The Curious Side of Auto Insurance Statistics

Did you know that you should keep a very close eye on your ride when you are in Fresno, California, since it is practically the car-theft capital of the U.S.? In fact, the state of California has been dominating the lists of places with the most stolen vehicles for years.

How about drunk driving? Do you know that every fifty-one minutes there is a fatality because of the acts of an alcohol-impaired driver? What do you think, will your insurance pay if you were the one behind the wheel after drinking?

And what about all those uninsured motorists - one in seven drivers on the road? Did you know that 15% of all accidents are caused by uninsured motorists?

How does that concern you, you will ask.

It does, all these facts have a certain impact on your insurance. So keep reading. In this article, we tackle a range of interesting, critical, and informative data and statistics and see how these numbers can reflect on your decisions next time you buy an insurance policy or get behind the wheel.

Vehicle theft

So if you ever wondered what the top ten areas with the highest rate of vehicle theft are, here is a list. In 2011 the least safe places for your car were:

Metropolitan Statistical Area Number of Vehicles stolen Rate per 100,000 people
Fresno, California 7,621 808.25
Modesto, California 3,315 639.32
Bakersfield-Delano, California 5,240 615.23
Spokane, Washington 2,614 551.75
Yakima, Washington 1,308 529.25
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California 23,223 528.87
Stockton, California 3,532 507.32
Anderson, South Carolina 911 483.32
Vallejo-Fairfield, California 2,002 480.71
Visalia-Porterville, California 2,124 472.78

The bad news for the drivers in those areas? As you can guess, this statistics cannot influence positively your insurance price.

According to reports of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the top three states that registered the highest number of cases of stolen vehicles in 2010 were:

  • California with 152,524 cases,
  • Texas with 68,023 cases,
  • and Florida with 41,462 incidents.

Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Washington, Arizona, Ohio, and New York round out the other top ten states.

States with the least number of vehicle theft incidents

The "safest" (theft-wise) place for your car? The top three states with the least number of registered cases of stolen vehicles in 2010 were:

  • Vermont with 441 cases,
  • Wyoming with 591 cases
  • and South Dakota with 795 cases.

Whereas Vermont and South Dakota are also known for their below-average auto insurance premiums, the low car theft statistics does not stop Wyoming from being among the top ten states with highest premiums.

The rest of the states in the list with fewer vehicle thefts are North Dakota, New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, and Delaware.

Policy discounts when using anti-theft devices

So you live in California or another state infamous for its car-theft crime rate. You can still earn some discounts on your premiums if you get some anti-theft protection like:

  • audible alarms,
  • electronic tracking devices,
  • steering wheel locks,
  • brake pedal locks,
  • steering column collars,
  • tire locks/deflators,
  • window etching,
  • etc.

These discounts can vary (usually 15 to 20 percent) and in some states (like Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and others) there are even regulations that require insurers to provide car owners with such discounts.

Vehicles that get stolen a lot

There are certain makes and models that get stolen more often than others. Not that you should choose your car by this criterion but here is a list with the vehicles most appealing to the thieves:

  1. 1994 Honda Accord
  2. 1998 Honda Civic
  3. 2006 Ford Pickup (Full size)
  4. 1991 Toyota Camry
  5. 2000 Dodge Caravan
  6. 1994 Acura Integra
  7. 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full size)
  8. 2004 Dodge Pickup (Full size)
  9. 2002 Ford Explorer
  10. 1994 Nissan Sentra

Uninsured motorists

Drivers with no auto insurance are more common than you think. Approximately one in seven drivers across the country may be driving uninsured by 2013 according to a recent study.

What does that mean to you? Unless your own insurance policy protects you, you are out of luck if you get involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. It will surely cost you, so you need to know:

About 15% of all car accidents are caused by uninsured motorists.

The problem with uninsured motorists varies a lot from one state to the other. Below you can find the states with the highest and lowest percentage of uninsured motorists:

States with the highest percentage of uninsured motorists

Highest Percent of uninsured motorists
Mississippi 28
New Mexico 25.7
Tennessee 23.9
Oklahoma 23.9
Florida 23.5
Alabama 21.8
Michigan 19.5
Kentucky 17.8
Rhode Island 17.6
Indiana 16.3

States with the lowest percentage of uninsured motorists

Lowest Percent of uninsured motorists
Massachusetts 4.5
Maine 4.5
New York 5.4
Pennsylvania 6.6
Vermont 7.1
Nebraska 7.8
Idaho 7.9
Utah 8.2
South Dakota 8.6
North Dakota 9.1

The reasons most often cited for not having auto insurance are that:

  • the motorist cannot afford to buy insurance
  • the premiums are too high (usually because of a poor driving record)
  • the vehicle is not being used despite that it runs

No matter the reasons, and the laws that states come with, the measures that are taken in most states to reduce the number of uninsured drivers have proven ineffective. Thus, you are left with one option - make sure your own insurance policy will help you in case of an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Drunk driving

Every 29 minutes there is a road traffic casualty and every fifty-one minutes a fatality because of the acts of an alcohol-impaired driver. In fact about one third of all crash deaths are due to drunk driving or under the influence of narcotics.

The following table shows the percentage of drivers who were alcohol-impaired during a fatal crash in 2010 and 2011, by age:

Age 2010 2011
16 to 20 18% 20%
21 to 24 34% 32%
25 to 34 30% 30%
35 to 44 25% 24%
45 to 54 21% 21%
55 to 64 14% 14%
65 to 74 8% 8%
Over 74 5% 5%

So what happens if you were the one driving under influence when an accident occurs?

Will your car insurance pay if you were drinking and driving?

If you were driving and drinking, typically you would be presumed at fault and responsible for any road accident you may take part in.

And yet, your insurance company will still pay the damages from your liability coverage.

You see, liability coverage is there for this; it is a negligent driver policy that will cover the medical and vehicular damage bills of the other driver(s) in the accident. However, do not expect that your own expenses will be covered; this is only for the other driver, even if you suffer more property damage and bodily injuries.

For the damages on your own car, you can rely on the comprehensive coverage if you have purchased such.

What happens to your insurance after being caught DUI?

One thing is for sure, you can expect to be marked as a "high-risk driver". Your insurance premiums will substantially increase. Having a DUI driving record is equal to a very high car insurance rate.

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