Auto insurance requirements in Missouri
Below you’ll find the amounts of car insurance coverage that Missouri residents are required to carry. All drivers must carry proof of insurance while driving. This is also known as proof of financial responsibility.
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
Liability coverage in Missouri
Liability insurance covers those who are injured or who suffer damages in an accident caused by you. Liability insurance always pays the other driver. It never pays for your injuries or damage to your vehicle.
Bodily injury liability pays for medical expenses while property damage liability pays for the replacement of personal property damaged or destroyed in the accident.
What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Unfortunately, not everyone on the roads carries insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage steps in when you’ve been in an accident with such a driver. Should another driver not have insurance that can cover your medical bills, your uninsured coverage would go toward paying the expenses for any injuries you sustained in the accident. Missouri requires this coverage to prevent you from suffering a financial loss in the event you are in an accident with an uninsured driver.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
Let’s start with the term limit.A state’s coverage limit—be it liability or otherwise—is the lowest coverage amount that you can carry in order to drive legally. These limits can most often be increased for a relatively small added premium.
The state of Missouri requires every driver to maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance in the amounts above (25/50/25). This is known as asplit limitas it involves three separate limits. Liability limits are split on the basis of per person, per accident, and property damage.
Per person is the amount that will cover any single person that you injure in a car accident. This will cover multiple people up to the “per accident” limit.
Per accident is the total amount of bodily injuries caused by you that your insurance company will cover for any one accident. If you injure multiple people in an accident, this is the total amount that your insurance company will pay, though never paying over the “per person” limit for any one person.
Property damage per accident refers to the dollar amount that your insurer will cover for damage you caused to another’s property.
Do Missouri’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
While Missouri’s state insurance minimums are higher than some, it is highly recommended that most drivers obtain coverage above the state-mandated limits. This is because these minimum coverage limits are often not enough to adequately cover most costs, meaning that you can be left to cover the remainder.
For instance, if you cause an accident that results in $45,000 in injuries for the other driver, your liability coverage would only pay $25,000 for that person’s injuries, even though your per accident limit is $50,000. Furthermore, if any other passengers from that car are injured, the total remaining amount for all other injuries is only $25,000.
As you can see, liability limits can run out quite quickly. This is also true for property damage coverage as well, as most new vehicles cost anywhere from $25 - 30,000. Should you accidentally damage a luxury or high-cost vehicle, Missouri’s $25,000 limit will barely scratch the surface of what you’ll owe.
Missouri's penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Drivers who operate a motor vehicle without the proper auto insurance coverage can face steep penalties, including the loss of your driving privileges. Penalties for failure to show proof of insurance in Missouri are as follows.
- Four points will be added to your driving record
- Monitoring by the Missouri Department of Revenue to ensure you obtain coverage.
- Suspension of drivers license
Of course, these penalties apply if you have been found driving without insurance. If you were to cause an accident without car insurance, you would be on the line for any and all damages to the other driver.
Optional car insurance coverage in Missouri
Missouri law only requires that you carry the coverages listed above (liability and uninsured), though there are many other ways of protecting you and your investment. The following coverages can be a good idea to add to your insurance policy to add even more protection.
Collision: Should you be in a collision with another driver or object (other than animals), this coverage will step in to repair your vehicle. This coverage, along with comprehensive, can sometimes be required if you are financing the vehicle.
Comprehensive: When added alongside collision, this is typically referred to as “full coverage.” Like collision coverage, comprehensive insurance protects your vehicle in the event of non-collision damages. This can include perils such as hitting an animal, theft, and damages resulting from weather, such as floods or fallen trees.
Roadside assistance: This can be a handy coverage should your car breakdown. It will typically cover the price of a tow to a nearby garage as well as some other perks.
Medical payments: This covers medical costs for you and your passengers up to a specified amount.
Why adhering to Missouri's car insurance requirements is important
No one thinks that they’ll cause an accident. However, all it takes is one distraction while behind the wheel to find yourself in such a situation. For this reason, insurance laws are in place in almost every state requiring at least a minimum amount of insurance coverage. In order to be properly protected in the event of an accident, it’s always worth expanding your coverage limits. Shopping for car insurance quotes can be a great way to find the right insurance policy at an affordable price.