Ever wonder if the guy coming up fast behind you has insurance? In Washington state the answer is much more likely to be “No!”.
According to a newly released study from Insurance Research Council (IRC), approximately 16 percent of Washington state drivers do not carry auto insurance.
The uninsured motorist rate for Oregon, our neighbor to the south, is at 10 percent and for Idaho, to our east is 8 percent. (Anyone know why is Washington’s uninsured motorist rate more than 50 percent higher than Oregon’s and double Idaho’s?)
We do not have the highest uninsured motorist rate. Although nothing to be proud of, Washington ranks 10th in the number of uninsured drivers on the road. Nationally the rate is 13.8 percent. The five states with the highest uninsured motorist rates are Mississippi (29%), New Mexico (26%), Tennessee (24%), Oklahoma (24%) and Florida (24%).
What it means to you
One factor that the study does not cover is the correlation of accidents and uninsured motorists. Irresponsible drivers don’t bother to carry insurance and irresponsible drivers are more likely to cause an accident. Therefore if someone else hits you, even though only 16 percent of Washington drivers don’t carry insurance, you probably have closer to a 40 percent chance that they don’t have insurance.
How do you protect yourself?
Uninsured Motorist Coverage is designed to take the headaches out of a collision with an uninsured driver. Washington state allows drivers to opt-out of carrying Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but it would be one of worst decisions you might make. Talk with your agent about Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect your family.
A thought, raise your Comprehensive & Collision deductibles to $1000 and use the extra money to increase your Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
It is much easier to come up with $1000 to fix your car than $100,000 or more of medical bills.