In Kenosha, WI, the uninsured motorist rate is generally assumed to be around 14.3%, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This number isn’t totally precise, as the most recent data available on their website is from 2015, but the number has remained steady enough year after year that we can assume that the state’s uninsured drivers are comparable to the national average, around 10% to 15%. But, that may be about to change.
Insured Against the Uninsured
Wisconsin is one of several states where anyone who carries insurance will carry uninsured motorist insurance, but not underinsured motorist insurance. However, most drivers will tend to buy the minimum amount required simply because our uninsured motorist numbers are fairly low. We’re not in the top ten best states for insurance, that list starts with South Dakota at number ten with just 7.7% of drivers carrying no insurance. But we’re doing better than the states with over 20% of their drivers going without insurance, states like Florida, at 26.7%, and New Mexico, at 20.8%.
In short, if you are involved in an accident in Wisconsin, you can generally assume a better than 85% chance that the other driver is carrying insurance. There may be some other factors to consider, such as whether or not uninsured drivers tend to be more accident-prone than the insured, but these considerations are marginal enough that we can still assume the number to be somewhere in the mid-80% range. In other words, most insured drivers are willing to take their chances on this front.
But that low 14.3% isn’t going to stay there for much longer.
We don’t need to tell you that these are trying times. Right now, people are having a harder time than usual trying to cover their bills. Many companies are making decisions with that in mind. For instance, a number of auto insurance companies are offering deferred billing so that you’ll have one less payment to worry about at the end of the month.
The upside to this is that drivers who need a little help getting by right now don’t have to come up with their premiums right away. The downside is that those bills will be due eventually, whether it’s a few weeks or a few months from now. When that happens, we’re going to see a wave of motorists dropping their insurance because they can’t afford to pay the accumulated premiums.
Many of these drivers may simply stay off the road, take the bus, or have a friend or co-worker drive them to work until they can get their insurance situation settled. Others, unfortunately, may drop their insurance and then continue driving. We are also going to see a spike in underinsured drivers, as more drivers are going to be reducing their coverage to the state minimum in order to save money for the time being.
After a few years, our uninsured motorist rate may return to our little 14.3%, or even lower depending on how strong our economy bounces back. But for the time being, we have a new level of risk that we need to manage, and we can’t afford to ignore it.
If you feel that your current provider is not giving you adequate protection against uninsured and underinsured motorists, or if you have any questions on this, or any other insurance subject, get in touch with us at BWO Insurance of Kenosha/Racine.