States with the most uninsured drivers
The number of insured drivers is closely tied to a state's jobless rate, a new study suggests.
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:
| Jobless rate |
| Uninsured |
(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.
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