Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Insurance news: Oregon opens health insurer rate filings, new legislation re: autism coverage, and Allstate says teen girl drivers "more distracted" than boys

Health insurers filing rate requests with the state of Oregon will no longer be able to keep those requests secret, the Oregonian reports today.

In Missouri, lawmakers in the House have approved a bill to require insurers to cover treatment for autistic children. The same thing happened in the Virginia state senate.

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about insurers getting involved on cancer treatments for their members. Headline: Insurer Plays Judge on Cancer Care.

And the Chicago Tribune reports on an Allstate study that concludes that, as the article puts it, "Differences between the sexes are becoming less noticeable when it comes to teenage driving. In what seems like a role reversal, girls are expressing a new need for speed, while aggressive driving and speeding by boys is down."
Here's the story, and here's the link to the study.

Percentage of uninsured motorists, by state

It's a question that our office gets periodically: What percentage of Washington drivers have no insurance?

The short answer is that we're not sure. Our office regulates insurers, agents and brokers, but not the consumers who actually buy the coverage.

But the Pennsylvania-based Insurance Research Council did an estimate, based on data collected from nine major auto insurers representing about half the private passenger auto market in the United States.

(Editor's note (2/7/2012): This post continues to get high hits, but you can find updated numbers here. Now back to the original post...)

The states with the highest percentages, the IRC estimates, are in the South. The lowest states are about evenly split between the Midwest, intermountain West and the Northeast.

The most recent report uses 2007 data. Washington came in fairly high, with an estimated 18 16 percent of drivers -- about one in six -- uninsured. Oregon and Idaho were much lower: 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively. The top two spots were Mississippi, with 28 percent, and New Mexico, with 29 percent.

Here is the IRC's breakdown of states, by percentage of uninsured drivers:


Alabama = 26%

Alaska = 13%

Arizona = 18%

Arkansas = 15%

California = 18%

Colorado = 15%

Connecticut = 9%

D.C. = 15%

Delaware = 10%

Florida = 23%

Georgia = 12%

Hawaii = 12%

Idaho = 9%

Illinois = 15%

Indiana = 14%

Iowa = 12%

Kansas = 10%

Kentucky = 16%

Louisiana = 12%

Maine = 4%

Maryland = 12%

Massachusetts = 1%

Michigan = 17%

Minnesota = 12%

Mississippi = 28%

Missouri = 14%

Montana = 15%

Nebraska = 8%

Nevada = 15%

New Hampshire = 11%

New Jersey = 8%

New Mexico = 29%

New York = 5%

North Carolina = 12%

North Dakota = 5%

Ohio = 16%

Oklahoma = 24%

Oregon = 11%

Pennsylvania = 7%

Rhode Island = 14%

South Carolina = 9%

South Dakota = 7%

Tennessee = 20%

Texas = 15%

Utah = 8%

Vermont = 6%

Virginia = 9%

Washington = 16%

West Virginia = 8%

Wisconsin = 15%

Wyoming = 9%

Note: This post was updated to correct Washington's percentage.