Missourians have to establish proof of financial responsibility in order to operate motor vehicles legally. Unlike many states, however, there is more than one way to do so. In many states, liability auto insurance is the only option. This type of coverage fulfills the financial responsibility requirement and provides exceptional protection, especially when a really first-rate policy is purchased. At the very least, drivers should learn about Missouri's minimum insurance requirements before making a decision. They should also keep in mind that it's usually best to buy more extensive coverage.
While drivers can explore alternative options to liability insurance, most ultimately end up getting it. Unfortunately, some people don't understand the importance of buying adequate coverage. In some cases, the minimum requirements may fall short of the kind of protection that a driver needs. Even if a driver doesn't think he needs liability insurance, he should at least learn about the types of drivers who are on the road in the Show-Me State. With that information, he will most likely realize that basic coverage isn't enough. Accidents take place all over the state every day, and safe, careful drivers are often involved.
Who Drives in Missouri?
Quickly learning a few basics about driving statistics in Missouri will go a long way toward helping a driver find the right coverage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population of the Show-Me State in 2012 was 6,021,988. The Federal Highway Administration reports that 4,277,037 people, or 71 percent of the population, was legally licensed to drive as of November 2012. That number was split fairly evenly between men and women. 2,099,099 people, or 49.08 percent of all drivers, were male while 2,177,938 people, or 50.92 percent of all drivers, were female.
Most drivers realize that their gender can't come into play when premiums are calculated. Many other factors are considered, however, and age is one of the most important examples. Older drivers tend to be more experienced, so they are viewed as being less risky. Younger drivers have less experience and are therefore considered to be riskier. In Missouri in November 2012, 109,978 people, or 2.6 percent of all licensed drivers, were aged 19 or below. The largest group demographically, which was made up of drivers between the ages of 50 and 54, consisted of 205,100 people, or 4.8 percent of all licensed drivers.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Missouri
Although most car insurance providers in Missouri are aware of the state's minimum coverage requirements, drivers should educate themselves before requesting quotes. It's a good way to reduce the risk of ending up with insufficient coverage. In fact, most people should opt for more extensive coverage.
Most people choose to meet the financial responsibility requirement by purchasing liability insurance. However, drivers may also file a bond or deposit totaling $60,000 or a real estate bond with the Department of Revenue. Drivers with 25 or more registered vehicles may opt for self-insurance as well.
For the majority who do opt for liability coverage, the following requirements must be met:
- At least $25,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $50,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $10,000 in property damage coverage
Cars that are titled but not registered do not need to be insured. The same is true of state, federal and municipal vehicles. Commercial vehicles are exempt as long as they have commercial coverage.
As with so many states, there are pretty serious penalties for driving without proof of financial responsibility in the Show-Me State. For one thing, a driver will be slapped with four points on his license, which could make his premiums increase. His license may be suspended, and he may be placed under supervision for a period of time.
Those who aren't insured and get into accidents are required to file form SR-22 with the DMV for three years. Every time the form is filed, a large fee is assessed, so this is something that most people would like to avoid.