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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there were tens of millions of Americans driving without insurance—a problem that the financial stresses of the pandemic may have exacerbated.

Whether the pandemic did, in fact, increase the number of uninsured drivers is something that The Risk Institute of The Ohio State University and a nonprofit organization known as SafetyNest set out to find out when the two paired up on a research project in May 2021. Before the research project began, SafetyNest, which was created and funded by Branch Insurance, had also created an Insurance Payment Program (IPP) in September 2020 to help drivers who had lost or were at risk of losing car insurance—providing financial assistance to more than 100 people who suffered reduced income by paying the premiums.

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