Did You Know: Fewer Uninsured Motorists on Hawaii’s Roads, Study Suggests

Hawaii law requires car owners to purchase auto insurance, but tens of thousands of local drivers ignore the law.

A study by the Insurance Research Council reported that 11 percent of Hawaii motorists were uninsured in 2009 – a decline from the council’s previous estimate of 13.7 percent. The national average of uninsured drivers was about 14 percent in 2009, according to the council.

“The decline of uninsured motorists is a positive trend for Hawaii,” says Patrick Schmid, director of research for the Insurance Research Council. “It’s important to note that it has trended below the national average.”

There were 1,278,233 registered cars in Hawaii in 2012, according to state Department of Transportation.

Insure.com says the average annual car insurance premium in Hawaii is $1,400, which is lower than the national average of $1,503. The most expensive states are Michigan and West Virginia, both with average annual premiums of just over $2,500, according to Insure.com. The cheapest state is Ohio, with an average annual premium of $926.

The insurance industry has been pushing states to implement “no pay, no play” laws. Such laws prohibit uninsured drivers from collecting benefits from insured drivers after an accident. At least 11 states have such laws, but not Hawaii. A study by the Insurance Research Council suggests states that institute a “no pay, no play” law see an average reduction of 1.6 percent in uninsured drivers.

The insurance division of Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs “will continue to educate consumers about the requirements and importance of motor vehicle insurance,” says Gordon Ito, Hawaii’s insurance commissioner.

“In addition to the various community outreach programs in which we participate, the division publishes an annual motor-vehicle premium comparison guide that allows consumers to review and compare sample premiums from Hawaii’s insurers,” says Ito. “We want to ensure that motorists have the right coverage, and encourage everyone to review their policy on an annual basis.”  

Find the guide at cca.hawaii.gov/ins. Click on Motor Vehicle Insurance Premium Comparison.

Fewer Uninsured Drivers

Figures from the Insurance Research Council show a gradual, though fluctuating, decline in the percentage of Hawaii drivers who are uninsured (latest figures available):


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Hawaii Business,July