If you are involved in a car accident, auto insurance can protect one of your most prized assets while also ensuring that if medical bills are involved that related expenses are covered promptly. We hate paying car insurance but when we do have an accident, we quickly reach for our policy and call our insurance agent.
Unfortunately, the current economic climate is offering a source of temptation for some drivers to simple allow their car insurance coverage to lapse. According to the Insurance Research Council — a not-for-profit organization that offers research to all parties involved in public policy issues affecting insurance companies and their customers — many drivers are doing just that.
Indeed, by the IRC’s estimates five states have an exceedingly high number of uninsured drivers led by New Mexico at 29%, Mississippi at 28%, Alabama (26%), Oklahoma (24%) and Florida (23%). On the other end of the spectrum, Massachusetts at 1% has the fewest uninsured drivers.
The IRC’s report has determined that there is a strong correlation between the percent of uninsured motorists and the unemployment rate. Specifically, an increase in the unemployment rate of one percentage point is associated with an increase in the uninsured motorist rate of more than three-quarters of a percentage point. If current unemployment rate trends unfold as predicted, the percentage of uninsured motorists is expected to rise from 13.8 in 2007 to 16.1 in 2010.
“An increase in the number 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. “Responsible drivers who purchase insurance end up paying for injuries caused by uninsured drivers.”
What if you can’t afford car insurance right now? The simple answer would be for you to park your car until you can. However, you may want to shop around and compare policies with a number of different insurers to find the best deal for you. An insurance professional can also help you find basic coverage, a simple policy that will get you on the road, offer protection, and keep you within the bounds of the law.
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