Uninsured Motorist Statistics 2021

MoneyGeek breaks down the states with the most uninsured drivers, explores contributing factors to high uninsured driver rates and provides helpful steps you can take to protect your assets in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

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Car insurance is required in almost every state, but that doesn’t mean that all drivers are insured adequately. While rates of uninsured motorists have declined in recent years, millions Americans still drive without minimum coverage — which can mean high costs in the event of an accident.

Uninsured Motorist Statistics 2021:
  • There are 28 million uninsured drivers drivers in the U.S.
  • 1 in 8 motorists (12.6%) don't have auto insurance.
  • There were over 460,000 more uninsured drivers in 2019 than in 2015 due to growth in the overall population of licensed drivers.
  • Mississippi has the highest rate of uninsured drivers (29.4%) and New Jersey has the lowest (3.1%).
  • It’s estimated that insured drivers paid over $13 billion per year for costs related to uninsured motorists.

Uninsured Driver Rates By State Range from 3% to 29%

According to the most recent data available, Mississippi had the highest rate of uninsured drivers. The states with the 10 highest percentages of uninsured drivers are:

  1. Mississippi: 29.4%
  2. Michigan: 25.5%
  3. Tennessee: 23.7%
  4. New Mexico: 21.8%
  5. Washington: 21.7%
  6. Florida: 20.4%
  7. Alabama: 19.5%
  8. Arkansas: 19.3%
  9. District of Columbia: 19.1%
  10. California: 16.6%

States where the lowest percentage of the population is uninsured include:

  1. New Jersey: 3.1%
  2. Massachusetts: 3.5%
  3. New York: 4.1%
  4. Maine: 4.9%
  5. Wyoming: 5.8%
  6. Pennsylvania: 6.0%
  7. New Hampshire: 6.1%
  8. Connecticut: 6.3%
  9. Utah: 6.5%
  10. South Dakota: 7.4%

Some states have climbed or fallen in these rankings from 2015 to 2019, often due to changes in legislation or reforms in auto insurance requirements. Areas with notable changes in the percentage of uninsured drivers by state include:

  • North Dakota: North Dakota’s rate of uninsured motorists rose by 6.2%, despite the state having some of the country’s cheapest auto insurance policies.
  • Mississippi: Mississippi’s uninsured motorist rate went up 5.7%.
  • Michigan: The percentage of uninsured motorists increased by 5.2%, likely driven in part by having the highest insurance premiums in the country.
  • New Jersey: New Jersey’s rate of uninsured motorists dropped by 11.8%, largely due to low insurance prices caused by increased competition. Major insurance reforms enacted in 2003 have also helped the state maintain the lowest rate of uninsured drivers in the country.
  • Florida: While Florida has some of the most expensive premiums in the country, the rate of uninsured motorists still fell by 6.3%.
  • Texas: Texas’ rate of uninsured motorists dropped by 5.8%, partly due to the state’s online insurance verification system.
Uninsured Motorist Rates in Every State
Ranking
State
Uninsured Rate 2019
Change in Uninsured Rate (vs. 2015)
Uninsured Driver Count

1

Mississippi

29.4%

5.7%

1,256,670

2

Michigan

25.5%

5.2%

1,821,081

3

Tennessee

23.7%

3.7%

1,285,116

4

New Mexico

21.8%

1.0%

2,658,370

5

Washington

21.7%

4.3%

1,239,317

6

Florida

20.4%

-6.3%

3,174,368

7

Alabama

19.5%

1.1%

103,210

8

Arkansas

19.3%

2.7%

1,036,258

9

District of Columbia

19.1%

3.5%

155,193

10

California

16.6%

1.4%

4,517,466

11

Rhode Island

16.5%

1.3%

125,573

12

Missouri

16.4%

2.4%

337,518

13

Colorado

16.3%

3.0%

690,368

14

Alaska

16.1%

0.7%

648,210

15

Indiana

15.8%

-0.9%

359,360

16

Maryland

14.1%

1.7%

629,405

17

Kentucky

13.9%

2.4%

421,216

18

Oklahoma

13.4%

2.9%

338,038

19

Wisconsin

13.3%

-1.0%

150,342

20

Idaho

13.2%

5.0%

1,128,195

21

Ohio

13.0%

0.6%

1,044,263

22

North Dakota

13.0%

6.2%

267,075

23

Georgia

12.4%

0.4%

900,397

24

Arizona

11.8%

-0.2%

254,164

25

Illinois

11.8%

-1.9%

541,550

26

Louisiana

11.7%

-1.3%

401,915

27

Iowa

11.3%

2.6%

141,536

28

Kansas

10.9%

3.7%

234,814

29

South Carolina

10.9%

1.5%

422,699

30

Oregon

10.7%

-2.0%

313,585

31

Virginia

10.5%

0.6%

59,314

32

Nevada

10.4%

-0.2%

792,480

33

Minnesota

9.9%

-1.6%

335,715

34

Nebraska

9.3%

2.5%

111,155

35

Hawaii

9.3%

-1.3%

87,715

36

West Virginia

9.2%

-0.9%

395,291

37

Vermont

8.8%

2.0%

518,161

38

Montana

8.5%

-1.4%

69,007

39

Delaware

8.5%

-2.9%

45,524

40

Texas

8.3%

-5.8%

1,479,289

41

South Dakota

7.4%

-0.3%

47,244

42

North Carolina

7.4%

0.9%

105,881

43

Utah

6.5%

-1.7%

137,871

44

Connecticut

6.3%

-3.1%

164,308

45

New Hampshire

6.1%

-3.8%

389,022

46

Pennsylvania

6.0%

-1.6%

539,261

47

Wyoming

5.8%

-2.0%

24,599

48

Maine

4.9%

0.4%

242,553

49

New York

4.1%

-2.0%

22,799

50

Massachusetts

3.5%

-2.7%

36,615

51

New Jersey

3.1%

-11.8%

44,941

21 States and Washington D.C. Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Twenty-one states and Washington D.C. require uninsured motorist coverage. This type of insurance protects drivers if they get into an accident with an uninsured driver, but also comes at an additional financial cost to policyholders.

As long as you’re not at fault in the accident, uninsured motorist coverage from your insurance policy will cover the cost of medical bills, repairs, fees and other expenses if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. However — even with this coverage — insurance companies in many states can increase your rates after you file an uninsured motorist claim.

States that Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Expert Insight: How States Can Lower Uninsured Motorist Rates

MoneyGeek consulted experts to explore why some motorists drive uninsured and what states can do to increase the number of insured motorists.

  1. Why are so many people driving uninsured?
  2. Why might there be variations in the number of uninsured motorists from state to state?
  3. What can states do to manage the problem?
Pavel Yakovlev, Ph.D.
Pavel Yakovlev, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Economics, Palumbo Donahue School of Business at Duquesne University

Wayne Miller
Wayne Miller

Adjunct Professor - Wayne Law at Wayne State University and COO at Miller & Tischler P.C.

J. Franklin Potts
J. Franklin Potts

Associate Professor - Finance, Insurance & Real Estate at Baylor University

How to Protect Yourself From Uninsured Motorists

There are some key steps you can take to lower the financial risk of accidents with uninsured drivers. Driving safely is key — defensive driving can go a long way towards preventing accidents, helping you to avoid having to deal with a collision with an uninsured motorist in the first place.

Having a full coverage insurance policy can also help, but it's still not enough to cover all damages after an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance — the comprehensive component of a full coverage policy covers damages to your vehicle, but not your medical expenses.

Buying the following coverages is the best step you can take to safeguard your assets:

1

Uninsured Motorist Insurance

Not all states require uninsured motorist insurance, but it’s a good idea to purchase as much coverage as you can afford to make sure you’re protected against uninsured drivers. Uninsured motorist coverage is also called uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage because it covers the cost of medical bills and lost wages due to injuries sustained in an accident.

2

Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage

This type of insurance covers damage to your vehicle and other possessions if you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist.

3

Underinsured Motorist Protection

Even when drivers have auto insurance, their policies might not cover all necessary expenses after an accident. Underinsured motorist protection covers any costs that aren’t paid for by the other driver’s insurance.

While these coverages come at an additional financial cost, they could save you thousands of dollars in the long run if you get into an accident with an uninsured driver. You can still find affordable insurance — even with these additional coverages — by comparing quotes from multiple providers.

About the Author


expert-profile

Margaret Wack is a freelance writer who covers insurance, saving, investing, banking, and more. Margaret earned a bachelor's degree in classics, comparative literature, and poetry from Smith College and a master's degree from St. John's College.


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