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Uninsured Motorists

October 30, 1987

What to do about high priced automobile insurance and uninsured drivers? Here's my suggestion. Pass a law to preclude uninsured motorists from collecting damages from insured motorists.

This would reduce insurance pay outs and could serve to reduce insurance rates.

Moreover, such a law would encourage the purchase of insurance by motorists who are presently uninsured. They would do this for a very persuasive reason--economic self-interest. First, they would buy insurance in order to protect their own right to sue. Secondly, since even under this law uninsured motorists would still be able to sue other uninsured motorists, drivers would buy insurance in order to preclude suits against them by uninsured motorists.

Is my proposed law fair? Absolutely. After all, all motorists are required by law to have insurance. Yet many don't. And why not? It's because for most uninsured drivers there is presently no economic disadvantage in being uninsured.

If they are in a collision which is not their fault, they collect from the other motorist's insurance. If they are in a collision which is their fault, most do not have sufficient assets to make it worthwhile suing them. Either way they win.

But under my proposed law, the law-abiding motorist who does buy insurance is benefited and the motorist who does not buy insurance is penalized.

Of course, this is not a total panacea. Many motorists will drive without insurance no matter what the law says.

But this law will encourage some additional persons to buy insurance and will at least stop uninsured motorists from getting a free ride on the law-abiding drivers who do pay for insurance.



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