High Rate of Uninsured Drivers in Texas Cause Problems for Insured Drivers

The Insurance Research Council (IRC) released a study in April 2011 showing that the number of uninsured drivers across the country is on the rise. The study revealed that nearly one in seven drivers is uninsured in the U.S., or about 14.3 percent of all drivers on the road. The study showed that the number of uninsured drivers in Texas is even higher than the U.S.'s rate overall. The number of uninsured motorists had declined for the four years prior to 2008, but began to increase again thereafter. Experts cite economic reasons for the increase and drivers with insurance need to be aware of the impact that uninsured drivers can have on them.

Uninsured Drivers in Texas

The number of uninsured motorists in Texas is slightly higher than the national average. Even though Texas state law mandates all drivers to carry insurance, nearly one in five drivers in Texas are uninsured, or about 15 percent of all the drivers in the state, according to the IRC study.

Reasons for High Number of Uninsured Drivers

The rate of uninsured drivers corresponds with the performance of the economy, according to industry analysts. As the economy began to collapse in 2008, the number of uninsured drivers began to increase, reversing the previous trend where the number of uninsured motorists had been declining.

A major contributing factor to uninsured motorists is the unemployment level. When people lose their jobs they can no longer afford to pay their premiums. An earlier IRC study demonstrated that for every one percentage increase in unemployment the number of uninsured drivers increased by two-thirds of a percent.

Uninsured Drivers Affect Insured Drivers

The swell of uninsured drivers on the road should worry those drivers who do have insurance. The increase in uninsured motorists raises insurance premiums for insured drivers. Insurance claim statistics show that uninsured drivers are 10 times more likely to cause accidents. With an increasing number of uninsured drivers on the road, insurance companies face more risk that people will make uninsured motorist claims. They pass that risk of loss onto the consumer.

Additionally, insurance companies resist paying out claims drivers make on their uninsured driver policies because they cannot make up those payments by suing another insurance company for reimbursement. The driver with insurance is then in the unfortunate situation of having to fight with his or her own insurance company for claims from an accident that was not even the insured driver's fault.

Finally, a driver's injuries could easily exceed the limits on the uninsured motorist coverage that he or she carries. The insured driver then would have no recourse but to try to collect from the uninsured driver personally and probably never recover for the unpaid expenses resulting from the accident.

Being involved in a car accident is traumatic enough without having to worry about who is going to pay for the medical bills and damage to property. If you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, speak with an attorney who can help you recover for your losses.