Each year thousands of Missouri residents are involved in accidents with drivers who don’t maintain the minimum car insurance requirements. And, should you become the unfortunate victim of one of these irresponsible drivers, it could result in a financial headache. In addition, the unpaid damage claims can mean higher insurance premiums for all Missourians.
It should come as no surprise that, as in every state in the country, except for a small handful, Missouri law requires that all drivers and owners of motor vehicles maintain some type of vehicle liability insurance coverage. Without exception, motorists are required to show proof of insurance when registering a vehicle, renewing their license plates or when requested to do by a police officer at a traffic stop.
The minimum levels of coverage allowed by current requirements are:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property
While liability insurance is a given necessity to operate a motor vehicle on Missouri’s highways, many drivers are surprised to discover that state law also requires them to have uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage. Again, to clarify, you need both liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage to drive legally in the state.
For uninsured motorist insurance the minimum levels are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident.
Because car insurance in Missouri has the dual requirement, it can lead to higher premiums, but the added protection is worth it, especially if you consider what the extra coverage can do. For example, uninsured motorist insurance can:
- Cover you, your family, and your passengers for injuries suffered in an accident with an uninsured driver.
- As a pedestrian, if you’re hit by an uninsured driver, your additional coverage may cover you for your injuries.
The Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that about 1 out of every 7 drivers in the United States is currently uninsured. Furthermore, according to the IRC, the number of uninsured drivers can top 25 percent in some states.
Of course, full coverage insurance, which includes collision, comprehensive, liability, and uninsured motorist, makes the most sense when shopping for car insurance. That being said, it may not always be financially feasible for some drivers. That’s when the minimum requirements are still the most important coverages you can have.
If you’re a full-time Missouri resident, there are three ways you can meet the requirements of the insurance law. For each type of insurance, you’ll receive an insurance identification card that must be kept in your vehicle at all times. In other words, you must have one of the following in effect on each motor vehicle you own or operate:
- A motor vehicle liability insurance policy that meets the minimum liability insurance limits of 25/50/10.
- Proof of financial responsibility filed with the Department of Revenue.
- A certificate of self-insurance (for a Company or Religious Organization) issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
In no-fault states, which Missouri is not, drivers simply file a claim with their car insurance company – and, that’s pretty much it. In fact, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault. There are advantages to living in a no-fault state, but one of the main disadvantages is – if you’re injured in an accident with an uninsured driver, no-fault auto insurance won’t cover any lost earnings or pain and suffering compensation you may incur. In such a case, having uninsured/underinsured coverage can be a life saver by helping you recover those costs.
No one likes to pay more than they have to for their insurance premiums, so make sure you’re getting the best rate on your car insurance. Why not get a free car insurance quote today?
Do you believe having full coverage is a good idea or a waste of money?