Minimum requirements and how to get cheap auto insurance in Missouri
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Why is it that the minimum car insurance coverage required for your friends and family in one state isn’t the same as what you need to legally drive in your own? The federal government leaves much of the minimum coverages, rules and rights of legal drivers up to the states themselves.To legally drive in Missouri, you’re required to carry liability insurance. But unlike many other states, you’re also required to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance to help pay for medical bills in the event of an accident caused by a driver with little or no insurance.It’s not called the Show-Me State for nothing: In Missouri, you’re legally required to show your insurance and registration anytime you’re asked for it. State law also permits motorists to produce digital versions on their phones or tablets as proof of insurance.
Nearly all states require registered drivers to carry specified minimum liability insurance. And if you’re financing or leasing your car, you could be required to buy additional collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your finance agreement.
Average car insurance costs in Missouri
Missouri sits just below the national average when it comes to annual car insurance costs. Drivers in this state can expect to pay about $1,100 a year; for reference, the national average is $1,200-$1,300.
What affects my costs?
Because car insurance is affected by so many different outside factors, you could still end up overpaying for your coverage. Some of the factors that contribute to high insurance costs include:
Age.If you’re younger than 25 or older than 70, you can expect to pay more for your coverage than the ages in between. This is because out of all age demographics, accident risk is highest among drivers between 16 and 19, and slowly lowers through the mid-30s.
Type of car.Owning a fast sports car is something a lot of people daydream about, and maybe you’ve got your eye on a Porsche when you retire someday. But it’s good to note that when cars are designed to go fast, they tend to be driven fast; this puts them at an elevated level of accident risk, and insurers will always charge accordingly. A Toyota Corolla might not have the same curb appeal, but it’s far cheaper to insure, maintain and fill up with fuel than an imported roadster.
Driving record.If you’ve only been driving for a few years, or if you have any serious black marks in your driving history, most insurers will charge you more for coverage. The longer you go without any accidents or traffic violations, the more likely you are to earn a good driver discount or something similar.
Location.Rural drivers typically pay less for car insurance than people who live and commute in high traffic or urban areas. This is because in the country, risks or theft, vandalism and multi-vehicle accidents are far lower, meaning rural drivers are less likely overall to file claims.
Gender.With the exception of three states — Hawaii, Massachusetts and North Carolina — women could pay 5-15% less for car insurance. This is because men are statistically more likely to get into accidents, far more likely to drive under the influence of alcohol and less likely to wear their seat belt. However, this insurance cost differential tends to even out as drivers approach the age of 50.
Marital status.Married people are seen as more stable, both financially and otherwise, and statistics show that married people are less likely to get into accidents or file insurance claims than single people.
Occupation.There are often special discounts or considerations made for people who work in certain fields. For example, teachers, professors and school administrators often pay less for their coverage, as do medical professionals and healthcare workers. Membership with certain professional organizations or work unions could also net you a discount. On the other side of the coin, if you drive your own vehicle throughout the day for work — say, outside sales representatives or site inspectors — the extra mileage and road time could increase your insurance rates.
Other drivers.Whenever you add another driver to your car insurance policy, all their factors start to play into your costs. This means even the safest middle-aged driver out there could pay higher than the average when their teenage son or daughter starts collecting speeding tickets with the family car.
Typical driving habits.Do you have a lengthy commute every day of the week? Do you put on more miles per week than the average driver? These kinds of things can help or hurt your chance of getting a great rate. If you never drive more than 50 or 100 miles in a week, tell your insurer and see if this can get you a lower rate.
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The minimum car insurance you’re required to carry depends on where you live. In Missouri, you can’t legally drive unless you carry liability insurance that includes at least:
$20,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
$50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per accident.
$10,000 property damage liability coverage per accident.
When shopping for car insurance, you may see these liability limits written as 20/50/10.
Missouri is among the 20 or so states that require its drivers to also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which protects a driver if they’re involved in an accident with another driver that isn’t adequately covered by an car insurance policy. To satisfy this requirement, you’ll need to maintain at least:
$25,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per person.
$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage per accident.
Many car insurance providers in Missouri offer optional coverage for peace of mind that includes:
Loan/lease gap coverage. If you total your car in an accident and you still owe money on it, this coverage pays the difference between what your insurer will cover and the remainder of your existing loan or lease.
What happens after an accident in Missouri?
Even a fender bender can be traumatic, leaving you unable to clearly think about next steps. Which is why it’s best to prepare for one so that you know the important steps to take afterward.
Safety first. Confirm that everybody involved in the accident is OK. Call the police or 911 immediately if a driver or passenger is hurt.
Call your insurance provider. After you’ve confirmed that participants are OK, call your insurance agent to report the accident. You’ll be walked through gathering the information required to get started.
Document the accident. Protect your claim by writing down the name of any police officers at the scene. Talk to any witnesses that could provide valuable information later, and take pictures of each of the cars from many angles.
Exchange information. Take down the complete names, contact info and insurance policy details of the drivers involved. Note their car types, colors, models and license plate numbers and the exact address of the accident.
When you talk with the other drivers, never admit to fault for the accident. If you suggest that you caused it, no matter how much damage, your car insurance provider could refuse to pay your claim.
How does Missouri’s points system work?
Missouri uses a points system to track the driving offenses and convictions of its drivers. In general, the fewer points on your record, the better off you are.
For every offense of driving uninsured, Missouri adds four points onto your driving record. Even knowingly allowing another person to drive your uninsured car could result in four points on your record.
If you accumulate eight points within 18 months, your driver’s license can be suspended for 30 days, assuming this is your first suspension. The suspension increases to 60 days if it’s your second and to 90 days for every subsequent suspension. If you accumulate 12 points over the course of a year, your license can be revoked for one year.
Every year you drive without getting additional points results in a reduction of your existing points. For example, if you go a year with no offenses, your points are reduced by a third; three years, and your points are reduced to zero.
What happens if I’m driving in Missouri and I don’t have insurance?
The Show-Me State will show you what’s up if you’re caught driving without car insurance at any point. Among the serious penalties is a “no insurance” ticket that can never be removed from your permanent record, points on your driving record and even jail time. Accumulate 12 points on your record, and you lose your license for a year.
First offense. Your license, registration and plates are suspended until you obtain car insurance, requiring a $20 fee to reinstate them, and four points are added to your driving record.
Second offense. You pay a fine of up to $500 and your license, registration and plates are suspended for 90 days, requiring a $200 fee to reinstate them. You also get four points on your record — which, added to your previous offense, means that could be two-thirds of the way to losing your license for a year — and may have to spend up to 15 nights in jail.
Third offense. You pay a fine of up to $500 and your license, registration and plates are suspended for one year, requiring a $400 fee to reinstate them. You get four more points on your record and face spending 15 nights in jail.
If you’re involved in an accident that you’ve caused and do not have insurance, you’ll also need to pay for all damages or face losing your driving privileges for a year. You’re also required to provide proof of financial responsibility — also called an SR22 — for up to three years after reinstatement.
Drunk driving laws in Missouri
Just like in any state, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law in Missouri. If you’re caught over the legal limit for BAC, which is 0.08%, you could face fines, a license suspension and even jail time depending on the circumstances.
Fines and fees
Up to 180 days
Up to $500
Up to 2 years
Up to $1,000
Up to 1 year
Up to 4 years
Up to $5,000
Up to 10 years
What happens after a DUI conviction in Missouri?
Once you’ve paid your fines and served any driving suspensions or jail time, you’ll probably want to resume driving. In order to do this, you’ll probably need to take care of a couple things.
SR-22 insurance. In almost all DUI cases, the driver is made to file an SR-22 form in order to get his or her license and registration reinstated. This form guarantees that a driver will maintain their coverage to a legal minimum standard for a set amount of time, typically 3 years. To learn more about SR-22 insurance in Missouri, visit our guide.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID). This isn’t mandated for all drivers after a DUI conviction, but it’s necessary for many, especially when they try to get clearance to drive before the actual end of their license suspension. An IID requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before the car will start.
Who’s at fault after an accident?
While 12 states currently require its drivers to carry no-fault insurance, Missouri isn’t one of them. In states without no-fault coverage, insurance claims are typically paid out:
If you’re injured in an accident caused by another driver. The at-fault driver’s bodily injury liability coverage could help reimburse your medical expenses up to policy limits.
If you’re injured in an accident you cause. Your medical payments coverage, if you have it, could help reimburse your medical expenses up to your limits.
Missouri is a tort state, which means that a driver at fault for an accident is required to pay the medical expenses of any victim of that accident. Victims are also able to pursue compensation for additional lost wages and “pain and suffering” — the legal term for physical and emotional stress that’s the result of an injury
When should I report an accident to the authorities in Missouri?
In Missouri, you must report an accident to the local police department or another judicial officer if anybody is hurt or killed, if any part involved in the accident is uninsured or if there’s more than $500 in damages to any one party involved in the accident — or any combination of these three.
Mail your completed form to: Driver License Bureau PO Box 200 Jefferson City, MO 65105-0200
Uninsured drivers in Missouri
Missouri requires all drivers in its state to carry auto insurance — even uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage — or face stiff penalties. Yet about 13% of drivers in the state are uninsured — which is higher than the 12.6% national average.
In Missouri, you’ll need to purchase both liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to remain legal or face points, suspensions and jail time.
To get the cheapest coverage for your needs, carefully research your car insurance options when driving in the Mother of the West.
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Frequently asked questions about car insurance in Missouri
To register your car, visit your nearest Missouri Department of Revenue. You’ll need to submit your vehicle title, proof of insurance, an ID number and odometer inspection and your completed Form 108 — Application for Missouri Title and License, along with an $11 fee and your state tax on the vehicle.
Each car insurance policy varies, but it’s possible that your car insurance rates will go up if you file a claim. Some providers offer accident forgiveness programs that ensure your premium stays the same after your first accident. But in many cases, a claim on your policy raises your risk profile — and, in turn, your rates.
Yes, the driving record of any member of your household can affect the decision of the insurance company to insure your vehicle. To avoid being turned down for coverage or paying high-risk insurance premiums, ask your car insurance provider about a driver-exclusion endorsement.
When talking about car insurance, your deductible is the out-of-pocket expense you’ll pay for repairs to your vehicle under comprehensive or collision coverage. If your deductible is $1,000 and your claim totals $3,000, you pay the $1,000 and your insurance provider pays the $2,000 difference. Typically the higher your deductible, the lower your monthly rate.
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