Is Anything Being Done to get Uninsured Drivers off the Road?
Uninsured drivers are one of the biggest problems for car insurance companies and consumers alike. The Insurance Research Council reported in January of 2009 that the percent of uninsured drivers varies in each state, ranging from 29 percent in New Mexico to an equally startling 1 percent in Massachusetts. From 2000 to 2007, the number of uninsured drivers was slowly falling in the United States. But, with the severity of the economic downturn, the council expects those trends to reverse. An unexpected outcome of the financial crisis is that drivers who do continue to purchase auto insurance will be paying for the misfortune and lack of responsibility of uninsured drivers in increased auto insurance rates.
Paying for an insurance policy is difficult to justify when you are having problems paying your mortgage or putting food on the table. Most states now have systems in place that automatically cancel your tag if your car insurance policy lapses. If your tag is canceled, you cannot legally drive that vehicle on any state until you acquire car insurance. In some states, being behind the wheel of a car with a revoked tag results in an automatic jail sentence with fines as high as $2500. Additionally, driving without auto insurance can result in your license being suspended for a timeframe ranging from three months to three years in many states. If drivers continue to drive without insurance, they may face going to jail for an extended period or the confiscation of their vehicle.
Every state in the union is passing legislation permitting harsher penalties for uninsured drivers. The majority of these laws are sponsored and funded by the insurance industry. Reports are currently showing that uninsured drivers are causing problems in all states and communities ranging from higher insurance premiums for people who do carry car insurance to increased federal payments at emergency medical outlets who never are reimbursed for services rendered. Uninsured motorist coverage has alleviated some of these issues but those costs are passed on to drivers who do carry auto insurance. Many states are also hiring more traffic officers to help lower the rates of uninsured drivers on their roads, but the resources required to completely eliminate uninsured drivers is unsustainable by any state considering the depth of the economic crisis the entire country is in.
Purchasing a car insurance policy is not only a legal requirement, but is a moral obligation for everyone behind the wheel. We as citizens of this country enjoy the rights and privileges of our great nation and we should not shirk the responsibilities and duties that come with them. You are doing the ethically correct thing by purchasing auto insurance.