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Why is there an epidemic of uninsured motorists?

As a Washington driver, you pay part of the costs of fiscally irresponsible drivers who refuse to buy automobile liability insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 49 states and the District of Columbia require drivers to have auto liability insurance before they can legally drive, although the amounts vary from state to state.

Despite these laws, however, about 13 percent of drivers do not have auto liability insurance, amounting to approximately one in eight drivers on the road. The vast majority of these people, 82 percent, cite inability to pay insurance premium costs as the reason for their failure to have liability insurance or claim that the vehicle in question is inoperable or otherwise not being used.

The NAIC white paper, Uninsured Motorists: A Growing Problem for Consumers, concludes that the compulsory auto insurance laws are not working as intended. It is estimated that the number of uninsured motorists in each U.S. jurisdiction ranges from a low of 5 percent to a high of 30 percent.

The unfair current solution

That leaves responsible drivers like you to pay for the costs associated with uninsured motorists who are involved in accidents. Most states have mandatory uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance coverage requirements.

Such laws force you not only to pay premiums for insurance that covers your own negligent actions, but also to pay premiums for insurance that covers the negligent actions of irresponsible uninsured motorists. It seems clear that a better solution must be found to the problem of uninsured motorists.

This information is provided for educational purposes, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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