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How to guard against uninsured drivers

Missouri requires its drivers to carry minimum amounts of car insurance. For example, drivers must have an uninsured motorists policy with a minimum of $25,000 per person for bodily injury and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. As the state Department of Revenue website says, “Unfortunately, each year thousands of Missouri citizens are involved in automobile accidents with drivers who have not maintained the required automobile insurance. This results in unpaid damage claims and higher insurance premium rates for all Missourians.”

How can you best protect yourself?

Go past the minimums

A good way to start protecting yourself is to purchase more insurance coverage than the minimum amount required by law. Many experts recommend that you carry at least $100,000 worth both in per person and per accident coverage if possible. The reality is that quite a few people do get severely injured in car accidents, and their medical bills easily run into the six figures. For just a few more dollars a month, you could take care of yourself as comprehensively as possible should you get in an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Remember that there is a reason that Missouri and many other states require uninsured motorist coverage. The Insurance Research Council says that as many as one in every eight drivers lacks car insurance.

Stay on top of things

Could you be an uninsured driver? Maybe you are laughing, but some motorists end up shocked when they find out they do not have car insurance or that they have inadequate insurance. It could be that they just purchased a car and had yet to sort it with the insurance agent before a truck hit them. Or, a mailed-in insurance payment got lost in transit, and the nonpayment means the insurer will not cover a claim. Set up automated withdrawals from your bank account if possible so payments will never be late, and let your insurance agent know ahead of time about a car purchase.