More than one in five Texas motorists lack the insurance that state law requires and the ratio is virtually unchanged from a year ago, a blow to the state’s 3-year-old program to sharply reduce the number of uninsured drivers on the road.It's no shock at all that no-insurance rates are going back up at the same time unemployment in Texas is rising. “I’m afraid insurance is down the list on necessities for many people,” Mark Hanna of the Insurance Council of Texas told the News. “A lot of people continue to drive around without insurance even though they know it’s against the law. But they’re willing to take their chances they won’t get caught.”
In addition, Dallas County continues to have the largest percentage of uninsured drivers among the state’s six largest counties, with 24.1 percent of cars and trucks lacking insurance coverage. That figure is down slightly from a year ago, state figures show.
Although the TexasSure vehicle insurance verification program showed good results the first two years after it began in 2008, reducing the number of uninsured vehicles from 24.3 percent to 21.6 percent in 2010, new statistics compiled in July show that progress has stagnated.
That means about 4.2 million drivers have no insurance, and law-abiding motorists shell out nearly $1 billion a year to protect themselves from damage done by drivers without insurance, state officials say.
You can only mandate that people buy insurance in the private market if they have the money in their pocket to do so. If and when they don't, requiring insurance coverage - whether health insurance at the national level or auto insurance at the state level - is inevitably a doomed strategy, which is why this blog has long advocated a pay-at-the-pump approach to minimum liability coverage.