The latest numbers from the Insurance Research Council show 14 percent of Missouri drivers are uninsured. The Department of Revenue says it’s working to bring that number down.
Missouri ranks 22nd in the country for uninsured motorists, right at the national average of 13.8 percent.
Department of Revenue spokesman Ted Farnan says Missouri has all the right laws to deter people from driving without insurance.
Getting caught without insurance can result in four points against your license. Getting caught falsifying insurance information is an automatic one-year suspension. He says despite that, there are those who are determined to drive with no insurance.
Farnan says the department is working to increase communications with insurance companies to flag uninsured motorists in the system, but says resources are a problem. By resources he means funding. The department did sample Missouri licensed drivers from 2002 to 2006 asking them to provide proof of insurance, and he says there was a 90 percent compliance rate. However, budget cuts resulted in ending the program.
He says the department is working on some new projects to increase compliance, but they’re in the early stages and he cannot provide details yet.
According to the Mississippi has the highest rate of uninsured motorists — 28 percent.
The most compliant drivers in the country live in Massachussetts, where only 4.5 percent of motorists risk driving with no insurance.
The IRC says higher unemployment rates can cause a higher rate of uninsured motorists. However, a look at the numbers shows some states with relatively low unemployment numbers in comparison to the national average (around 9 percent), yet top the list for uninsured drivers.
More than one in four drivers in New Mexico and Oklahoma don’t have insurance, yet have unemployment rates of 6.7 and 5.5, respectively. Meanwhile, states like Idaho have unemployment rates that mirror the national average but show an extremely low number of uninsured motorists.
The complete list issued by the IRC ranks all 50 states:
|State||Uninsured %||Unemployed %|
|District of Columbia||15||10.8|