The Insurance Research Council (IRC) is a non-profit organization supported by the insurance industry. IRC found in a recent nationwide study that almost 14 percent of motorists are uninsured, despite compulsory auto insurance laws in nearly every state. In Wisconsin, the proportion is 15 percent, more than one motorist in seven.
Earlier this year, Kyle Scidmore's car was struck by an uninsured driver in Madison, which resulted in the total loss of his 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier. Scidmore, of Spencer, a few years out of college, doesn't make a lot of money, and paying the $500 deductible on his policy was painful.
His parents could help him out for a while, but in order to recover the deductible from the man who hit him, he had to make the trip from Spencer to Madison.
Wisconsin motorists who are victims of uninsured or underinsured drivers often pay a much higher price than that, if they are unable to recover the costs of their damaged car, medical expenses and loss of wages.
In some cases, an experienced car accident attorney can help you recover damages from the at-fault party, but the first step is for motor vehicle owners to get "underinsured / uninsured motorist" coverage.
The rate of uninsured drivers across the states varies from a low of 4 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 28 percent in Mississippi. Uninsured motorists are typically only charged when they have been involved in a car crash or traffic violation.