When driving a State of Missouri registered vehicle, insurance is required.
Missouri minimum car insurance requiresments are:
Auto insurance policy with limits of at least 25/50/10 – meaning:
Liability coverage in the amount of:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property
Uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
Although personal injury protection is not required by the state of Missouri, many drivers choose to purchase it in order to cover any expenses they may accumulate from an accident in which they are injured.
Alternative Options to Insurance:
Self-insurance certificates are available in Missouri for companies and specific religious organizations if the following requirements are met under Section 303.220 of the Missouri Revised Statutes:
- Companies must:
- Have at least 26 registered vehicles
- Provide a written request for self-insurance on company letterhead, signed by a company officer
- Provide financial statements for the past three years, i.e., balance statements and income statements audited by a CPA, proving that the company is solvent
- Provide a list of at least 26 vehicles registered in the company’s name, including year, make, VIN, and plate number
- Complete an Agreement to Pay Judgments (Form 5317)
Religious organizations must:
- Provide a written request for self-insurance, signed by a church officer
- Provide a list of at least 26 members of the church who own state-registered vehicles. List must include name and address of each member and a description of each vehicle, including year, make, VIN, and plate number.
- Provide an affidavit from a church officer saying that purchasing any type of insurance is against a tenet of the church’s religious beliefs
- Provide a written explanation for how the church plans to pay for damages involving a church member who ends up in a car accident
- Provide relevant examples of how the church handled claims in the past
- Complete an Agreement to Pay Judgments (Form 5317)
All self-insurance applicants should send application materials to:
Missouri Department of Revenue
PO Box 200
Jefferson City MO 65105-0200
In Missouri, you have the option to use a surety bond, real estate bond, or cash/securities deposit instead of insurance if the following requirements are met under Section 303.160 of the Missouri Revised Statutes:
For surety bond:
- Surety company must be authorized to do business in the state and must complete a Financial Responsibility Surety Bond (Form 2308A)
- Bond must be in the amount of $60,000 and have a Corporate Seal
- Complete a Power of Attorney form to accompany the bond that shows the name of the attorney-in-fact who completed the bond, that the bond will serve as financial responsibility, and that the surety company will cover the amount of the bond
- Make sure that the signatures of the attorney-in-fact and the principal are notarized in the bond
For real estate bond:
- Separate Justification of Sureties (Form 1585) must be filled out by two or more people who own property in the state, with combined equity of at least $120,000
- Property owners must provide Proof of Financial Responsibility Bond (Form 1721A)
- Both forms must be approved by the circuit court judge in the area where named real estate is located. They should bear the court’s seal and be recorded by the recorder of deeds.
- Deposit at least $65,000 in cash with the State Treasurer’s Office or certificates of deposit, stocks/bonds, or other negotiable securities in the same amount, accompanied by the appropriate form.
Required Proof of Insurance in Missouri
Missouri requires you to keep proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times and to present it to law enforcement officers upon request. If you don’t have proof of insurance in your car, you could be issued a ticket. The following serve as proof of insurance in Missouri:
Insurance card provided by insurance company including all of the following:
- Name/address of insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Effective date/expiration date of policy
- Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
- Name of insured driver
- The statement: “This card must be carried in the insured motor vehicle for production upon demand.”
Self-insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:
- The word “self-insured”
- Name of driver covered by self-insurance
- The statement “This card must be carried in the self-insured motor vehicle for production upon demand”
Missouri Department of Insurance
Insurance Director – John M. Huff
301 West High Street, Room 530
Jefferson City, MO 65101
573-751-4126 (main office); 800-726-7390 (consumer affairs hotline)
Obtaining a Driver’s License
Missouri has a graduated driver’s license law for young drivers in which they gradually earn more privileges on the road. Teen drivers begin with the learner’s permit, and move on to the intermediate license and the under 21 full driver’s license.
Here are the requirements to obtain your learner’s permit:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Pass vision/road sign/written tests
- Have parent, guardian, or other qualified person sign a permission statement at the license office
- Pay $3.50 fee
Here are the requirements to obtain your intermediate license:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Have instruction permit for at least 182 days
- Prove that you’ve logged at least 40 hours of supervised driving practice. A parent, guardian, or other qualified person must be present at license office to verify this
- Pass vision/road sign/written tests, if former results are over a year old
- Pass driving test
- No traffic violations in last 6 months
- No alcohol offenses in last 12 months
- Pay $7.50 fee
Here are the requirements to get an under 21 full driver’s license:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Possess valid intermediate license
- Satisfy requirements of intermediate license (e.g., No alcohol-related offenses or traffic violations)
- Pass vision/road sign tests (Note: written and driving test waived if already completed
Here are the requirements to obtain a new Missouri license:
- Bring documents proving name, date and place of birth, Social Security number, and residential address
- Show you have successfully completed required tests (written/vision/road sign/driving) by presenting a Driver Examination Record (Form DOR-100)
Completing Driver Education
When a child reaches the age of 15, they may enroll in a driver’s education program through their high school. To be eligible, a student must have a valid instruction permit. Driver’s education is also available through commercial driving schools and some colleges. While taking a driver’s education course is not required to get a driver’s license in Missouri, many choose to do it to familiarize themselves with driving techniques and rules of the road.
To complete a program a student should meet the following:
- At least 30 hours of classroom instruction
- At least 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training
- At least 12 hours of observation
It is recommended that you research any driver-training program that you enroll in. You want to make sure they meet the following standards:
- Instructors are licensed and have certificates to teach driver’s education from the State of Missouri
- They meet the state curriculum requirements
- Check if they have received any disciplinary action for violations
- Make sure there are enough instructors to meet student needs
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Missouri provides its rules of the road online primarily in Title 19, Chapter 304 of the Missouri Revised Statutes devoted to traffic regulations. Carefully obey these rules to qualify for the lowest possible car insurance rates.
- Crossing fire hose prohibited: MRS 300.305
- Distance to be maintained when overtaking a bicycle: MRS 304.678
- Driver not to obstruct traffic: MRS 304.151
- Driver to stop for school bus: MRS 304.050
- Endangerment of a highway worker: MRS 304.585
- Flashing traffic signals: MRS 304.301
- Following too closely: MRS 304.017
- Speed limits: MRS 304.009 and MRS 304.010
- Slow speed/minimum speed limit on highway: MRS 304.011
- Obedience to no-turn signs: MRS 300.230
- Obedience to police and fire department officials: MRS 300.080
- Passing other vehicles: MRS 304.016
- Passing stopped streetcars: MRS 304.023
- Right-of-way at intersections: MRS 304.351
- Riding in open bed of truck prohibited: MRS 304.665
- Traffic light rules: MRS 304.281
- Turning at intersections: MRS 304.341
- Texting while driving prohibited: MRS 304.820
- When driver involved in accident: MRS 300.115
- Yielding right-of-way to emergency vehicle: MRS 304.022
Missouri residents are encouraged to think carefully about how much auto insurance they need and how much they can afford to pay, as an insurance policy is a legal contract. It is wise to compare auto insurance rates in Missouri to get the best deal. If you let the contract lapse, it could cause your future insurance rates to go up. While Missouri only requires drivers to purchase minimum liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage, and there is cheap liability car insurance in Missouri, but many drivers feel it is in their best interest to purchase additional coverage beyond the state requirements. Additional coverage in an auto policy could include: underinsured motorists coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments, rental/reimbursement, and towing/labor coverage. It helps to familiarize oneself with Missouri insurance terminology as you examine your options. Here we’ll explore some things consumers should think about when it comes to auto insurance.
Know Your Rates
How much you pay for auto insurance is determined in part by how much coverage you want (the more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium) and the deductible you select (the higher your deductible, the lower your premium), according to the Missouri Educational Guide to Auto Insurance. Also, the insurance company must consider all of the risk factors associated with covering you and the other licensed drivers in your household. The base rate that is used to evaluate all drivers is then adjusted to take into account the following factors:
- Age. Statistics show that drivers under the age of 25 are involved in more accidents than those aged between 25 and 65. For this reason, drivers under 25 years old are considered a higher risk, so insurance companies will charge households with younger drivers more for insurance. In addition, those who are older than 65 years of age are considered greater risks as well because their reaction time and overall physical ability tends to slow down.
- Gender. Statistical evidence shows men have more accidents than women. Men under the age of 25 are particularly more prone to accidents than women in the same age group, so male drivers typically must pay higher insurance rates than female drivers.
- Driving record and claims history. If you have had multiple accidents, tickets, and insurance claims, you are automatically considered a riskier driver to insure. For that reason, those with poor driving records will see higher insurance rates. Accidents remain on your driving record for a period of years before your driving history is wiped clean again. Safe drivers, on the other hand, enjoy the best car insurance rates in Missouri.
- Marital status. Statistics show that married couples tend to have far fewer accidents than those who are unmarried, so married couples may be offered a lower insurance rate when shopping around.
- Location. As a general rule, urban drivers pay more for auto insurance than those in small towns or rural areas because the increased traffic and higher crime makes their vehicles more likely to get into an accident or be stolen or vandalized. This disqualifies them from receiving the lowest auto insurance rates in Missouri.
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle. The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive and high-performance the vehicle, the more drivers will have to pay to insure them. This is because they are more expensive to repair after accidents, not to mention more likely to be stolen. Insurance companies also point out that red, flashy sports cars are more likely to be pulled over for speeding and other violations by police.
- Credit history. In Missouri, your credit history may play a part in the rates you receive. The Missouri Department of Insurance has a helpful section on how the 10 largest auto insurers use credit history, if you want to learn more about how your credit affects your insurance rate.
- Annual miles driven/use of vehicle. If you don’t put many miles on your car each year, you pose less of a risk and therefore pay a lower premium. Also, people who use their car for leisure will generally pay a lower premium than those who use their car for business and long-distance commuting to work day in and day out.
Lower Your Rates
No matter which insurance company you choose, the surest way to keep your auto insurance rate low is to maintain a good driving record, according to Missouri’s Educational Guide to Auto Insurance. Any time you cause an accident or receive a moving violation, you risk having your rates go up, so drive safely to ensure that you get the best car insurance in Missouri.
That said, it’s still important to shop around at a number of different insurance companies and compare rate quotes for identical coverage plans before buying auto insurance. When shopping around, speak with an insurance agent and find out exactly what your insurance plan will cover for the price you are paying so that you receive the best price for the best coverage, as opposed to simply settling for a plan that is cheap, but doesn’t offer much.
Inquire about discounts that a company may offer but not advertise, such as discounts for young drivers with good grades, drivers who have completed a driver’s education course, and senior discounts. Other ways to get a lower auto insurance rate include: bundling your auto and home insurance under one provider, insuring multiple vehicles under one policy, and installing safety and anti-theft devices, Missouri’s auto insurance guide points out. Asking about these discounts can help you snag the best auto insurance rates in Missouri.
Longtime customers of an insurance company may be able to call in and request a lower rate for loyalty after many years of doing business with the company and faithfully paying their premiums on time. Also, insurance companies often give you the option to pay your entire premium all at once or pay it in installments; those who pay all at once often pay less overall.
In addition, pay close attention to your other insurance plans. Some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance plans, so you can opt out of paying for coverage in areas where you are already insured. By upping your deductible to the highest amount you can reasonably afford, you can receive a lower rate as well. Finally, as your vehicle gets older, you may decide it’s not worth it to maintain damage coverage on it.
If a rate quote sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Remember to make sure that the company is permitted to do business in Missouri. If you are suspicious about any insurance company, call the Missouri Department of Insurance’s Consumer hotline at 800-726-7390 to verify licensure or to see if any actions have been taken against that company.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
Insurance agents with insurance companies aim to sell policies for commission. Insurance brokers, on the other hand, do not represent a company. Instead, they work with individual clients, assessing their clients’ needs and finding different insurance options to fit those needs. Like agents, however, they also receive a commission for the sales they make from different insurance companies.
Whether you use an agent or broker, make sure that they are licensed with the Missouri Department of Insurance. The Department’s website makes this easy by providing an insurance agent/agency search tool that allows you to enter an agent’s name into a database to verify they are licensed. The tool also allows you to see the agent’s phone number, address, and the company the agent works for. Using the tool, you can also see if an agent has been disciplined for violating Missouri insurance law. If you do not wish to use the online tool, the Department has a hotline for consumers as well or you can verify licensure by calling the licensing section at 573-751-3518.
If you have had issues with an insurance company that you cannot resolve through the company itself. You can request information on why your claim has been denied, why your insurer cancelled your policy, or any other area where you believe your insurance company treated you unfairly. The Department will forward your complaint to your insurance company and require that they provide a response or explanation for their actions; determine if a violation has taken place; and otherwise help you resolve a problem between you and your insurance company.
After an Accident
Accidents happen, even to the most careful drivers. If you have been involved in a collision, you must immediately notify local law enforcement. If you or someone else is injured, you may request emergency medical services at that time. Drivers should stay at the scene of the accident until released by a police officer, and make every effort to move their vehicle so that it does not obstruct traffic. To expedite procedures, be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision to responding law enforcement members, and also take down information such as the names of the police officers and witnesses you spoke with for your own accident report.
In addition, you must also report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible, closely following your particular company’s procedures for filing a claim. If your collision involved another driver, obtain their name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number, and the make and model of the car they were driving when the accident occurred, even if the other driver has no car insurance in Missouri. Report the extent of the damage to both cars, how the accident happened, what occurred during the accident, and the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company.
When all of your information has been received, your insurance company will investigate and pay your claim according to the terms outlined in your insurance policy. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company must notify you every 30 days until it is processed. In the event that your claim is denied, your insurance company will notify you in writing.
Your insurance company may also seek subrogation, which typically happens when someone else was at fault for an accident you were in. Your insurance will cover the costs of any medical or repair bills you had, but your insurance will then reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for compensation. During this process, you should provide your insurance company with full cooperation to ensure that this process goes smoothly. If you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company, be sure to notify your insurance company.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Your driving record may prevent you from receiving the insurance coverage, especially if you have a lengthy history of accidents, tickets, or drunk driving. However, the state of Missouri makes it possible for every driver to find insurance opportunities by offering the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan. This plan specifically covers drivers in Missouri who cannot find coverage in the voluntary market due to their driving records. In order to qualify, be sure that you meet the following criteria:
- Possess a valid Missouri driver’s license.
- Be free of debt from any previous auto insurance.
You may also be required by the state to have your insurance company file an SR-22 form to prove that you have maintained minimum liability coverage. The SR-22 form is required in Missouri to reinstate a license that has been suspended or revoked for failing to pay an accident judgment in or out of state, getting caught driving without insurance, or providing fake insurance, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue. The SR-22 must remain on file for two to three years, depending on the violation.
The Missouri Department of Insurance offers assistance to anyone shopping for insurance. They will answer inquiries related to insurance, look into complaints with specific agencies, agents, or brokers, educate consumers on insurance law and procedures, and enforce insurance law on the consumer’s behalf if needed. You can contact them at 800-726-7390.