Missouri Car Insurance
Every motor vehicle in the State of Missouri must carry the minimum required liability insurance under penalty of law. This requirement can also be met with a state registered Statement of Financial Responsibility or a Certificate of Self Insurance as in the case of some large companies and religious organizations. Also, both the owner of the vehicle and the driver are required to carry proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times when it is being operated. Before purchasing automobile insurance in Missouri, you should understand what insurance you legally need to carry to meet the minimum requirements, what the penalties could be if you fail to meet those requirements and also, for extra protection you would want to know what optional coverages are available.
Minimum State Requirements
Basic liability insurance in Missouri is written as 25/50/10. To the lay person those numbers might be confusing, but it simply means that the law requires you to carry bodily injury (BI) liability insurance for a minimum of $25,000 per person with a per accident minimum of $50,000. The property damage liability minimum coverage is $10,000. What this boils down to is that if the insured vehicle/driver is at fault the insurance will pay up to $25,000 for one person and a total of $50,000 if more than one person in the claimant’s vehicle is injured. If 5 people are injured, that $50,000 would be split 5 ways to cover injuries resulting from the at fault accident. No matter how much property is damaged, the maximum payout on that policy would be $10,000.
Penalty for Not Being Insured
Under Missouri law, there are three possible outcomes if you are found to be driving without insurance. The first option is that the court may charge 4 points against your license. Remember, it only takes 8 points within a period of 18 months before your driving privileges would be suspended. A second option would be that the court might notify the Driver’s License Bureau to supervise ongoing insurance coverage. Finally, the court could order your driver’s license suspended for a specific period of time. The lengths of suspension and reinstatement fees for failure to show proof of insurance are as follows:
- 1st Suspension – 0 Days - $20 Reinstatement Fee
- 2nd Suspension – 90 Days - $200 Reinstatement Fee
- 3rd Suspension – 1 Year - $400 Reinstatement Fee
In other words, if your privileges are suspended, the law requires those periods of times and reinstatement fees must be observed.
Optional Automobile Insurance Coverage
While minimum Missouri car insurance might cover the costs involved in a relatively minor at fault accident, chances are it would only pay a portion of most accidents serious enough to have injuries. For this reason many owners/drivers opt to carry higher policy limits. Also, the law does not require that you protect your vehicle so you may wish to, at the very least, carry collision on your vehicle. Comprehensive would cover loss in the event of an act of nature and medical payments (med pay) would cover injuries in the insured’s vehicle. There is no deductible on property damage, but collision and comprehensive have a deductible that is set by the insured when purchasing the insurance.
There are times when collision and comprehensive are not optional, even though they are not required by the law. Most often if there is a lien on the title, such as when the automobile is financed, the lien holder (lender) will require their investment be protected. As additional coverages are added, the premiums go up accordingly. For this reason, many people choose to shop around for the cheapest Missouri car insurance possible. By comparing quotes online you can find the cheapest insurance available in Missouri.