Auto insurance mandates increasing

Drivers without insurance are disappearing from the nation's roads as more states require drivers to be insured, the Insurance Information Institute III) says.

Drivers without insurance are disappearing from the nation's roads as more states require drivers to be insured, the Insurance Information Institute III) says.

Wisconsin recently became the 49th state with compulsory auto insurance, effective June 2010. New Hampshire is the only state without mandatory coverage.

Moreover, notes the III, drivers in 20 states are legally obligated to have uninsured motorist UM) insurance. UM insurance provides reimbursement for injuries sustained in accidents with uninsured drivers. And five of those 20 states require underinsured motorist UIM) coverage, which reimburses policyholders in the event of a loss that the at-fault driver's insurance can't cover.

Stricter state insurance rules come at a time when American roads are getting safer, according to the federal government's statistics. Fatalities per 100 million miles traveled have decreased every year since 2005.

But even a nonfatal accident can result in serious injury and expensive vehicle or property damage.

Many Sun Belt drivers lack insurance - the three least-insured states are New Mexico 29 percent), Mississippi 28 percent) and Alabama 24 percent). And policyholders with a teen driver may want to beef up their coverage. 16- to 19-year-old drivers are the most accident-prone by far.

Learn how easy and convenient shopping for auto insurance can be. Get your free auto insurance quotes today!

Posted: Octobor 20, 2009

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