Car Insurance Done the SMARTWAY™


Did you know that the mean center of the United States population has been in Missouri since the 1980 census? What’s that? Glad you asked, because it’s a neat bit of trivia.

Imagine the country as a flat plane. Then, every person in it is represented by a token of equal size and weight that’s placed where they live. The mean center is the geographical point at which the country could be placed on a pointy stick and the population would be perfectly distributed to balance the nation on that point. As of the 2010 census, the mean center of the U.S. was in Texas County, Missouri; it’s projected to shift to Wright County, Missouri following the 2020 census.

Going from the mean center to low down… While it doesn’t always sound flattering to be near the bottom of a list, in Missouri’s case, it generally ranks in the bottom 10 to 12 states for average car insurance premiums. So that’s pretty good. But it still takes a little effort to ensure you’re paying as little as possible each month for coverage that’s just right for your needs.

Now that you’re here, though, things just got a lot easier. SmartFinancial lets you instantly compare quotes from many top auto insurance providers in Missouri. It’s a carrier-neutral system, so no worries that you’re getting biased results, and it’s free for you to use!

Sounds great! Let’s start comparison shopping now!

Missouri Auto Insurance Rates

It may seem daunting trying to track down the best rates on car insurance in Missouri, especially given all the carrier options. But SmartFinancial is here to help. A J.D. Power study in 2016 ranked car insurance companies in different U.S. regions, and it’s helpful for identifying the leading providers. The three at the top of the list in Missouri are (see the full list).

  1. Shelter
  2. State Farm
  3. The Hartford

The study went by average premiums, customer satisfaction ratings, policy flexibility, and a few other key metrics. These are all things you should investigate when vetting car insurance companies. It’s important to remember, though, that coverage quotes are based on lots of individual factors, so studies like these can only provide a general guide.

There’s just no substitute for comparing quotes from multiple top-rated carriers. Our innovative platform lets you do just that—quickly, easily, and for free! Try it out by choosing your location below, or by clicking here if you don’t see your city on the list.

 

Legalities 101

Auto insurance laws and minimum coverage requirements are in place to protect all drivers from the burdensome costs resulting from an accident. They also help protect insurance companies so that they’re able to keep offering their services. It’s a system designed with everyone in mind, and it helps keep coverage costs down for all Missouri residents.

The unfortunate reality is that accidents happen. Car insurance is an important part of successfully coping with that fact.

Missouri Driving Safety

Missouri’s traffic accident fatality rate in 2015 was the highest it’s been since 2009. All in all, though, it’s significantly improved since the late 1990s and early 2000s. “Mature drivers,” defined by the state as those 55 and up, are involved in nearly one-third of accidents in Missouri, while drivers 21 or younger are involved in almost one-quarter of accidents.

Find more crash data on the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Statistical Analysis Center website.

Missouri Driving Safety Stats

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869
Number of traffic crash fatalities in 2015
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34,028
Number of accidents causing death or injury in 2014
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103,370
Number of accidents causing property damage in 2014

Driving Green

It’s becoming ever more common for government agencies to reward citizens for making more environmentally responsible choices. And, as consumers become increasingly eco-minded, companies look for ways to attract their business. As far as the topic at hand is concerned, this means that lots of car insurance providers offer discounts for green driving decisions.

  • Emissions Testing Exemptions for Green Vehicles

    In certain counties in Missouri, emissions testing costs residents time and money every time they register a vehicle or renew its registration. But if you drive an eco-friendly low-speed, plug-in electric, or 100% alternative fuel vehicle, Missouri exempts you from testing requirements.

  • Auto Insurance Discounts for Sustainable Driving

    If you’re a green driver, your carrier probably has a money-saving offer for you. Hybrid, alternative fuel, and economy vehicles often qualify for discounted premiums. Also, many car insurance companies give you a discount for keeping your mileage down under a certain limit over the course of the year. Reduced driving is better for the environment, and it reduces your odds of an accident.

  • Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

    Have you recently bought an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle? If so, you’re probably eligible for up to $7,500 in Federal tax credits. The IRS calculates the amount of your tax break based on your car’s battery capacity. Visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website to learn more about this and to see how much of a tax break your new ride qualifies you for.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Each state sets its own minimum auto insurance coverage limits. In Missouri, every registered vehicle must have coverage of at least $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 property damage liability per accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage is also required in Missouri in the minimum amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident. This type of insurance is a safeguard in the event of an accident with another motorist who’s illegally driving without coverage.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person

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$ 50,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident

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$ 10,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

Some drivers are perfectly content to ride around with the minimum coverage required by state law. But it’s important to recognize that the minimum might not be enough should you have the misfortune of getting into a serious accident. Also, this basic coverage doesn’t pay for certain types of damage or vehicle problems resulting from other circumstances besides an accident. This is where optional coverages enter the picture. They provide a lot more peace of mind—and financial protection—to help you truly benefit from your insurance investment down the road.

Optional coverage in Missouri

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical Payments
  • Gap Coverage
  • New Car Replacement
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Towing and Labor
  • Custom Equipment
  • Loss of Use
  • Travel Expenses
  • Rental Car

As a side note, not all “optional” coverages are always optional. It’s standard for banks and other lenders who provide vehicle financing to look out for their interests by requiring some of these extra types of coverage. Usually, they at least insist on collision and comprehensive coverage.

If you’re concerned about the added cost of optional coverages, check out 12 Things You can Do to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium. You can often counterbalance these extra expenses by getting your premium down.

Missouri car insurance companies

Shelter
State Farm
The Hartford
Safeco
American Family
Progressive
Geico
Auto-Owners Insurance
Liberty Mutual
ACSC (AAA)
Travelers
Farmers
Alstate
Farm Bureau Mutual
Nationwide

*This list is based on consumer ratings of the Central U.S. Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are based on five customer service areas: policy offerings, price, interaction, claims, billing. USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families and is therefore not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Missouri Kids

Missouri Car Seat Regulations

Missouri’s child restraint laws specify that all children under 80 pounds or 4’9” tall must be properly secured in a car or booster seat that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Infants should be in a rear-facing car seat, which is advisable until 2 years of age or until a child reaches the size limit of your rear-facing child restraint system. All kids younger than 4 or weighing less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate rear- or forward-facing car seat.

When a child is at least 4 years old and weighs more than 40 pounds—both conditions must be met—he or she should move to an appropriately rated belt-positioning booster seat. At either 80 pounds or 4’9” tall, a child may be in a booster seat rated for his or her size, or may discontinue use of a booster seat and use the vehicle’s factory-installed restraint system.

Note, though, that height is more important than weight in determining when it’s safe for a kid to switch to the vehicle’s seat belts. At 4’9”, people can be safely secured this way in most vehicles. Someone who’s shorter but 80 pounds or more may not have the lap belt properly cross the top of their thighs and the shoulder belt properly cross their shoulder and chest while sitting up straight with knees bent over the front of the seat.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

There are a number of dangers involved in leaving a child unattended in your car, truck, or SUV. Kids can obviously hurt themselves while playing around, and they’re at increased risk of kidnapping or assault when there’s no older individual around to act as a deterrent or protect them.

If the keys are left inside the vehicle, or it’s left running, curious children might attempt to operate some of the systems—or even drive. Missouri law states that leaving a child of 10 years or younger unattended (unsupervised by someone at least 14 years of age) in a vehicle is a class C felony if the child causes an accident that results in the death of another person. The same situation is a class A misdemeanor if the child causes an accident or injures another person.

Also, kids (and animals) are vulnerable to heat stroke, brain damage, and death if they’re left in an auto that gets too hot inside. This can happen quickly, even with cracked windows, and even on a temperate day if the vehicle’s in direct sunlight.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Missouri?

Yes. Insurance companies associate low credit scores with higher probability of filing a claim. Your credit score is one of a number of factors used to devise something called your “insurance score.” It’s a system for carriers to estimate the risk of insuring a particular customer, and therefore what they want to charge them. Raising your credit score (or keeping up a high one) helps you get a better deal on your coverage.

Does Missouri offer a good-driver discount?

Missouri motorists who’ve maintained a clean driving record free of accidents and tickets for moving violations for a certain number of years may qualify for a good-driver discount from their car insurance provider. Ask your representative if this is available and what the requirements are. And while you’re at it, also inquire about other common discounts, such as:

  • Full Pay
  • Multiple Car
  • Multiple Policy
  • Good Student
  • Resident Student
  • Accident Free
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Home Ownership
  • New Car
  • Passive Restraint
  • Utility Discount

Does Missouri allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Good news, Missouri residents: If you haven’t heard, yes, since mid 2013, you’ve been permitted to show digital proof of coverage on your smartphone or another mobile device. Obtain a digital insurance card from your carrier and no more worrying about finding that printed card in your overstuffed glove box. But it’s still wise to have one in there, just in case your phone isn’t charged or isn’t cooperating when you need to produce proof.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

If you drive without at least the minimum required liability insurance, your driving privileges may be suspended, you’ll face some fines, and you’ll have four points assessed to your driver’s license. Keep in mind that it only takes eight points within an 18-month period to lose your driving privileges in Missouri.

What are Missouri's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Missouri at the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

Learn more about the state’s driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws, processes, and penalties on the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

 

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Missouri?

Missouri, like most states nowadays, has an implied consent law that requires all motorists to submit to a chemical detection test at the request of a police officer. Refusing to submit results in loss of driving privileges for 1 year. Then, you’ll have to go through the state’s 3 steps to get your license reinstated.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

Conviction of a DWI offense in Missouri comes with criminal and administrative penalties. For a first offense, points will be assessed to your license, and it will be suspended for 90 days. However, you can apply for restricted driving privileges. You may face various fines and fees, as well. Prior drug or alcohol-related convictions within a 5-year period increase your penalties as a repeat offender.

Does Missouri offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Missouri’s Driver Improvement Program (DIP) offers courses that can, in many counties, prevent you from having points assessed to your driver’s license following certain types of tickets. If you complete one of these courses voluntarily and not in conjunction with a violation, your car insurance company may give you a break on your rate. It’s pretty common, but check with your carrier first to make sure this is something it offers.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Missouri car insurance?

Everyone loves to save money, and there are plenty of ways to save on your auto coverage. Carriers serving Missouri residents typically have a wide assortment of discounts available, many of which we’ve discussed above. Remember, a good credit score and a clean driving record are very useful for keeping your rates down. Also, if you can pay off a term of coverage upfront instead of in monthly installments, you usually get a lower rate. Take as high a deductible as you can, too, as your carrier will trade off with a lower premium. The most effective way to cut your car insurance cost, though, is to thoroughly comparison shop for the best quote when you’re in the market for a new policy.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Missouri?

Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damage and injuries caused by another driver who doesn’t have car insurance. Driving without coverage may be against the law, but it happens more than you might realize. Every year, thousands of Missouri residents are involved in a crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Missouri mandates uninsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident. This is an attempt to protect consumers and insurance companies, ultimately helping to keep premiums down for everyone in the state.

11%
Uninsured drivers in Missouri
12%
Uninsured drivers Nationwide

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