Car Insurance in Missouri

It took me less than 30 minutes to save $265.

Heavy competition drives Missouri auto insurance premiums down $40 below the national average — that’s a savings of $480 a year. But why stop there? A little research and a few quotes can shave hundreds more off your annual premium.

I applied for the state’s minimum coverage and found I could save $265 a year by going with GEICO — but just because GEICO was right for me doesn’t mean it’s the best car insurance company for you too. Every insurer has its own formula for calculating premiums, based on your driving record, your vehicle make and model, where you live, and a number of other factors. On top of that, each company weighs these things a little differently, so the only way to find the best deal is to get a handful of quotes (I’d recommend at least five) and compare them.

Online quotes only take about five minutes. You’ll need to answer some basic questions about yourself and your vehicle and boom, you’ll be presented with a policy to customize. If you have to do a quote over the phone, expect that to take about 10 minutes. All in all, it’s not half as bad as you’d think it would be.

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Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Missouri

I started my search with these six companies and I’d recommend them to anyone in Missouri. Each one received an “excellent” or “superior” grade from A.M. Best, a top financial strength rating agency that measures a company’s long-term stability. They also received high marks in J.D. Power’s most recent customer satisfaction survey. Between these two high grades, you can trust that any of these insurers would serve you well in the case of an accident.

Insurer My quote
GEICO $320
Allstate $466
State Farm $468
American Family $485
Farmers $527
Shelter Insurance $585

After comparing all six, GEICO was obviously the cheapest option for me at $320, while Allstate came in a distant second at $466 — but even that was better than the $585 Shelter Insurance offered me. At GEICO’s prices, I could purchase much higher coverage limits for the same or less than what Shelter Insurance would charge me for the bottom end. And by the way, purchasing more than the state-mandated minimums is a super smart thing to do.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

It’s not widely known, but insurance companies consider how likely you are to shop for a better deal when calculating your premiums. This is called price optimization and it involves the analysis of a large amount of personal data (your credit score, your online shopping habits, your social media activity, etc.) to determine your loyalty to one particular company.

You would expect your dedication to be rewarded, but actually, if the insurer believes you won’t look for a better deal, it’ll charge you extra. According to Missouri Department of Insurance Director John Huff, seniors are at the greatest risk of being charged more because they’re more likely to remain loyal to their insurer.

Consumers can increase their odds of getting the best insurance “deal” by getting information about rates, coverage and service from a number of companies and agents. A few phone calls may save you $50 to $100. — Missouri Department of Insurance

It’s wise to shop for a new policy every year or two to avoid these extra charges. You want your premium to reflect you and your driving record, not your shopping habits. If you prove you’re willing to walk away for a better deal, your insurer is going to offer you a better rate so it can keep your business.

Missouri is one of only a handful of states that have taken steps to curb this practice. In early 2016, the Missouri Department of Insurance issued a bulletin banning all insurers operating in the state from using these tactics, on the grounds that they are unfairly discriminatory and in violation of state law. If you last purchased insurance prior to 2016, you may want to shop around for a new policy to make sure your rate doesn’t include discriminatory loyalty charges.

Missouri’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Missouri residents must have $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, along with $10,000 of property damage liability coverage. They must also carry uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage with minimums of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

The Best Car Insurance Isn’t Just Cheap Car Insurance

It’s a good idea to purchase more than the minimum coverage, if possible. Consider this:

  • On average, a driver files a claim for an accident every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of a permanently disabling injury is $80,700. And that’s not including property damages.

If I only have the minimum coverage and I do that kind of damage in an accident, I’m in trouble. My insurance is only going to pay the $25,000 it’s responsible for and that leaves me with $55,000 to pay out of my own pocket. I’ll probably find myself in court being sued for the rest and that’s a situation I’d like to avoid.

The smarter solution would be to buy more coverage upfront. Upping my liability coverage to $100,000/$200,000/$100,000 would only cost an extra $18 a year with GEICO. For an extra $1.50 every month, I get four times the protection in the event of an accident. That’s definitely worth it to me.

Vehicle protection is also important, unless you want to pay for repairs yourself. Collision coverage handles damages caused by accidents with other vehicles while comprehensive coverage deals with acts of nature, vandalism, and theft. If you have a lease or loan on your vehicle, your lender likely requires both coverages.

Don’t duplicate coverage: Try not to buy automobile insurance and health/accident insurance that pay for the same things. Compare your policies and consult with your agent or broker before purchasing additional coverage. — Missouri Department of Insurance

If You Skip Coverage, It’ll Cost You

Missouri requires drivers to present proof of insurance when they register their vehicle and any time a law enforcement official requests it. Failure to do so will result in four points assessed against your driving record and possible suspension of your license.

First-time offenders won’t have their driving privileges revoked, but subsequent violations may result in up to a year’s suspension. Reinstating your license requires proof of insurance, which must be maintained for at least three years. If you let the policy lapse, your license will be immediately suspended until new insurance is purchased. You must also pay a reinstatement fee, ranging from $20 to $400, to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

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Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

There’s a lot you can do to lower your premiums without too much effort. Paying your premium in full and limiting how often you drive are easy ways to earn some discounts, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can work on your credit score or let your insurance company monitor your driving habits. For more ideas, check out our list of factors that help you turn already cheap car insurance into an even cheaper premium.

Nine ways to lower you car insurance rate

FAQs

Why are Missouri’s rates so low?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
Missouri: $99 United States: $139
St. Louis $114
Florissant $107
Kansas City $100
Independence $97
Lee’s Summit $92
St. Joseph $90
Springfield $88
Columbia $86
St. Charles $84
St. Peters $84
Source: Quadrant

Missouri has 157 insurance companies vying for your business. That intense competition is good for you because it means they have to offer you a lower rate if they want to lure you away from their competitors. Missouri has actually seen its average premiums decrease by over $200 in recent years (after adjusting for inflation) and this trend may continue into the future.

Should I file a claim for a minor accident or will it make my premiums go up?

The Missouri Department of Insurance recommends weighing the cost of the repair with the price of your deductible. “Filing a claim may increase your insurance premiums. If the damage is about the same as your deductible, you may consider paying for the repairs yourself to avoid higher premiums in the future.” Make the call before you start the claims process; even if you don’t collect, the act of filing a claim could increase your premiums.

The Bottom Line

The only way to find the best insurer for you is to get quotes. It doesn’t take a lot of time and it could save you hundreds of dollars a year. And if you can, go for more than the minimum coverage. If you get into an accident, you’ll be grateful you have the extra coverage.

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Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

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