Everything is changing in a big way right now. In some cases it will be, ultimately, for the better, and in other ways, it’s going to get worse. For instance: There have been fewer traffic accidents in recent months thanks to fewer people being out there on the streets and highways. The ripple effect that we’re feeling from that has been, in some ways, helpful, with insurance some companies giving refunds on premiums, reasoning that if you weren’t doing much driving last month, there wasn’t much need to pay for insurance. But other effects of our current crisis have been a little less helpful.
A Spike in Underinsured and Uninsured Motorists
Across the country, uninsured motorist rates have typically averaged around 10% to 15%. Those numbers are much higher in the top five. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Tennessee, the fifth-worst state for uninsured motorists, has an estimated 20.8% of their drivers carrying no insurance at all. Florida, the worst state for uninsured drivers, comes in at over a quarter of motorists at 26.7%.
Thankfully, Wisconsin is nowhere near this bad, at 14.3%, but we’re scraping the bottom of the top ten, with D.C., the tenth least-insured state, coming in at 15.6%. And we’re nowhere near the top ten, with the tenth best state being South Dakota at 7.7%, just over half as many uninsured drivers per capita as we have in Wisconsin. In short, cities like Clear Lake may range in the national average, but we’re on the higher end of that range for uninsured drivers.
Many insurance companies are deferring premium payments right now to retain customer loyalty through these trying times. But those bills need to be paid some day, and when that happens, not every driver will be able to pay the accumulated premiums, and not everyone who is forced to drop insurance will stop driving.
As of the Time of this Writing…
Quite a bit is up in the air right now. While Wisconsin may typically remain under 15% for uninsured motorists from year to year, there’s no telling what the case may be in a month or two, or even by the time you read this.
An uninsured home is the homeowner’s problem, but uninsured motorists are everyone’s problem. It might not always be fair, but it is every driver’s responsibility to protect themselves against all reasonably-expected hazards, and that includes uninsured and underinsured motorists.
If an uninsured driver strikes you, the odds are pretty high that you may wind up with expenses that insurance won’t cover, unless you carry uninsured motorist insurance.
A few months ago, a Wisconsin driver may have been able to take comfort in the knowledge that we don’t have that many uninsured motorists in comparison to many other states. And that may still be true as of the time of this writing, but it might not be in another month, another week, or even within the next few days. We’re looking at a significant statistical shift for which we all must prepare.
If you feel that your current insurer is not providing you with adequate coverage against uninsured and underinsured drivers, or if you simply have a few questions you’d like answered, get in touch with Lillie-Couch Insurance by phone or online.