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. 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.

 

 
Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists, 1992-2015 (1)

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

(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, 2015 (1)

 

Highest Lowest
Rank State Percent uninsured Rank State Percent uninsured
1 Florida 26.7% 1 Maine 4.5%
2 Mississippi 23.7 2 New York 6.1
3 New Mexico 20.8 3 Massachusetts 6.2
4 Michigan 20.3 4 North Carolina 6.5
5 Tennessee 20.0 5 Vermont 6.8
6 Alabama 18.4 6 Nebraska 6.8
7 Washington 17.4 7 North Dakota 6.8
8 Indiana 16.7 8 Kansas 7.2
9 Arkansas 16.6 9 Pennsylvania 7.6
10 D.C. 15.6 10 South Dakota 7.7

(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, 2015 (1)

State Uninsured Rank (2) State Uninsured Rank (2)
Alabama 18.4% 6 Montana 9.9% 33
Alaska 15.4 11 Nebraska 6.8 46
Arizona 12.0 24 Nevada 10.6 29
Arkansas 16.6 9 New Hampshire 9.9 35
California 15.2 12 New Jersey 14.9 14
Colorado 13.3 19 New Mexico 20.8 3
Connecticut 9.4 36 New York 6.1 50
Delaware 11.4 28 North Carolina 6.5 48
D.C. 15.6 10 North Dakota 6.8 45
Florida (3) 26.7 1 Ohio 12.4 22
Georgia 12.0 25 Oklahoma 10.5 31
Hawaii 10.6 30 Oregon 12.7 21
Idaho 8.2 40 Pennsylvania 7.6 43
Illinois 13.7 18 Rhode Island 15.2 13
Indiana 16.7 8 South Carolina 9.4 37
Iowa 8.7 38 South Dakota 7.7 42
Kansas 7.2 44 Tennessee 20.0 5
Kentucky 11.5 26 Texas 14.1 16
Louisiana 13.0 20 Utah 8.2 39
Maine 4.5 51 Vermont 6.8 47
Maryland 12.4 23 Virginia 9.9 34
Massachusetts 6.2 49 Washington 17.4 7
Michigan 20.3 4 West Virginia 10.1 32
Minnesota 11.5 27 Wisconsin 14.3 15
Mississippi 23.7 2 Wyoming 7.8 41
Missouri 14.0 17      

(1) Percentage of uninsured drivers, as measured by the ratio of uninsured motorists (UM) claims to bodily injury (BI) claim 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 And Enforcement By State

(As of September 2017)

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, d*
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, UM, UIM 25/50/25*** d
DE BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/50/10** a, b, c, d
DC BI & PD Liab, PIP, 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 d
IL BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/20 a, b, c, d***
IN BI & PD Liab 25/50/25* a
IA BI & PD Liab 20/40/15 a
KS BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/50/25 a,c, d
KY BI & PD Liab, PIP 25/50/25 (5)*** a, d
LA BI & PD Liab 15/30/25 a, d
ME BI & PD Liab, UM 50/100/25 (6) b
MD BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 30/60/15 a, d
MA BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM 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 25/50/20 d
NE BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM 25/50/25 a, b, d
NV BI & PD Liab 25/50/20**** a, d
NH FR only, UM 25/50/25 (6) a
NJ BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM, UIM 15/30/5 (7) a, d
NM BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 a, c
NY BI & PD Liab, PIP, UM 25/50/10 (8) a, d
NC BI & PD Liab, UM, UIM (9) 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 (10), UM, UIM 25/50/20 a, b, c, d
WA BI & PD Liab 25/50/10 a
WV BI & PD Liab, UM 25/50/25 a, d
WI BI & PD Liab, UM 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 damage 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. Includes states where law allows an online web-based verification system where administrators can verify insurance compliance in real time.
(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 have coverage for medical payments. Amounts vary by state.
(7) 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. Special Automobile Insurance Policy available for certain drivers which only covers emergency treatment and a $10,000 death benefit.
(8) In addition, policyholders must have 50/100 for wrongful death coverage.
(9) UIM Mandatory in policies with UM limits exceeding certain limits. Amount vary by state.
(10) Compulsory to buy insurance or pay an Uninsured Motorists Vehicle (UMV) fee to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
*Effective January 1, 2019.
**Effective December 13, 2017.
***Effective January 1, 2018.
****Effective July 1, 2018.

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

 

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