The absence of a definite end to the ongoing economic recession has resulted in ever increasing numbers of uninsured motorists. Government officials and insurance industry experts are seeing more uninsured drivers behind the wheels of millions of cars in the U.S. The unprecedented increase followed a tumultuous year for the American economy with rising jobless rates and floundering industries. This has led to more people dropping their coverage to cut back on expenses.
The desperation has led to higher risks and more dangers for law-abiding motorists on the nation’s roads and highways. More uninsured drivers means higher chances of getting in an accident with one. The rapidly increasing numbers are also forcing many insurers to increase premiums to better protect policyholders against uninsured motorists.
At present, an estimated 12 percent of all motorists in the U.S. do not have any form of insurance whatsoever. The figure is expected to rise substantially as the unemployment rate increases. In some states, the numbers are much higher. For instance, 15 out of every 100 drivers in Texas are uninsured. Even the state of California admitted that if the economy fails to turn around, up to a fifth, or twenty percent of their driving population will be uninsured by 2010.
Industry sources say that the reality is clear: the law calls for insurance. Forty-eight of the 50 states require drivers to have insurance. Wisconsin is set to follow shortly with New Hampshire hammering out the details before deciding whether its citizens need mandatory auto insurance. Being caught without minimum insurance can mean hefty fines for motorists and even jail time. Aside from these, car owners can find it hard to find good rates when they apply for insurance for the next several years.
One of the major reasons uninsured drivers cite is the cost of proper coverage and protection. Even with premiums at their lowest levels in more than a year, scarce job opportunities and stable sources of income are forcing many Americans to give up their insurance altogether. Experts, however, say that there are things that car owners can do to save money on their insurance.
For one, policyholders can increase their deductibles to slash considerable amounts off their insurance expenses. Raising deductibles to as high as $1,000 can mean discounts up to 40 percent in some instances. Having a clean driving record can also earn motorists great discounts. Avoiding traffic tickets and violations will automatically lead to lower rates.