Missouri’s annual car insurance premiums are $480 below the national average, thanks to heavy competition in the state’s insurance market. But you could shave hundreds more off your annual premium by doing a little research and getting some rate quotes.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
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 car insurance for yourself is to get a handful of quotes and compare them.
Online quotes take only about five minutes. You’ll need to answer some basic questions about yourself and your vehicle, and you’ll be presented with a policy to customize.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Missouri
Here are five companies that could work for anyone in Missouri. Each one received a high rating from A.M. Best, a top financial strength rating agency that measures a company’s long-term stability. Nearly all of them also received high marks from J.D. Power, a global leader in customer satisfaction surveys and analysis. With high marks for financial strength and customer service, you can trust that any of these insurers would serve you well:
After comparing all five, Geico was the cheapest car insurance option at $1,480, and Shelter Insurance came in a distant second at $1,662 — but that was better than the $2,924 American Family offered. With Geico, you could purchase much higher coverage limits for the same cost or less than what Shelter Insurance would charge you. And by the way, buying more than the state-mandated minimums is a super- smart thing to do.
Missouri’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Missouri driving laws require residents to 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.
Why are Missouri’s rates so low?
Missouri has multiple insurance companies vying for your business. That intense competition is good for you because it means insurers 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 you file a claim for a minor accident, or will it make your premiums go up?
The Missouri Department of Insurance recommends weighing the cost of the repair against the amount 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, filing a claim could increase your premiums.
Should you purchase more than the minimum coverage requirement?
It’s a good idea to purchase more than the minimum liability coverage, if possible. Consider this:
- On average, a driver has an accident every 17.9 years.
- The average cost of a disabling injury is $93,800, and that’s not including property damages.
- If you have only minimum coverage, and you do that kind of damage in an accident, your insurance is going to pay the $25,000 bodily injury limit, leaving you with $68,800 to pay on your own. Can you spare that kind of money out of pocket without wiping out your savings? If you can’t pay it, expect to wind up in court.
The smarter solution would be to buy more coverage upfront. Upping your liability coverage to $100,000/$200,000/$100,000 would cost an extra $18 a year with Geico. For an extra $1.50 every month, you get four times the protection in the event of an accident. That’s definitely worth it!
Do you need vehicle protection as part of your insurance package?
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 car 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.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
What happens if you don’t carry insurance?
Missouri requires drivers to present proof of insurance when they register their vehicles and any time a law enforcement official requests it. Failure to do so will result in 4 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.
Do you need no-fault insurance?
Sometimes called personal injury protection (PIP), no-fault insurance comes into play when there is an car accident and you and/or your passengers incur medical expenses. No-fault insurance kicks in no matter who is at fault in the accident. It even covers loss of income due to injuries.
Currently, 18 states require drivers to carry no-fault insurance, but Missouri is an at-fault state, meaning that determining which driver is at fault in an accident is necessary in order to decide who will pay for damages. For you, this means that you don’t need to buy PIP because someone will be determined to be at fault for the accident and responsible for damage costs.
What is SR-22 insurance?
If you have ever been found guilty of DUI, got into a car accident while uninsured or been ticketed multiple times in a brief period, you will be forced to purchase SR-22 insurance. If your license has been revoked or suspended, an SR-22 will be required for you. Technically, SR-22 isn’t a type of insurance – rather, it is a certificate that your car insurance company has to complete and file with the state to prove that you are adequately insured. Getting an SR-22 is typically expensive. Without it, you cannot get your license and registration reinstated.
What do you do if you’ve had an accident with an uninsured motorist?
If you have been in a car accident with an uninsured motorist, it may be difficult for you to get compensation for damages. If you find yourself in that circumstance, you can contact the Missouri Department of Revenue, which will help enforce the financial responsibility laws maintained in Missouri.
Is uninsured motorist coverage required in Missouri?
It is the law in Missouri that all insured drivers carry uninsured motorist coverage as part of their policies. This mandatory liability coverage applies to bodily injury that occurs as a result of an car accident. This means that your accident will be covered if you are injured in a hit-and-run, a typical accident where both cars remain, or in a situation in which you are a pedestrian hit by a car. However, uninsured motorist coverage does not apply toward any damage done to your vehicle; if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, you will not receive help paying for the damage to your car.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Missouri?
The Missouri Department of Revenue lists the penalties for drivers caught driving without insurance:
- The conviction will go on your driving record and you will be penalized 4 points on your driver’s license.
- You will be given an “order of supervision,” which means that your license will be checked regularly to make sure that you are maintaining insurance.
- You may lose your license for up to one year and be assessed a license reinstatement fee of up to $400.
Get a Better Deal When You’re Willing to Shop Around
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 the Missouri Department of Insurance, seniors are at the greatest risk of being charged more because they’re more likely to remain loyal to their insurers.
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 a lot of money.
It’s wise to shop for a new policy every year or two to avoid these extra charges. Whether you’re a new driver, good driver or bad-credit driver, you want your premium to reflect you and your driving record and 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 price optimization. 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 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.
Best Car Insurance in Missouri
- Shelter Insurance
- State Farm
- American Family
The Bottom Line
The only way to find the best insurer 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, buy more than the minimum coverage. If you get into an accident, you’ll be grateful you have the extra protection.