Missouri car insurance laws state that drivers licensed there are required to carry auto insurance to drive legally. The Missouri minimum car insurance liability limits are 25/50/25, plus 25/50 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Missouri auto insurance requirements are designed mainly to protect the other driver if you are in an at-fault accident, but they may also protect you and your passengers if you are hit by someone who has no insurance or if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident.
Understanding the scope of Missouri car insurance laws is important for drivers so that they can know how much and what kinds of insurance they need to purchase to properly protect themselves.
Car insurance laws in Missouri
Missouri insurance laws require liability limits of 25/50/25. Here is what that means:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability: This is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay toward medical expenses for one person in an accident that you cause.
- $50,000 total bodily injury liability: This means that if there is more than one person injured in an at-fault accident, your insurer will pay a maximum of $50,000 for all injuries caused by a single accident.
- $25,000 property damage liability: Your insurer will pay a maximum of $25,000 to repair or replace the other driver’s car, or any other property, such as a fence or lamp post, that you damage in an at-fault accident.
Missouri also requires drivers to carry 25/50 of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This is the maximum that your insurer will pay per person and per accident if you are involved in a crash with another driver who is on the road illegally without insurance or who does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries or property damage. It also covers hit-and-run accidents.
Meeting Missouri auto insurance laws is relatively inexpensive, compared to other states. The average cost of minimum coverage in Missouri is $445, more then $100 less than the national average of $563. Full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance, costs an average of $1,680 in Missouri.
Liability insurance in Missouri
Liability, as a legal term, refers to something that you are responsible for — such as the injuries or damage in an accident you cause. Your liability coverage kicks in and pays for those injuries or damage up to the limits of the policy.
Is the minimum coverage adequate to protect you in all cases? Most insurance experts would say no. Consider, for example, an accident that occurs if you run a red light and crash into a vehicle waiting to make a left turn. If the driver sustains internal injuries that require surgery and extensive rehab care, your $25,000 liability coverage will be gone quickly.
$25,000 for property damage is also on the low side, when you consider that the average price for a new car in the U.S. is more than $40,000. If the car you hit is an SUV, truck or luxury sedan, you would be personally responsible for any costs over $25,000.
Is Missouri a no-fault state?
Missouri is not one of the 12 no-fault states in the U.S. No-fault laws are designed to limit the number of court cases that are filed, and make the insurance claim process easier and simpler. Because Missouri is a “fault” state, you have three options following an accident that you did not cause:
- You can file a claim with your own insurer, knowing that if you are not at fault, your insurer will file a subrogation claim with the other driver’s company.
- You can file a third party claim directly with the other driver’s insurer.
- You can file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Missouri
Missouri takes its car insurance laws seriously, and there are stiff fines for drivers who do not have proof of insurance with them if they are stopped by the police. There are three initial penalties involved:
- The court will instruct the driver license bureau to add four points to the driver’s record.
- The court will enter an order of supervision so that the driver is monitored to ensure that they purchase and maintain a liability insurance policy.
- The court may suspend the driver’s license. This may not occur at a first incident, but is possible. If their driver’s license is suspended, there is a $20 reinstatement fee for the first offence, $200 fee for second offence and $400 fee for third and subsequent suspensions.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Missouri
Liability and UM/UIM coverage are not the only types of insurance you may purchase in Missouri. Most insurers offer a wide range of optional coverages that allow you to create a more robust and comprehensive policy that will cover you no matter what sort of auto mishap you have. Some of your options include the following:
- Collision: This covers damage to your own car in an accident, no matter who caused it. It may be required by your banker if you have a car loan. There is a deductible, usually between $250-$2,000, that you choose when you purchase the policy.
- Comprehensive: Usually bundled with collision, this coverage pays for damages from non-accident-related mishaps, such as theft, vandalism, or a natural disaster (such as from a hail storm, or if a tree falls on your car).
- Medical payments (Medpay): This type of insurance covers your own injuries or those of your passengers in an accident, regardless of fault.
- Gap coverage: If your car is totaled in an accident and you have collision coverage, you should receive a check for its depreciated value (minus your deductible). If you owe more than the depreciated value on your car loan, however, gap coverage will pay the difference.
- Rental reimbursement: If your car is being repaired, this coverage option will pay for a rental vehicle for you while it is in the shop.
- Towing and labor coverage: This type of insurance kicks in if you break down on the road, and generally pays for tire changes, jump starts, lockout assistance, gas or oil delivery or towing to a service station.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Missouri?
There are a number of insurance companies writing good policies in Missouri, including Geico, State Farm, Progressive, Auto Club Enterprises and Shelter Mutual. To find the best insurer for your own purposes, a good place to start is with Bankrate’s Best Missouri Car Insurance Companies 2021 listing.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Missouri?
There is no one company that is always the cheapest for everyone. Multiple factors, including the age and model of your car, your driving record and your credit rating go into determining your rate. To start your search, check out our Cheap Car Insurance Companies of 2021 list.
Is Missouri minimum car insurance enough to keep me covered?
It will be enough as long as you are not involved in a major accident. If there are injuries, or a car is totaled, you may not be adequately covered if all you have is the Missouri minimum. We recommend purchasing as much coverage as you can, such as 100/300/50, and that you consider adding collision and comprehensive to your policy also.