A Missouri car insurance policy must include bodily injury liability limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. That stacks up well with other states. But $10,000 for property damage doesn't; if you hit a newer car, that won't pay for all the damage, exposing you to lawsuits.
If you have savings, a business or a home to protect, we recommend higher liability limits across the board.
Missouri also requires that you buy uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage to pay for treatment if you're hit by a driver without insurance. It's estimated that 14 percent of Missourians are driving without the required liability insurance.
Penalties for driving without insurance: Failure to show proof of insurance comes with a penalty of up to 15 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300. The Missouri Driver License Bureau will also place the violation on your record and assess you four points (it takes eight points within an 18-month period to get your license suspended).
Pure comparative fault state: If insurers determine that both drivers are to blame in an accident, then your damages can be reduced by the percentage you're found at fault. A pure comparative negligence law like Missouri allows both drivers to recover some payment. So, if you're found to be 80 percent at fault, you could still recover 20 percent of your damages from the other party.
No grace period: A late payment may result in your policy being canceled. After the first 60 days of a policy, a Missouri auto insurance company cannot cancel your policy unless it finds that your license is suspended or revoked. The exception to the rule? If you failed to pay your premium.Your auto insurer can decide to nonrenew you at the end of your term for other reasons, but must notify you at least 30 days before your policy's expiration date.
Watch your step: Among the infractions that can net you two points on your Missouri motor vehicle record are failure to keep right, squealing your tires, fishtailing -- and texting while driving.