COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Franklin County tops the list of drivers for uninsured motorists in the last six months, according to a list provided by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Franklin County had 6,818 non-compliance license suspensions. The county with the next highest number was Cuyahoga with 6,615. The list of non-compliance license suspensions is the best method to track uninsured motorists, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

There’s been a steady upward trend in the past three years for uninsured motorists. For the same period year on year, Jan 1. to June 30, Franklin County had 5,712 non-compliance suspensions in 2020. In 2021, that rose to 6,014.

This year’s total of 6,818 for the first six months of the year represents an increase of more than 1,000 compared against the same period in 2020, according to BMV statistics.

Why is the number going up?

According to President of the Ohio Insurance Institute Dean Fadel, the number of uninsured drivers fluctuates with the economy, as people make hard choices with their incomes.

“Some people have to make a choice: put food on the table or pay for insurance when the economy is down,” Fadel said. “The good news is that the overwhelming majority in Ohio are insured and those that are insured have the uninsured motorist coverage on the policy.”

The cost of uninsured motorist coverage is relatively inexpensive when compared to the overall package for car insurance.

What to do in an accident with an uninsured motorist?

Don’t panic.

“If you’re not at fault, that won’t affect your rates if you’re hit by an uninsured driver,” said Fadel.

“First thing you do is file a police report and follow up with your insurance agent,” Fadel said. “You have to file a police report.”

Sometimes uninsured motorists may provide false information when it comes to their insurance. That’s why the uninsured motorist protection is essential.

Am I paying for the uninsured motorist with my coverage?

To that question, Fadel replies “no.” He emphasizes that what you are getting is protection.

“Insured drivers are protecting themselves, not paying for other motorists,” he said.

He then pointed to Ohio law, which says that if you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the insurance company cannot include that.

If there is a greater frequency of uninsured motorist claims overall, then companies will rate accordingly. But still, the effect is minimal since the uninsured motorist portion is relatively inexpensive.

“The statewide uninsured rate is estimated to be about 13%, which puts us about 21st in the country. We are a relatively populated state, so you are never going to achieve 100% in this area,” he said. “That’s why people buy uninsured coverage and it’s not that expensive in Ohio.”

Uninsured motorists by Central Ohio county

Here is the list by county, for numbers of non-compliance license suspensions from Jan. 1 to June 30, 2022:

  • Athens: 236
  • Coshocton 139
  • Delaware 296
  • Fairfield 589
  • Fayette 189
  • Franklin 6,818
  • Guernsey 189
  • Hardin 124
  • Hocking 146
  • Knox 241
  • Licking 657
  • Madison 188
  • Marion 432
  • Muskingum 404
  • Perry 164
  • Pickaway 278
  • Pike 162
  • Ross 577
  • Union 120