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Abstract

The problem posed by the uninsured motorist is of concern to the general public, policyholders, insurance companies, insurance regulators, and legislators. What is striking, however, is the fragmentary nature of the information that is available and the fact that it is scattered over so many sources. Even more striking is the fact that those sources often provide conflicting estimates, and the methods used in deriving those estimates are either never spelled out or, if they are, their reliability is unknown. In view of the general concern with the problem of uninsured motorists, this paper attempts to present an overview of what we know about the uninsured motorists and how well we know what we know through the following measures: clarifying the subtleties of the definition of an uninsured motorist; discussing the more prominent methods used to estimate the number of uninsured motorists and the properties of the estimates generated by these methods; illustrating what is known about the profiles of uninsured motorists; and pointing briefly to factors that account for the existence of uninsured motorists.

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