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Uninsured drivers remain common problem in California

The experience of being involved in a major motor vehicle accident can be a shock to the system, to say the least. Accident victims often have just a spilt second to brace themselves for an impact before a rapid chain of events goes into motion. Eventually the victim and their family must deal with medical bills, property damage, and other costs that arise from the accident. At this point victims turn to the insurance coverage for the at-fault driver to help cover costs. However, a recent study found that nationwide, as many as 14 percent of drivers do not have car insurance even though it is required by law in every state.

The average car insurance policy costs about $500 per year, which is not a small amount of money for the average Ventura family. Yet, it is important to remember that driving is not an absolute right and that insurance is just one of many restrictions (like having a valid license) that we put on those who choose to drive. These restrictions and regulations are designed to improve public health and safety and in the case of insurance, to protect against sudden massive expenditures by mandating gradual contributions to a common fund over time.

Uninsured drivers face fines in many states, but in some cases they might be lower than the cost of a policy. Or, the likelihood of being caught and fined seems low, so drivers choose to forgo coverage in hopes of saving money. On the other side of this equation are drivers with insurance, who may pay up to $100 more per year to compensate for uninsured drivers. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Uninsured-Driver Dilemma," Leslie, Scism, Dec. 1, 2013

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