Utah 6.5
10 California 16.6 10 South Dakota 7.4

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

Source: Insurance Research Council.

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Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists By State, 2019 (1)

 

Lowest Uninsured Rank (2) State Uninsured Rank (2)
Alabama 19.5% 7 Montana 8.5% 38
Alaska 16.1 14 Nebraska 9.3 34
Arizona 11.8 24 Nevada 10.4 32
Arkansas 19.3 8 New Hampshire 6.1 45
California 16.6 10 New Jersey 3.1 51
Colorado 16.3 13 New Mexico 21.8 4
Connecticut 6.3 44 New York 4.1 49
Delaware 8.5 38 North Carolina 7.4 41
D.C. 19.1 9 North Dakota 13.0 21
Florida (3) 20.4 6 Ohio 13.0 21
Georgia 12.4 23 Oklahoma 13.4 18
Hawaii 9.3 34 Oregon 10.7 30
Idaho 13.2 20 Pennsylvania 6.0 46
Illinois 11.8 24 Rhode Island 16.5 11
Indiana 15.8 15 South Carolina 10.9 28
Iowa 11.3 27 South Dakota 7.4 41
Kansas 10.9 28 Tennessee 23.7 3
Kentucky 13.9 17 Texas 8.3 40
Louisiana 11.7 26 Utah 6.5 43
Maine 4.9 48 Vermont 8.8 37
Maryland 14.1 16 Virginia 10.5 31
Massachusetts 3.5 50 Washington 21.7 5
Michigan 25.5 2 West Virginia 9.2 36
Minnesota 9.9 33 Wisconsin 13.3 19
Mississippi 29.4 1 Wyoming 5.8 47
Missouri 16.4 12      

(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 personal injury protection (PIP) and physical damage, but not to third party bodily injury coverage.

Source: Insurance Research Council.

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Automobile Financial Responsibility Limits By State

(As of March 2021)

State Insurance required Minimum liability limits (1)
Alabama BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Alaska BI & PD liability 50/100/25
Arizona BI & PD liability 25/50/15
Arkansas BI & PD liability, PIP 25/50/25
California  BI & PD liability 15/30/5 (2)
Colorado BI & PD liability 25/50/15
Connecticut BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/25
Delaware BI & PD liability, PIP 25/50/10
D.C. BI & PD liability, UM 25/50/10
Florida PD liability, PIP 10/20/10 (3)
Georgia BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Hawaii BI & PD liability, PIP 20/40/10
Idaho BI & PD liability 25/50/15
Illinois BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/20
Indiana BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Iowa BI & PD liability 20/40/15
Kansas BI & PD liability, PIP 25/50/25
Kentucky BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM 25/50/25 (3)
Louisiana BI & PD liability 15/30/25
Maine BI & PD liability, UM, UIM, Medpay 50/100/25 (4)
Maryland BI & PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM 30/60/15
Massachusetts BI & PD liability, PIP 20/40/5
Michigan BI & PD liability, PIP 20/40/10
Minnesota BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM 30/60/10
Mississippi BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Missouri BI & PD liability, UM 25/50/25
Montana BI & PD liability 25/50/20
Nebraska BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/25
Nevada BI & PD liability 25/50/20
New Hampshire FR only 25/50/25
New Jersey BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM 15/30/5 (5)
New Mexico BI & PD liability 25/50/10
New York BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM 25/50/10 (6)
North Carolina BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 30/60/25
North Dakota BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM 25/50/25
Ohio BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Oklahoma BI & PD liability 25/50/25
Oregon BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM  25/50/20
Pennsylvania BI & PD liability, PIP 15/30/5
Rhode Island BI & PD liability 25/50/25
South Carolina BI & PD liability, UM 25/50/25
South Dakota BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/25
Tennessee BI & PD liability 25/50/15 (3)
Texas BI & PD liability, PIP 30/60/25
Utah BI & PD liability, PIP 25/65/15 (3)
Vermont BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/10
Virginia BI & PD liability (7), UM, UIM 25/50/20*
Washington BI & PD liability 25/50/10
West Virginia BI & PD liability, UM, UIM 25/50/25
Wisconsin BI & PD liability, UM, Medpay 25/50/10
Wyoming BI & PD liability 25/50/20

(1) The first two numbers refer to bodily injury (BI) liability limits and the third number to property damage (PD) 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.
(2) Low-cost policy limits for low-income drivers in the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan are 10/20/3.
(3) Instead of policy limits, policyholders can satisfy the requirement with a combined single limit policy. Amounts vary by state.
(4) In addition, policyholders must carry coverage for medical payments.
(5) Basic policy (optional) limits are 10/10/5. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage not available under the basic policy but uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is required under the standard policy. Special Automobile Insurance Policy available for certain drivers which only covers emergency treatment and a $10,000 death benefit.
(6) In addition, policyholders must have 50/100 for wrongful death coverage.
(7) Compulsory to buy insurance or pay an uninsured motorists vehicle (UMV) fee to the state department of motor vehicles.

*On January 1, 2022 limits will be increased to 30/60/20; on January 1, 2025 limits will be increased to 50/100/25.

Note: State laws regarding mandatory requirements for uninsured and underinsured motorists vary. State departments of insurance should be consulted to determine whether these coverages are compulsory.

Source: American Property Casualty Insurers Association; state departments of insurance.

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