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States with the most uninsured drivers

The number of insured drivers is closely tied to a state's jobless rate, a new study suggests.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 12, 2011 5:58PM

This post comes from Joan Manzi at partner site Insure.com.

 

One in every seven U.S. drivers is uninsured, according to data recently released by the Insurance Research Council, a figure it links directly to the Great Recession.

 

In 2009, the states with the most and least uninsured drivers were:

 

Most uninsured

| Uninsured

| Jobless rate |

Fewest uninsured

| Uninsured |

Jobless rate

Mississippi

28%

10.4%

Maine

4.5%

7.7%

New Mexico

26%

6.7%

Massachusetts

4.5%

7.6%

Florida

24%

10.7%

New York

5%

8.0%

Oklahoma

24%

5.5%

Pennsylvania

7%

7.8%

Tennessee

24%

9.8%

Vermont

7%

5.7%

 

(See the full 50-state list of uninsured-driver rates.)

 

"The leveling trend in the percentage of uninsured motorists is an unfortunate consequence of the economic downturn and illustrates how virtually everyone is affected by recent economic developments," said Elizabeth A. Sprinkel, senior vice president of the IRC.

 

Nationwide unemployment peaked at 10.1% in October 2009 and has fallen about a percentage point since then. The IRC figures that each percentage point swing in unemployment changes the uninsured-motorist rate by about three-quarters of a point. Post continues after video.

Every state except New Hampshire requires liability coverage, but only a few states require proof of insurance to register a car. Even then, some drivers will buy coverage but cancel once their vehicle is registered.

 

Others have driving records so bad that the insurance cost has become prohibitive or they are simply too impoverished to pay -- though they continue to drive.

 

Liability insurance rates on an old beater usually aren't any cheaper than those for newer cars. In Mississippi, for example, quotes on the cheapest policy available -- one meeting the state's minimum liability insurance requirements -- for a 1993 Nissan Altima run from $360 to $817 a year. For a 2005 model, the car insurance quotes range from $344 to $810.

 

Mississippi's per capita income of $31,186 is the lowest in the nation, and its unemployment rate topped 10% in July.

 

More on Insure.com and MSN Money:

3Comments
Sep 14, 2011 9:19AM
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Looking at their statistics, I'm not convinced that the uninsured percentage is that closely tied to the unemployment rate. New Mexico, for example, has a low unemployment rate, but they are second in the number of uninsured drivers. I did find it interesting that New Hampshire does not require drivers to buy insurance and they are about in the middle of the pack.
Sep 14, 2011 9:25AM
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Someone: I totally argee that in many parts of the country driving is not a privilege or a luxury but a necessity. Supposedly state govts have boards or commissions to oversee the insurance industry, but they usually side with the insurance companies.
Apr 8, 2013 8:16PM
avatar
States with the most uninsured drivers- MSN Money : Try this site where you can comapre quotes from different companies:  usainsurancequotes.net
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