Missouri Car Insurance Requirements
If you intend to register and operate a car in Missouri you need to prove financial responsibility just as you do in any other state. In Missouri there’s only one way to do that: purchase a car insurance policy that provides minimal amounts of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. You can buy a car insurance policy of this type from any insurance company licensed to do business in the state.
Though you may elect to add additional coverages or increase minimum amounts, your Missouri car insurance policy must include at least the following:
- property damage liability – $10,000 per accident
- bodily injury/death liability – $25,000 for one victim
- bodily injury/death liability – $50,000 for multiple victims
- uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – $25,000/$50,000
All four amounts are covered on a per-accident basis. In other words, where medical insurance might cap payments on an annual basis, car insurance pays out, up to the limit, on each individual accident.
Proof of Insurance in Your Vehicle
Missouri law requires drivers to carry some sort of proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Normally that proof consists of an insurance ID card provided by your insurance company. But it could also be a copy of your declaration pages, and insurance binder, or a letter from your insurance company. Regardless of the document type it must contain specific information about you, your policy, and your vehicle.
During a traffic stop or accident investigation a police officer will ask you to produce your car insurance documentation. If you cannot do so you’ll be issued a citation. The Missouri Department of Revenue will also be notified immediately that you do not have a valid insurance policy in force — even if you do. It will be up to you to send proof of insurance to the Department of Revenue in order to avoid fines and penalties.
Insurance Violation Penalties
If you’re caught driving without insurance you’ll be forced to pay at least a minimal civil fine. If the judge decides, he can suspend your license for lack of insurance. Typically a first offense does not garner a suspension, but subsequent offenses do. A second violation within two years can result in a 90-day suspension while a third violation usually results in a 12-month suspension. Various reinstatement fees will be applied in order to get your license back.
If you have an accident without proper insurance all of the above penalties apply. In addition, you’ll face fines beginning at $500. Those fines go up according to the severity of the accident. Considering the cost of cheap car insurance these days, you’re better off just following the law.