Sharing Roads and Highways with more than 20 Million Uninsured Drivers

According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), an independent, nonprofit research organization, in 2012, the number of those who continued to drive despite not having insurance dropped to 29.7 million (a decrease of 1.8% from the 2009 total). The top three states with the highest number of uninsured drivers then were: California, with 4.1 million; Florida, with 3.2 million; and, Texas, with 1.6 million.

The Financial Responsibility Law is in effect in all US states. This law requires drivers to demonstrate financial capability to compensate victims of accidents that are due to their fault. This financial capability may be demonstrated by:

  • Carrying auto liability insurance, which is actually a mandate in 48 states
  •  Complying with alternative financial responsibility requirements (if the driver chooses not to purchase auto liability insurance coverage), which is the case in the state of New Hampshire
  • Depositing cash or securities with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) rather than carrying auto liability insurance, as what is allowed in the state of Virginia

The types of auto insurance coverage mandated in 48 states are the tort liability car insurance and the no-fault liability car insurance (this is also called Personal Injury Protection or PIP). In tort states, where drivers need to carry tort liability car insurance, victims of accidents can claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider; they are also allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver (usually to determine whose fault the accident really is and to settle their claims).

In no-fault states, insurance companies pay their own policy holders, regardless of whose fault the car accident is. There are 9 states that require the no-fault liability car insurance on drivers, while another three, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky, allow drivers to choose either the tort liability car insurance or the no-fault liability car insurance. The nine no fault states are Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Utah.

The high cost of premiums, according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, an independent car insurance company, is no excuse for drivers not to carry car liability insurance. There are three reasons why this is so: carrying car liability insurance is a mandate; it will be more costly not to carry one when they are caught by traffic enforcers or when they get involved in an accident; and, if they do get involved in an accident and they have no financial capability to compensate their victim, they may lose their property since this will have to sold to enable them to pay for damages.

To find the best insurance deal that is within their budget, drivers can seek the help of independent car insurance companies, which can provide them with insurance quotes patterned according to their needs.