Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Missouri: Do You Need It?

Missouri requires uninsured motorist insurance by law, but understanding the coverage and its limitations can be complex.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
Getting
uninsured motorist coverage
in
Missouri
isn’t just a smart move—it’s required by law. If you skip it, you could face a suspended license and steep reinstatement fines.  
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Missouri?

If you want to stay on the right side of the law, you need uninsured motorist coverage in Missouri. But even if it weren’t a legal requirement, buying this coverage would still be a good idea. 
Data from the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
shows that Missouri is ranked 12th in the nation for its rate of uninsured drivers. According to the III, a whopping 16.4% of Missouri drivers are uninsured. This presents a huge risk to everyone else on the road!
With over 16 out of every 100 Missouri drivers being uninsured, you need uninsured motorist coverage for your own protection, regardless of the law. And even though it’s another coverage type to pay for, Missouri’s auto insurance rates remain lower than the national average—uninsured motorist coverage only costs around $50 to $100 per year in Missouri.
And it’s money well spent. This kind of insurance will pay for damages to your property, vehicle, or medical bills if you’re involved in an accident with someone who’s uninsured. That means you won’t be left on the hook for the cost out of pocket, and you won’t rely on a legal settlement before getting help. 

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Missouri

In Missouri, you’re required to have
liability insurance
for bodily injury and property damage, as well as uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. At a minimum, you must have the following amounts of coverage:
  • $25,000 per person
    bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability 
  • $25,000 per accident
    property damage liability
  • $25,000 per person uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
  • $50,000 per accident uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
Liability coverage will pay to cover damages or injuries caused to other people when you’re at fault in an accident. Ideally, if you’re in an accident where someone else is at fault, their liability coverage will pay for your damages. However, if you’re in a hit-and-run accident or a collision with an uninsured driver, then you can file a claim on your own policy’s uninsured motorist coverage.
Basically, this type of insurance steps up to take care of you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have their own insurance. 

What it covers

Under
Missouri car insurance laws
, you may be eligible to file an uninsured motorist claim through your own insurance policy if you’re in an accident with someone who is uninsured and at fault, and the accident causes you bodily injury. It’s important to understand that if you are the one at fault in an accident, you cannot file an uninsured motorist claim, even if the other party is uninsured. 
It’s also worth noting that if you’re in an accident with an insured at-fault driver whose coverage is insufficient to pay your expenses, you may still be able to file an uninsured motorist claim.
You should also know that uninsured motorist coverage will only pay for expenses related to your or your passengers’ bodily injuries. It does not pay for damages caused to your vehicle. If your vehicle sustains damages, other types of coverage can kick in, such as
collision
or
comprehensive insurance

How to make a claim 

Typically
after a car accident
, you’ll exchange insurance information with any other parties involved in the collision. But in cases of hit-and-run collisions or accidents with uninsured drivers, things may not always go as expected.
Here’s a general set of guidelines to follow if you’re in an accident:
  • Stop your vehicle, even if the accident seems minor. It’s illegal to leave the scene of an accident. 
  • Get medical help if you need it. Also, check on other parties and assist them in getting medical assistance if needed. 
  • Call law enforcement.
  • If your car is obstructing traffic and it can be moved, move it out of the way of traffic. 
  • Exchange information with everyone involved in the accident, including insurance policy details, contact information, names, and addresses. 
  • Stay at the scene until you’re dismissed by law enforcement. 
Those are the steps to follow in a routine accident where everyone has met their legal automobile insurance obligations. But what if you’re in a wreck with an uninsured driver? Or what if someone hits your vehicle and drives away
If you’re in a circumstance like that, you can file an uninsured motorist claim as long as you are not at fault in the accident and if you sustained a bodily injury as a result of the accident. Here’s how to file an uninsured motorist claim:
  • Contact law enforcement to report the accident within 24 hours,
    even in cases of hit-and-run
    .
  • Get in touch with your insurance company right away and report the details of the accident. Follow their instructions for
    filing a claim
  • Notify the Missouri Department of Revenue. An accident report form should be available from your insurance provider. 
Following these steps is the best way to ensure your claim is successfully processed. However, you should know that if there’s no proof that another at-fault party was involved in your accident, your claim could be denied. 

Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Missouri

Besides the fact that it’s required by law, there are plenty of good reasons to have uninsured motorist coverage in Missouri. 

Missouri is ranked 17th in the nation for hit-and-run accidents

Although it’s not extremely high up on the list, Missouri still sees more hit-and-run accidents than 33 other states in the union. That means you’re exposed to an elevated risk of being in an accident where the at-fault driver flees. Without uninsured motorist coverage, you would be left with no options to file a claim for your medical bills. 

As many as 16 percent of Missouri drivers are uninsured

At first glance, 16% may not seem too high, but when you consider the number of cars you encounter in a day, the figure becomes staggering. Out of every 10 cars, between 1 and 2 of the drivers are uninsured. When you take a look around next time you’re in rush-hour traffic, you’ll understand why Missouri requires uninsured motorist coverage. 

How to save on car insurance in Missouri

Because uninsured motorist coverage is lumped in with your required minimum insurance in Missouri, you won’t have the option to forgo it. And even if you did have that option, the coverage is so cheap that we’d argue it’s worth the few extra bucks a month. 
But that doesn't mean there aren’t other ways to save on your coverage. One of the easiest things you can do to cut your premium price is comparison shop for car insurance with the
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You can buy your new policy right from the app on your mobile phone without any paperwork, unwanted phone calls, or salespeople. Jerry can even help you cancel your old insurance! And best of all, the average Jerry user saves more than $800 a year on car insurance. 
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