Unemployed are cutting back on auto insurance

CINCINNATI (AP) — Some insurance agents and officials say more motorists are cutting back on insurance or going without because of the weak economy.

An industry research group estimates that for every percentage point increase in unemployment, the rate of uninsured drivers rises by three-quarters of a percentage point.

Ohio’s unemployment rate of 7.8 percent is the highest in the state in more than 20 years.

A Cincinnati Enquirer analysis of state crash data finds that 6.5 percent of all accidents in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky region last year involved an uninsured driver, up slightly from 2007. Numbers for 2008 are incomplete, but officials think the rate could hit a five-year high.

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