uninsured motorist rate unchanged at 16 percent, defying
- The percentage of uninsured drivers in Washington has remained
stable in spite of the economic downturn, according to the Insurance
Research Council (IRC).
newly released IRC study, Uninsured
Motorists, 2011 Edition, shows Washington's 2009 uninsured
motorist rate at 16 percent, tenth highest in the country but
unchanged since 2007. The stable percentage runs counter to historical
trends that show uninsured motorist rates rising along with unemployment.
national uninsured motorist average is 13.8 percent. The five
states with the highest UIM rates are Mississippi (29%), New Mexico
(26%), Tennessee (24%), Oklahoma (24%) and Florida (24%).
study found that unemployment rates historically have a strong
correlation with uninsured motorist rates. An increase in the
unemployment rate of one percentage point is associated with an
increase in the uninsured motorist rate of more than three-fourths
of a percentage point. Based on current unemployment rate projections,
the national average is expected to rise when 2010 data is analyzed.
a tough economy, it's important to make sure you're properly and
adequately insured," said Karl Newman, NW Insurance Council president.
"If you're involved in an accident with an uninsured driver and
you don't have optional Uninsured Motorist coverage, you may be
left paying for the damage or having to take the responsible person
to small claims court."
Motorist Coverage is designed to take the headaches out of
a collision with an uninsured driver. NW Insurance Council encourages
you to talk with your agent or insurance company about your insurance
needs and consider purchasing Uninsured Motorist coverage.
these difficult economic times, there are a number of ways you
can save money on your insurance without eliminating your financial
safety net," Newman said.
Insurance Council offers the following tips to help you stretch
your insurance dollars during tough economic times:
- Comparison shop.
Prices for the same coverage can vary by hundreds of dollars,
so it pays to shop around.
- Ask for higher
deductibles. By requesting higher deductibles on Collision
and Comprehensive coverage, you can lower your costs substantially.
For example, increasing your deductible from $200 to $500 could
reduce your Collision and Comprehensive costs by 15 to 30 percent.
- Buy your home and
auto policies from the same insurer. Many companies that sell
Umbrella Liability coverage will reduce your premium from 5
to 15 percent if you buy two or more policies from that company.
- Ask about other
discounts. Companies offer many types of discounts, but they
don't all offer the same discounts. It's important to ask
your agent or company representative about any discounts available
more information about optional Uninsured Motorist coverage, contact
your agent or insurance company.
learn more about Auto, Home, Life or Business Insurance, request
our free booklet, Your Guide to Insurance, by contacting
NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942. More information also
is available at www.nwinsurance.org.
Insurance Council is a nonprofit, public-education organization
funded by member insurance companies serving Washington, Oregon