Missouri Car Insurance
Missouri law requires that every driver have a reliable method of paying for the costs of damage or injury to another driver after a car accident.
Most drivers choose to fulfill this requirement by purchasing the minimum required liability car insurance.
Read below to learn more about Missouri car insurance laws, policy considerations, and insurance violations.
Car Insurance Requirements in Missouri
All Missouri drivers are required to purchase and maintain the following minimum amounts of liability coverage:
- $25,000 for bodily injury, per person.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury (when multiple people are injured).
- $10,000 for total property damage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Missouri also requires drivers to hold uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury atthe same minimums as those listed for liability coverage.
You are not required to have uninsured motorist coverage for property damage.
Alternative Ways to Comply
While holding car insurance is the most common method for complying with Missouri’s car insurance laws, you can also meet the legal requirements by submitting one of the following to the Department of Revenue (DOR):
- Proof of financial responsibility for damages you might cause in an accident. The following items are accepted by the DOR as proof:
- Surety bond.
- Real estate bond.
- Cash deposit (or deposit of negotiable securities, such as stocks, bonds, etc.).
- Certificate of self-insurance.
- This option is only available to businesses and religious organizations.
Optional Car Insurance
Accidents can be extremely costly, and you might find that the minimum car insurance limits Missouri requires don’t adequately cover the damages. The following types ofoptional coverage will afford you additional protection:
- Comprehensive – Helps cover costs of damage to your vehicle that result from an event that is not an accident, such as severe weather or fire.
- Collision – Pays for damages to your vehicle after a collision with another car or object.
- Medical payments – Will help you pay your accident-related medical bills.
- Rental car reimbursement.
- Emergency roadside assistance.
Proof of Insurance
You must be able to show proof of Missouri car insurance when:
- Registering your vehicle.
- Renewing your plates.
In addition, you must always have proof of insurance in your vehicle.
Penalties for Failure to Show Proof
You may be asked for your proof of insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident; if you cannot show it, you (and the vehicle owner, if different) are subject to a ticket.
The officer will also notify the DOR that you were driving without insurance.
NOTE: At any time, the DOR may request that you show proof of insurance. If you cannot show it, your license will be suspended.
Insurance Violations in Missouri
Driving uninsured is illegal. If you are stopped by an officer and can’t show proof of car insurance, you are subject to a ticket (see above).
However, you are also subject to the following additional penalties:
- Assessment of 4 points on your Missouri driving record.
- NOTE: Your license is suspended when you reach 8 points in 18 months.
- Issuance of an order of supervision.
- This means your insurance status will be monitored by the Driver License Bureau to ensure you are maintaining the minimum MO car insurance coverage amounts.
- Suspension of your driver’s license.
Failing to purchase or maintain the minimum amounts of car insurance in Missouri can have serious consequences. Your driver’s license can be suspended for up to 1 year, depending on how many suspensions you’ve had.
After an insurance-related suspension, you can only reinstate your license by:
- Showing proof of insurance.
- You must file this proof with the DOR and maintain it for a full 3 years from the effective end date of your suspension.
- If you fail to maintain your car insurance, your license and/or plates will be suspended again.
- If an accident was involved, you’ll have to file an SR-22 (see below).
- Paying the applicable fee.
- Fees range from $20 to $400, based on the number of suspensions.
If you’re in an accident and your driver’s license is subsequently suspended for not having insurance at the time, the same reinstatement requirements will apply (see above); however, instead of showing an insurance card as proof of insurance, you will need to file an SR-22.
An SR-22 is not insurance, but rather a form certifying that you will hold the required insurance for a specific time period. In this case, you would need to hold the SR-22 for 3 years.
Insurance Policy Cancellations
If you’ve held your insurance policy for at least 60 days, you are guaranteed that your insurance company won’t cancel your policy for at least 1 year, EXCEPT if:
- Your license has been suspended.
- Note: Your policy cannot be canceled for this reason if multiple people are insured on the policy.
- You haven’t paid your premium.
If your policy will be canceled, you are legally entitled to 30 days written notice.
Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan
In some situations, you might be denied car insurance. This typically happens when you have a history of multiple claims or a poor driving record – both of which raise the insurance company’s risk of insuring you.
If you are denied car insurance in Missouri, you’ll be sent a written explanation, which will include details on how to apply for insurance through the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan.
This plan provides coverage to those drivers who are unable to obtain coverage on the standard market. Premiums tend to be much higher when using this avenue, so be sure to exhaust your options with private companies before applying.
Questions and Concerns
Auto insurance can be hard to navigate. For this reason, the Missouri Department of Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs has provided a hotline for consumers.
You can call (800) 726-7390 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays to get information and/or discuss issues and concerns.
Filing a Complaint
If you are unable to resolve a matter with your insurance company and need the Department’s help, you can file a complaint:
- By mail or fax. Download and complete the Consumer Complaint Form.
- Mail to the address on the form.
- Fax to (573) 526-4898.
- Mail to the address on the form.
Determining Your MO Car Insurance Rates
When comparison-shopping for car insurance in Missouri, remember that many factors will affect your premium. However, the amount of weight certain factors are given will likely vary by provider.
Insurance companies typically use the following to set your rates:
- Your car’s:
- Your age.
- Your gender.
- Your credit history.
- The primary location where the vehicle is parked.
- How the vehicle is used.
- Your driving record.
- Your deductibles.
- Higher deductibles mean lower premiums.
- How much coverage you purchase.
Auto Insurance Discounts
Discounts can be a great way to save money on car insurance. When shopping around, make sure you ask about any discounts that might apply to you. Common discounts provided by car insurance companies include:
- Transfer (switching providers).
- Automatic payment.
- Good student.
While discounts can help you get a cheaper auto insurance quote, the absolute best way to save money when you buy car insurance in Missouri is to drive safely, avoid accidents, and keep a clean driving record.