More Strapped Drivers Kick Insurance to Curb

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2009 11:25 AM CDT
A multi-vehicle pileup is seen in this file photo. "When you see a multi-car collision ... at least one of them is likely to be uninsured," said the president of an insurance trade association.
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(Newser) – As the economy sours, a stunning number of drivers are cutting back or dropping their insurance, MSNBC reports—and that has regulators and safety activists worried. “We may be looking at record numbers of uninsured motorists across the nation,” said the president of the Northwest Insurance Council. An industry research group predicts that by next year, 1 in 6 US drivers won’t have insurance.

“It’s been a shock,” said the owner of an insurance agency. “I thought we were somewhat in a recession-proof business,” since auto insurance is required by law. The share of uninsured drivers on the road hit a modern low 2 years ago at 13.8%. But that rate spiked to 14.6% last year, and is forecast to hit 16.1% this year.