Missouri Car Insurance Quotes, Laws, and Other Info


Need to learn about car insurance in Missouri? We’ve got all the information you’ll need. Keep reading for details about required coverage, penalties for driving uninsured, important coverage decisions, fault laws, claim guidelines, and more.

Mandatory insurance law

Missouri is a “tort” state that requires all drivers to have car insurance. You’ll have to prove you’re insured in the following situations:

  • During a traffic stop
  • After an accident
  • When you register your vehicle
  • When you renew your license plates

Minimum Missouri coverage requirements

Missouri law has certain standards that auto insurance policies must meet. Those standards require every policy to provide liability and uninsured motorist coverage. The following table breaks down the requirements.

Required coverage types Minimum amount of coverage
Bodily injury liability $25,000 for each person’s injuries in an accident
$50,000 total for all injuries in an accident
Property damage liability $10,000 total per accident
Uninsured motorist $25,000 for each person’s injuries in an accident
$50,000 total for all injuries in an accident

Liability

When someone driving your car causes an accident, it pays for victims’ medical and repair bills. However, it only pays up to a certain amount. Minimum policies include $50,000 worth of coverage for medical bills and $10,000 for property damages. If you get the minimum amount of liability insurance, you may see it referred to as 25/50/10 coverage. You can buy more than the minimums to be better protected.

Remember, liability doesn’t cover the driver’s medical bills or car repairs. They only cover those expenses for victims.

Uninsured motorist (UM) bodily injury

It pays your medical bills and the medical bills of your family and passengers after an accident. It does so when the driver who caused the accident either:

  1. Doesn’t have insurance or fled the scene of the accident
  2. Has insurance, but not enough to cover all your medical bills

Stacking: Missouri law allows drivers to increase their uninsured motorist coverage through stacking. Stacking increases the amount of coverage you have, but it may also increase your premium.

You may be able to stack coverage if you have multiple cars under your policy or are insured through multiple policies. Stacking basically lets you combine the coverage from all those cars or policies when you file a large claim.

Stacking can differ from insurer to insurer. So check with your agent or company to find out your options.

Penalties for driving uninsured

If you break the law and don’t buy coverage, you could face some serious financial setbacks. If someone crashes your car, you could get stuck having to pay other people’s medical and repair bills. You could also get your license suspended and have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and fees.

Number of offenses Fine License suspension period
1st $300 maximum Until you pay $20 reinstatement fee & prove that you’re insured
2nd $300 maximum 90 days & until you pay $200 reinstatement fee & prove that you’re insured
3rd & subsequent $300 maximum Minimum 1 year & until you pay $400 reinstatement fee & prove that you’re insured

No pay, no play

Missouri has a “no pay, no play” law. That means uninsured drivers are treated differently when they get into an accident.

If you have no insurance and get into an accident, the law allows you to sue other drivers only for economic damages. That includes things like medical bills and car repairs. You can’t sue for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

Electronic proof of car insurance

In the Show Me State, showing that your car is properly covered is easy. In 2013, the state legalized electronic proof of insurance. That means a copy of your insurance ID card displayed on a smartphone or tablet works as legal proof. Many major insurers already provide an electronic proof of insurance card, which the industry calls an “e-card.”

For the electronic document to be valid proof of insurance, it should clearly state at least the following:

  • Name of the insurer
  • Insurance policy number
  • Policy period
  • Name and address of each insured driver
  • Policy limits
  • Make and model of each covered vehicle

Coverage decisions

Optional coverages

In addition to liability and uninsured motorist coverage, there are optional coverages you can add. They’ll raise the cost of your insurance, but they’ll also provide greater protection. The following are the most widely available coverage add-ons in the state.

Comprehensive

It pays for repairing or replacing the insured car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Some examples of this type of damage are vandalism, hail damage, and theft. About 7 out of every 10 drivers in the state bought this coverage in 2011.

Collision

It pays for repairing or replacing the insured vehicle after an accident. Nearly 3 out of every 4 drivers in the state bought this coverage in 2011.

Underinsured motorists (UIM) bodily injury

It pays your medical bills and the medical bills of your family and passengers after an accident. It only does so when the accident was caused by a driver who has insurance, but not enough to cover all your medical bills.

Stacking: Missouri law allows drivers to increase their underinsured motorist coverage through stacking. Stacking increases the amount of coverage you have. But it may also increase your premium.

You may be able to stack coverage if you have multiple cars under your policy or are insured through multiple policies. Stacking basically lets you combine the coverage from all those cars or policies when you file a large claim.

Stacking can differ from insurer to insurer. So check with your agent or company to find out your options.

Medical payments

It pays your medical bills after an accident and also does so for your and passengers. It provides coverage no matter who caused the accident.

Rental reimbursement

It pays for the cost of renting a car after an accident.

Towing/roadside assistance

It pays for towing and labor due to a mechanical breakdown.

Protection from drivers without insurance

Statewide, about 14% of drivers are uninsured in Missouri, according to the Insurance Research Council. That’s around the average rate of uninsured drivers nationwide. If someone crashes into you, you have around a 1-in-6 chance that he or she doesn’t have insurance. That means they won’t be able to pay for your damages after an accident.

Missouri requires uninsured motorist coverage, which will help pay for medical bills in an accident with an uninsured driver. The Show Me State also offers medical payments coverage as optional protection that’ll help with those bills.

However, you might not have coverage that will pay for your car repairs after an accident with an uninsured driver. If you want protection for this, you should buy collision.

Protecting your car from harsh weather

If you want to have protection from weather events, you’ll need to buy comprehensive coverage. If you don’t add it to your policy, repairs for things like hail and tornado damage will be entirely on you.

Hail

Hail damage is more common in Missouri compared with other states, and it can be expensive to repair. Between 2008 and 2011, the average hail claim in Missouri was $2,195, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI).

There were more than 38,700 hail claims in the state between 2008 and 2011. Altogether, those claims cost insurers almost $85 million.

Tornadoes

Tornadoes have wreaked havoc on Missouri cities in recent years.

After the May 2011 Joplin tornado, there was widespread damage. The average car insurance claim from the tornado was about $8,300, and there were thousands of vehicle claims, according to officials. Altogether, the tornado outbreak cost car insurers more than $54 million.

How claims work in Missouri

Missouri uses a “tort” system for car insurance claims. That means if someone injures you or wrecks your car, their liability insurance pays your medical and repair bills.

But in some cases, the other driver won’t be 100% responsible for the crash. Your actions could have contributed to the accident, and you could be partially responsible. This makes things a little more complicated.

If you’re partially responsible, it changes how much you can get from the other driver’s insurer. Missouri uses “pure comparative fault” to determine payment. That means the amount you get for your bills will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if you’re 20% responsible for a crash, the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay 100% of your bills. Instead, it pays only 80%, since you were 20% responsible. So for example, if you have $10,000 in bills from a crash, the other driver’s insurer has to pay only $8,000.

What if the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay your bills? You use your own policy. Medical payments coverage will help pay your medical bills. Collision will help pay your repair bills. But both of those coverages are optional. You’ll be on your own if you didn’t add them to your policy.

Repair guidelines

After-market parts

When you take in your car for repairs, you’ll first get an estimate. On that estimate, you may see that your insurer plans to use after-market parts for the repairs. These are basically generic parts for your car that weren’t made by your car’s manufacturer. After-market parts typically are only used for the exterior of your car.

Missouri law allows insurers to use after-market parts, according to regulators. But if they do, they must identify them on the repair estimate.

Choice of repair shop

You have the right to choose where you get your car repaired. Insurers may suggest a shop or a list of shops to choose from, but you can choose a different one.

However, if the shop you choose is more expensive than the insurer’s choice, you may have to pay the difference yourself, according to regulators.

Missouri auto insurance rates

Missouri car insurance rates are lower than average. The average cost of a policy in the state was 13% cheaper than the 2011 national average.

Usage-based discounts

If you drive safely, infrequently, or both, you may want to look into a usage-based discount program. These programs use a device you install in your car to track how far it’s driven and/or if it’s driven safely. Depending on how you drive, you could potentially get a discount of up to 30%.

The following major insurers offer usage-based discounts in the Show-Me State:

  • Allstate: Drivewise
  • The Hartford: TrueLane
  • Progressive: Snapshot
  • State Farm: Drive Safe & Save
  • Esurance: DriveSense

Previewing policy documents

If you want to see what a major insurance company’s policy document looks like before you buy, Missouri regulators allow you to do so. The Insurance Department lets you preview the policy documents used by the 10 largest car insurance companies in the state. With these previews, you can familiarize yourself with the policy specifics before you actually apply for coverage.

Car insurance company complaints

Is there a delay with your claim payout? Or is there another problem you want regulatory officials to know about? Regulatory officials provide an online complaint tool so that you can file an official complaint.

Coverage for high-risk drivers

If you’ve had a hard time finding a car insurer who will cover you (usually because of marks on your driving record), you can still turn to the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan. The Plan is the car insurer of last resort for the state’s high-risk drivers.

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Did You Know?

Electronic proof of insurance

Missouri is one of more than 30 states that allow you to use an electronic copy of your insurance ID card to prove to state officials that you're insured.

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