From St. Louis to Kansas City, Springfield to Columbia, Missouri has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from the Ozark Mountain Plateau to the Boot Heel cotton fields, along the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express and into downtown Jefferson City. They’re used by over 4.2 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 11,400 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Show-Me State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Missouri’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Missouri state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Missouri’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Missouri drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$25,000/$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage
Missouri does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability insurance or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Missouri Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of Missouri car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties. A first offense can carry a fine of $300, your driver’s license can be suspended and you can be jailed for up to 15 days. In Missouri, a ticket for No Insurance stays on your driving record forever. If you are involved in an accident without car insurance, you and the other driver must file an accident report within one year and your license can be suspended, whether the accident was your fault or not. If it was your fault, your license will be suspended and you will not be able to get it reinstated until you can show proof that you have paid all damages to the other driver.
Missouri Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Missouri Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Missouri also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Missouri Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Missouri Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Missouri. The following laws have recently been enacted in Missouri and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
There is a ban on texting for novice drivers.
Drivers must change lanes and yield to stopped transportation agency vehicles displaying flashing amber or white lights.
The penalty for a traffic violation or offense within an active emergency zone has increased to $250 for a first offense and $300 for a second or subsequent offense. Violations can include speeding or passing in any active emergency zone, including temporary zones such as an accident scene or anywhere signs or barrels indicate emergency responders are at work.
Drivers can now show electronic proof of auto insurance if they are pulled over for a traffic violation.