About 1 in 8 Drivers Don't Have Car Insurance: Here's Why

Jane Lu
· 4 min read
Car insurance
shouldn't be an afterthought or something you put off until later. Accidents are often unexpected and having adequate coverage protects you, your passengers, pedestrians, and everyone else on the road.
If you’re caught
driving without insurance
you can face fines, license revocation or suspension, and having to pay out of pocket for damages.
There are many reasons why drivers are uninsured.
provides more details about the potential consequences and the most common reasons why people don’t get coverage.
It’s dangerous to drive without car insurance but many people do.

What happens if you drive without car insurance?

Some drivers believe that if they don't have car insurance, they can't be held financially responsible for an accident. They'll walk away without any consequences, or the other driver's insurance company will pick up the tab.
Almost every state requires you to purchase a
minimum level of car insurance
, and there are several serious risks to driving without insurance. If you’re at fault in an accident, you might have to pay for any medical bills and property damage.
An accident that causes serious injuries can cost over $1 million and put you at risk of bankruptcy.
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Why do people skip car insurance coverage?

The Ascent
recently covered the top five reasons why some people choose to forgo car insurance coverage.

The premium costs are too high

Some demographics have to pay more in premiums, such as teenagers and anyone
convicted of a DUI
. Car insurance costs can also vary by region. Moving from one city or state to another can cause a sharp increase in prices.

Believing that accidents won’t happen to you

Some drivers feel invincible and believe that accidents only happen to other people. According to the
Insurance Information Institute
(III), in 2018, the lifetime odds of being killed in a car crash as a vehicle occupant was one in 608. Many more people sustain injuries that range from minor to severe.

Thinking you have nothing to lose

Driving an older car or not having much money can make a driver feel like they have nothing to lose financially. They don't realize how quickly their life can change for the worse if they’re involved in a car accident, even a relatively minor one. You can face lawsuits, garnished wages, and emotional stress.

Relying on other drivers being insured

Not all drivers have uninsured motorist coverage. Even if they do, it may not be enough to cover damages. If you’re uninsured and at fault in an accident, the other driver can take you to court for damages and medical bills.

Being confused by insurance jargon

Shopping for car insurance can be overwhelming. For someone seeing
car insurance terms
for the first time, it seems like there are endless coverage options to consider. This can make it hard for drivers to get adequate coverage, especially if they want to save money.
While there are uninsured drivers in every state, some regions have more than others.

States with the most uninsured drivers

reported that just over 12% of all drivers in the U.S., or one in eight, are uninsured. Most uninsured drivers are reluctant to admit they lack insurance, so the study compared uninsured claims versus insured claims. The actual number could be higher.
The top 10 states with the most uninsured drivers are:
  • Mississippi, 29.4%
  • Michigan, 25.5%
  • Tennessee, 23.7%
  • New Mexico, 21.8%
  • Washington, 21.7%
  • Florida, 20.4%
  • Alabama, 19.5%
  • Arkansas, 19.3%
  • District of Columbia, 19.1%
  • California, 16.6%
Driving without car insurance isn’t worth the risk. No matter where you live,
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