Missouri Auto Insurance Claims Laws

December 6, 2021Insurance

When an accident occurs in Missouri, the person responsible for causing it is required to pay for any resulting damages. That is because Missouri is a “fault” car accident state.

Options for Filing a Car Accident Claim

A person involved in a car accident in Missouri has the right to recover compensation in one of the three following ways:

  • Filing a claim with their own auto insurer. You can file a claim under your policy as long as you have collision coverage. Your insurer will then pursue a subrogation claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company for reimbursement of the benefits they already paid you.
  • Filing a claim directly with the at-fault driver’s auto insurer (known as a third-party claim).
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.

In contrast, some states operate under a “no-fault” car insurance system, and victims must file a claim with their own insurer regardless of fault.

Missouri Auto Insurance Requirements

All drivers in Missouri must by law to carry liability insurance coverage with a minimum of:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury or death per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage per accident

Liability coverage will pay for another party’s medical bills, property damage, and other costs up to policy limits when you are at fault. Drivers must also carry uninsured motorist coverage (UM) with a minimum of:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury per accident

UM coverage protects drivers and their passengers if they are ever in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, but will not pay for vehicle damage. If your total damages exceed your liability or UM policy limits, the only option to recover the difference is to sue the at-fault driver personally.

While liability and UM are the only types of auto insurance required by law, there are many other kinds of optional coverage, including medical payments, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and roadside assistance.

Consequences of Driving With No Car Insurance in Missouri

In Missouri, driving without car insurance can lead to severe consequences, even if you have insurance but fail to provide proof. For example:

  • Four points on your driving record
  • Ongoing monitoring by the Missouri Department of Revenue
  • Driver’s license suspension

Additionally, drivers who cause an accident without insurance may be personally liable for the damages.

Time Limits for Filing a Car Accident Claim

After a car accident, the Missouri Department of Insurance states you should report the accident immediately to your insurance company. If you were not responsible, you should notify the at-fault party’s insurer. However, under the state’s statute of limitations, you have five years from the date of the collision to file suit or settle a claim. When an accident results in a fatality, the victim’s family has three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. If you fail to pursue a claim within the allotted time, you will lose your right to recover any compensation. Contact a St. Louis car accident attorney today.

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