According to recent data, about 13% of all drivers in the United States operate vehicles without insurance coverage. Nationwide, that makes about 32 million uninsured drivers on the road. Although nearly every state requires a specific limit of insurance coverage before granting a vehicle registration, many drivers let their insurance policies expire before renewing them.
The percentage of uninsured drivers varies from state to state, but Florida has the highest, with about 26.7% of all drivers being uninsured. Many insurance companies that provide policies in Florida offer additional coverage to address the growing issue of uninsured drivers. This coverage may cost a little more, but it protects you and your family in the event of a collision with an uninsured driver.
The number of uninsured drivers has decreased on a national scale over the last couple of years. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 15% of all U.S. drivers carried little or no auto insurance in 2003. By 2015, the percentage decreased to a little over 13%; however, there are many disparities of insured driver rates across the country.
According to III, Florida leads the country with the highest percentage of uninsured drivers: 26.7%, which is substantially higher than the national average of 13%.
Behind Florida, other states with a high rate of uninsured drivers include:
Mississippi – 23.7%
New Mexico – 20.8%
Michigan – 20.3%
Tennessee – 20%
Alabama – 18.4%
States with the lowest rate of uninsured drivers in the nation include:
Maine – 4.5%
New York – 6.1%
Massachusetts – 6.2%
North Carolina – 6.5%
While many drivers in Florida are on the road without insurance, many other drivers carry very little coverage. That’s due to Florida’s minimum auto insurance requirement, which only requires drivers to maintain $10,000 of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. PIP benefits only cover the driver on the policy or their resident relatives. The at-fault driver’s policy will not cover the cost of your injuries if you’re an injured victim of a car crash with an at-fault driver carrying minimum insurance coverage.
Drivers in Florida who are caught operating a vehicle without insurance can face serious consequences. Unfortunately, those consequences often provide no relief for victims of car accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
Penalties an uninsured driver could face might include paying fines or having their licenses suspended. Driving without insurance is a criminal matter, but that does little to help injured victims pay for medical bills and property damage. What’s more, the injured accident victim can’t sue the uninsured driver in court. What we often discover at McCullough & Leboff, PA, is that drivers who can’t afford auto insurance have limited financial resources that are not worth pursuing in court.
One option Florida drivers have to protect themselves from paying out-of-pocket damages after an accident with an uninsured driver is to purchase “uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance.” Most reputable auto insurance companies sell this extra coverage that will protect you and your loved ones from potential heartache that can follow a severe car accident in Florida.
This added insurance coverage essentially takes the place of the uninsured at-fault driver and pays for your injuries and property damage that would otherwise be owed to you by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While this can be an added expense every month, in a state with so many uninsured drivers, it’s worth the consideration.
With more than 25% of all Florida drivers carrying little or no car insurance, it can be risky driving on Florida roads. If you’ve recently been in an accident with an uninsured driver and wish to pursue a claim, it’s essential that you contact a knowledgeable car accident attorney in Davie with experience handling these types of cases.
At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, PA, our attorneys have more than 48 years of experience representing residents in Davie, Hollywood, and throughout South Florida after they’ve been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another party. Our firm is focused exclusively on personal injury cases, and our attorneys provide the personalized attention and care that you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation with a trusted car accident attorney, complete an online contact form or call today.