JACKSON, Miss.- Mississippi has the third highest estimated percentage of uninsured motorists in the country according to a new report from the Insurance Research Council.
That means one of the four cars driving next to you probably doesn’t have insurance, which is against the law. The person without insurance can be left with some hefty fines, but the person with insurance is already paying more every month for those that aren’t covered.
In the Uninsured Motorists study, 23 percent of motorists in the state are driving without coverage. Mississippi’s rate falls just under Oklahoma and Florida, which have an estimated percentage of 26 percent and 24 percent.
While the study shows that we have 23 percent of uninsured motorist on the roads, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney says he thinks it’s even more than that, “I think it’s probably higher, closer to 30 percent because we don’t have a state law that requires folks to pay premiums for more than three months so people can buy insurance quarterly or on a monthly basis and drop it.”
From 2003 to 2014, the national percent of drivers who were uninsured fell from 14.9 percent to 12.6 percent.
While the overall percentage decreases, the study also shows the nation’s estimated total claim payments for the uninsured has increased 75 percent over the last 10 years. Which basically boils down to insured drivers having to pay the price for drivers who are uninsured.
“The ones that do purchase insurance, the people that are being good citizens, are going to pay a little bit more.” Chaney said, “They’re probably already picking up an extra $15 to $20 a year in that extra coverage that has to be paid to cover the payouts for people that are having wrecks or being hit by people with no insurance, so ultimately the consumer is going to pay for it.”
The IRC estimates 29.7 million motorists are driving uninsured in the nation.