Missouri Car Insurance
Missouri ranks as the 24th most expensive state for auto insurance. The annual policy premiums average around $1,563, which is in line with the national average. Drivers moving to Missouri from another state may experience an increase or decrease in policy premiums, depending on their situation. Drivers may also have premiums that are higher or lower than the state average depending on their driving history, credit score, type of vehicle insured and other factors. By understanding how car insurance costs are calculated, a driver can learn ways to customize his policy and fit within a budget.
Why do car insurance quotes vary between states?
Auto insurance companies determine the cost of coverage by assessing risk. The higher the likelihood of a person being involved in an accident, the more that person’s auto insurance will cost. Risk is measured at an individual level by assessing a driver’s driving record, credit score, age, gender and other factors. Risk is also assessed at a geographic level by looking at a state’s uninsured driver population, number of DUI convictions, crime rates, weather patterns and more. This is why insurance premiums vary from one state to the next or even between postal codes.
Missouri has a moderate rate of uninsured drivers. Roughly 14 percent of drivers in the state are operating without car insurance. While not a low number, this is certainly not as high as many of the states with more expensive auto coverage where uninsured drivers may make up as much as 25 percent of the total population.
Missouri also has a moderate rate of drunk driving. In 2009, 364 people were killed as a result of a drunk driving accident. While higher than figures in many states, this is substantially lower than Texas, California and other states with a high incidence of drunk driving; in these areas, alcohol-related deaths measure in the thousands.
Auto theft is a concern in Missouri, and vandalism and partial theft may be a problem in St. Louis and surrounding areas. St. Louis has a fairly high incidence of property crimes and larceny. Missouri is ranked 17th in the nation for property crime and 10th in the nation for larceny, so vehicles here have an elevated chance of being vandalized or broken into than in other areas with lower crime rates. The state also ranks 12th for vehicle theft.
Another reason that some states have higher insurance costs than others is because of the coverage a state may require. Each state sets its own insurance laws, and some areas require substantially more auto insurance than others. This means that a state’s average insurance policy may be higher than another state’s, but the actual cost of identical policies will be closer in price between two areas.
Missouri Car Insurance Requirements
Missouri has fairly standard auto insurance requirements. Drivers must carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability and $25,000/$50,000 of bodily injury liability insurance. These limits are quite low, and it’s easy to exceed this amount with a major accident or one involving multiple vehicles. For this reason, drivers should always purchase more liability coverage if they can afford it. Otherwise, they may be held personally liable for damage that they cause and could be at risk of a lawsuit or other legal action if a claim cannot be paid in full.
Drivers in Missouri must also carry uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This protects a driver from injuries sustained in an accident with an uninsured driver. Because the coverage is meant to replace another person’s liability, it usually is sold with the same limits as the policy’s own injury liability coverage. Missouri drivers can also purchase uninsured motorist property damage liability coverage, but it is not required by law.
People with old or well-worn vehicles may not want to buy full coverage insurance, but individuals who drive new vehicles or who are financing their vehicles will need to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. These pay for damage to the insured vehicle regardless of who causes that damage.
Other coverage available in the state includes personal injury protection, rental reimbursement and towing coverage. These can be purchased separately regardless of whether the policy has full coverage. This allows the policy owner to customize his coverage to suit his needs and stay within his budget.
Whether you’re a current Missouri resident or looking at moving to the state the fastest way to find the best car insurance quotes is by shopping online. Enter your ZIP code above to find a list Missouri car insurance companies today!