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Getting into an accident is never a positive experience, but if the driver responsible for the collision flees the scene, the situation becomes even more complicated. Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you might think, which is one of the reasons why most states, including Missouri, require drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Although a hit-and-run claim can have insurance implications, having certain coverage types on your auto insurance policy might help protect your finances if you are on the receiving end of this type of incident.
Hit-and-runs in Missouri
A hit-and-run in Missouri is defined as knowingly being involved in an accident with one or more drivers and failing to stop and provide information to the other parties or law enforcement. These types of accidents are becoming more common across the U.S. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates a hit-and-run occurs in the U.S. once every 43 seconds.
Missouri hit-and-run laws
In Missouri, the driver responsible for a hit-and-run 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 in property damage only could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if the crash 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
After a Missouri hit-and-run claim, you’ll likely see your insurance rates increase. The average full coverage rate in the Show-Me State after a hit-and-run is taken into account is $2,852 per year for full coverage, compared to $1,661 per year before a hit-and-run claim. The average rate increase after a hit-and-run is generally higher than the average rate increase after a standard collision.
Compared to the national average annual rate for full coverage, Missouri drivers pay less after both a hit-and-run and a standard accident. However, drivers who have their license suspended following a hit-and-run may also be required to obtain an SR-22 form, which not all insurers offer. If your provider does not issue SR-22 forms, you may be required to find another provider who does offer this service, or switch providers to get a new policy altogether if you are denied coverage as a high-risk driver.
Average annual full coverage premiums:
|Before a hit-and-run||After a hit-and-run||After a standard accident|
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 insurance 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
How much does car insurance cost in Missouri?
The average cost of car insurance in Missouri is $1,661 per year for full coverage, or about $138 per month, which is fairly close to the national average cost of full coverage car insurance, which is $1,674 per year. However, rates are highly personalized based on a variety of factors like age, credit score, ZIP code, vehicle make and model, and motor vehicle record.
What is the best car insurance company?
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.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.