What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Missouri?

Driving without car insurance in MO is illegal. Penalties include points on your driving record, license suspension, and reinstatement fees up to $400.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Drivers in Missouri are required to carry auto insurance
  • Drivers should purchase more than the minimum amount of liability coverage
  • Adding optional coverage categories further reduces costs when a loss occurs
  • Shopping around online leads to great rates for Missouri drivers

The roads in Missouri run through a very beautiful state. Driving in the “Show Me State” can be relaxing, but drivers shouldn’t take their eyes off the road for one second.

Missouri experiences a high number of car accidents each year. The state’s government logs yearly crash data going back to the 1970s.

Data on the most recent year available, 2014, reveals 30,028 crashes involved bodily injury and death, along with 103,370 accidents involving property damage.

With so many crashes per year, no one should be surprised that Missouri mandates drivers carry auto insurance. When someone is hurt due to the negligence of another driver, an auto insurance settlement pays for losses and damages.

The presence of insurance does cut down on costly litigation.

Compare car insurance quotes by entering your ZIP code into our free car insurance comparison tool above to find the coverage you need at the best rate.

How to Read Car Insurance Requirements

A common error car insurance customers make is they only look at the coverage amount summaries. In order to best understand a policy’s protections, customers benefit by reading the entire contract thoroughly.

The actual contract spells out all the covered perils and exclusions. Those with questions about their policy can direct the inquiries towards the insurance company for further clarification.

Prior to purchasing a policy, the customer reviews quotes – estimates – from different providers. Quotes may list a number of different mandatory and optional coverage categories.

Knowing the exact purpose of these coverages helps the customer make a more informed purchasing decision. These coverage options include:

Bodily Injury Liability

People can be severely hurt when involved in a car accident. The person causing the accident may be deemed liable in court. Bodily injury liability coverage addresses claims by an injured party.

An insurance liability settlement pays for the losses, and the at-fault party would not be forced to pay anything unless he/she was sued beyond policy limits.

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Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/Medical Payments

PIP and medical payments coverage come into play mainly in no-fault states. With these coverages, the person injured in an accident would file a claim against his/her own auto insurance company as opposed to making a liability claim against the negligent party.

Filing a PIP/medical payments claim can be a quicker and less-involved process than dealing with the negligent party’s insurance company. Liability claims can be made even when a PIP/medical payments settlement is issued, but restrictions apply.

Property Damage Liability

Crashing into a car, a business or a home means someone’s personal property was damaged. As with bodily injury, the negligent party that causes property damage may be held liable for the costs. Property damage insurance covers such losses on behalf of the insured.

Collision

Negligent drivers do not only cause damage to other cars when involved in an accident. They damage their own vehicles. Sometimes, a driver may be involved in a freak accident such as a deer jumping out in front of his/her vehicle.

Auto liability only covers losses to other people’s property. A driver must purchase collision insurance to recover losses on his/her own car.

Comprehensive

Cars could suffer damage or loss in events outside of a collision. In Missouri, heavy snow and tornado incidents may inflict serious damage. Weather, vandalism, arson, and theft are among the incidents comprehensive auto insurance covers.

Adding this coverage to a policy could assist in recovering losses when such non-accident events occur. The insured would, however, be required to pay a deductible.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Just because the law mandates a driver purchase insurance does not mean the driver does so. Even when the driver purchases insurance, he/she might not buy enough.

If the driver only carries $50,000 in liability insurance and inflicts damages in the $250,000 range, the injured party would need to sue for the remaining $200,000.

Sueing could be pointless if the negligent driver has no assets. Purchasing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides recourse in such situations.

Buying insurance requires an underwriting process in which the insurance company examines the background and driving history of the applicant.

Mandatory coverage options are discussed along with add-on optional coverages. Among the most important topics is coverage amounts. Customers do want to purchase enough coverage to fully pay for losses and protect personal net worth.

Customers should request a decent number of quotes to perform the best possible review. Four quotes at a minimum should be reviewed. Even those who already carry insurance coverage benefit from examining new quotes every six months.

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What are the minimum car insurance requirements in Missouri?

Missouri statutes require auto insurance policies offer a set amount of minimum liability coverage. The minimum threshold amounts, however, do not provide much financial protection. The actual amounts are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability coverage for one person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage for more than one person per accident.
  • $10,000 property damage liability.

Under Missouri’s financial responsibility laws, drivers cannot drive in the state without auto insurance. Those who fail to carry auto insurance face penalties.

In addition to monetary fines and four points on a driving record, drivers face license and registration suspensions.

Reinstatement fees apply after a suspension. The first suspension only comes with a $20 reinstatement fee. With the second, the reinstatement fee rises to $200. Subsequent suspensions require a $400 payment.

Minimum Requirement vs. Recommended Coverage

The baseline minimum amount of insurance would only be viable for someone with little or no assets. Anyone who owns property or has savings would need much more insurance.

Just because your auto insurance has a maximum coverage amount does not mean an injured party cannot sue beyond that limit.

Cutting off an insurance policy’s coverage at a low amount leaves you wide open for personal losses after a major accident. Purchasing higher levels of coverage is not difficult. Acquiring $500,000 in auto liability coverage could be enough.

The internet has made buying insurance in Missouri an incredibly easy process. Quotes can be requested online by filling out a basic application. After receiving several quotes, a customer then decides on the best one.

Once a full payment or downpayment is made and the policy goes active, the protections start. Just take the necessary steps to read the entire insurance contract in order to fully understand how the policy works.

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