Research Publications

Public Attitude Monitor 2011, Accident Response Fees

Sixty-eight percent of adults disagree with the idea that local governments should charge accident response fees to individuals involved in traffic accidents, according to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). When reminded that requiring insurance companies to pay accident response fees could lead to higher auto insurance costs, 69 percent of survey respondents disagreed with the idea of local governments charging accident response fees.

Uninsured Motorists, 2011 Edition

Across the United States, chances are roughly one in seven that a driver is uninsured, according to new estimates from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). The estimated percentage of uninsured motorists declined four straight years before rising to 14.3 percent in 2008 and dropping to 13.8 percent in 2009. The economic downturn is thought to be a major factor in the brief increase.

The Impact of First-Party Bad-Faith Legislation on Key Insurance Claim Trends in Washington State

According to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC), evidence suggests that legislation adopted by the Washington State Legislature in 2007 and approved in a statewide voter referendum may have caused an increase in homeowners insurance claim costs in the state. It is estimated that claim costs were as much as $190 million greater than they otherwise would have been in the two-year period following the law’s enactment. The Insurance Fair Conduct Act, commonly referred to as R-67, eased restrictions for aggrieved insurance claimants filing lawsuits alleging bad faith against their own insurance companies, and authorized the payment of virtually unlimited punitive damages to bad-faith claimants, in addition to the payment of actual damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.

PIP Claiming Behavior and Claim Outcomes in Florida’s No-Fault Insurance System

Almost one in every three no-fault auto insurance claims closed in Florida in 2007 appeared to involve the exaggeration of an injury or to be inflated by unnecessary or excessive medical treatment, according to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). In addition, as many as one in ten no-fault claims appeared to be fraudulent, with material misrepresentation of some or all aspects of the claim, such as claims based on fictitious accidents.

New York’s No-Fault System: Preliminary Findings From Closed Auto Injury Claims

About one in every five no-fault auto insurance claims closed in the New York City area in 2010 appears to have elements of fraud, and as many as one in three claims appears to be inflated, according to a new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). From 2007 to 2010, the percentage of no-fault claims in the New York City area with the appearance of claim abuse rose from 29 percent to 35 percent.

Public Attitude Monitor 2010, Texting While Driving

Almost one-in-five drivers in the United States (18 percent) reported texting while driving in the last 30 days according to a new survey from the Insurance Research Council (IRC). Younger drivers were much more likely than older drivers to say that they were texting while driving. Forty-one percent of drivers age 25 to 39, compared to only 5 percent of drivers 55 and older, reported texting while driving. Thirty-one percent of drivers age 16 to 24 said they had texted while driving in the last 30 days.

State Beach and Windstorm Plans, October 2010

A new study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) describes how the role of beach and windstorm plans in some states has changed from serving as a market of last resort, to providing unintentional incentives for economic development in areas vulnerable to severe wind damage. The report explains how state-run plans interact with voluntary homeowners insurance markets and describes how each of the five state beach and windstorm plans (Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas) and two statewide plans (Louisiana and Florida) would weather a hurricane catastrophe. The study reviews each plan’s growth in insured exposure from a theoretical perspective. Individual state case studies analyze each plan's origin, operational framework, and financial structure, along with overall residual market health in each state.

Public Attitude Monitor 2010: First-Party Bad-Faith Legislation

New public opinion survey findings from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) indicate that a majority of Americans believe that adopting new laws allowing people to sue their own auto insurance company for punitive damages, in addition to receiving benefits for their insured claim losses, is not a good idea. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said that allowing such lawsuits was a poor idea, and 31 percent said it was only a fair idea.

Hospital Cost Shifting and Auto Injury Insurance Claims

According to a new study from the Insurance Research Council, low reimbursements from public health insurance programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, have prompted hospitals to shift costs to automobile insurance companies—raising auto injury claim costs and forcing auto insurers to more closely scrutinize and negotiate hospital bills prior to payment.