Handling the aftermath of a hit-and-run in Missouri can be particularly challenging, making an understanding of the state’s car insurance requirements essential. These incidents — unfortunately more common than one might expect — highlight the significance of being adequately insured. Knowing how Missouri hit-and-run laws work and ensuring your auto insurance policy includes the right coverage may help provide crucial financial safeguarding if you’re ever impacted by such an incident.

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Hit-and-runs in Missouri

In Missouri, a hit-and-run is legally defined as being knowingly involved in an accident with another vehicle or vehicles and then failing to stop and provide the necessary information to the other involved parties or law enforcement. Unfortunately, such incidents are common in Missouri as well as across the United States.

According to recent available findings, the frequency of hit-and-run accidents and the resulting fatalities are increasing alarmingly. In 2015, there were approximately 737,100 hit-and-run crashes, equating to a hit-and-run occurring every 43 seconds. More concerning, 2016 saw the highest number of fatalities from these incidents, with 2,049 deaths recorded.

Missouri hit-and-run laws

The driver responsible for a hit-and-run in Missouri is liable for the other driver’s vehicle damage, as well as for the medical expenses for the driver and any passengers injured. Missouri hit-and-run laws state that a driver who causes a hit-and-run that results only in property damage could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if the accident results in bodily injury or fatalities, the driver may be fined up to $5,000 and may spend up to four years in prison.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Missouri

Being involved in an at-fault accident, including a hit-and-run, is likely to result in an increase in your car insurance rates in Missouri. On average, the annual cost for full coverage car insurance in the state is around $3,164. However, following a standard at-fault accident, this rate raises a significant amount. While specific rates for hit-and-run Missouri incidents are not readily available, you should understand that a hit-and-run in Missouri will typically cause steeper insurance hikers than a standard at-fault accident given the serious nature of such incidents. Additionally, drivers facing license suspension after a hit-and-run may need to obtain an SR-22 form, a requirement that not all insurers accommodate. This might necessitate switching to an insurer that offers SR-22 filings, especially for drivers categorized as high-risk.

3 things to do after a hit-and-run in Missouri

If you get into an accident and the other driver flees the scene, it can be helpful to know what steps to take. Your first priority should always be to make sure that no one is injured. If you, any of your passengers or any other parties need medical attention, call 911 immediately. If no one is hurt and you can do so safely, you may want to pull out of the flow of traffic, turn your hazard lights on and consider which of the following steps may be necessary:

  1. Call the police: If you have not already called emergency services, your first call should be to the police. An officer might meet you at the scene, ask you to recall any information you can about the vehicle that hit you and may file a police report. Whether or not damages or injuries are involved, police often investigate hit-and-runs, as the incident is a serious offense in Missouri.
  2. Survey the damage: If you are stopped in a safe area, you might want to assess the damage to your vehicle and take photos, which could be helpful for your insurance company if you file a claim. If your car is totaled and getting towed, be sure to ask where it will be taken.
  3. Notify your insurance company: The last step is typically to contact your insurance company if you want to file a claim on your policy. An agent should be able to look at your policy to see what coverage types might come into play, and will explain the claim process and what information is needed from you.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?

In Missouri, every driver is required to carry uninsured motorist coverage, which may cover your injuries from a hit-and-run, up to your policy limit, if the offending driver is never found, or if they lack insurance. If you have full coverage, your collision coverage may cover the damages that your vehicle sustained. Keep in mind that a minimum coverage policy will not provide any coverage for your vehicle.

Frequently asked questions

    • The average annual cost of full coverage car insurance in Missouri is $3,164, and for minimum coverage, it’s about $811 annually. When compared to the national averages, Missouri’s full coverage rate is slightly lower than the United States average, which stands at around $2,542 per year. For minimum coverage, Missouri’s average is also lower than the national average of $740 per year. It’s important to remember that these rates can vary based on individual factors such as age, credit history, ZIP code, vehicle type and driving history.
    • The best car insurance company is different for every driver based on circumstances, coverage needs and personal preference. To find the best provider for your needs, insurance experts recommend shopping around and comparing at least three insurance quotes to see which offers the best rate, discount and coverage combination.
    • Missouri is not a no-fault state. Instead, it operates under an at-fault system for car accidents. In Missouri, the driver who is at fault for a car accident is responsible for covering the damages incurred by the other party, including medical bills, car repairs, lost wages and pain and suffering. This means that if you are involved in an auto accident in Missouri, you can seek compensation from the other driver if they are deemed responsible for the accident.