How risky are uninsured drivers?

Publisher's full text

Obtaining insurance is expected to have disincentive effects on driver behavior, and as such on accident probabilities due to the adverse selection and/or moral hazard effects, though empirical studies provide mixed evidence. The risks of an accident incurred by uninsured drivers are, however, indeterminate as well, because of the unavailability of individual level data on uninsured drivers. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to empirically analyze whether insured or uninsured drivers pose greater accident risks. It uses unique individual level data on privately owned insured and uninsured passenger vehicles in Sweden for the period 2006 to 2010. The results show that the accident probability of uninsured drivers is 34 percentage points higher than for insured drivers, with uninsured drivers age 25 to 34 years posing the highest risk of an accident. This implies that uninsured drivers are a high-risk group and a significant threat to traffic safety. Possible solutions and policy implications are discussed at the end of the article.

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