LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Marshall Ross Hoekel | Jul 17, 2010

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Missouri

What do I do if I'm Injured in a Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver?

In Missouri, this is not as bad as it sounds. By operation of law, your own automobile insurance covers you in the event you are hit by an uninsured motorist. This is true even if you have a liability only insurance policy.

Further, if you insure more than one car under the same policy of insurance all of the limits stack providing a combined limit of coverage. For example, if you have three $50,000.00 policies of insurance, you are accorded the combined benefit of all three policies or $150,000.00 in total coverage. It is likely that you will have more insurance coverage than you would have had if the driver who hit you had insurance.

Now, in order to recover these benefits, the uninsured motorist must be responsible for your injuries. Your insurance company stands in the shoes of the uninsured motorist and if there is a question of liability, you can often find yourself fighting your own insurance company for benefits. This can be an unfortunate situation and is best dealt with by professional assistance.

An uninsured motor vehicle is any car, truck, ATV, etc. which either does not have insurance or which flees from the scene of an accident. Your insurance covers you regardless of whether you are in or out of your car. So, you can be hiking in the woods and be struck by an ATV or four wheeler or jeep which then flees the scene leaving you injured. Your uninsured motor vehicle coverage should provide you coverage under these circumstances.

Therefore, your uninsured motor vehicle coverage is really like a peace of gum that sticks to your shoe. It goes where you go and covers you in the unfortunate situation of being injured by an uninsured motor vehicle or one which flees the scene of the accident.

Apart from your uninsured coverage, your no fault medical payments coverage will provide money for you in the event you are injured in an accident with an uninsured driver. It makes sense for you to purchase the maximum no fault medical payments coverage because it is inexpensive and provides coverage in the event you are in a car accident with any type of vehicle whether insured or not.

Underinsured motorist coverage can provide you with protection from a driver who has less insurance than you do. You should be sure that your underinsured motorist insurance provides you with coverage to the limits of your regular policy. The underinsured coverage provides coverage for the difference between the underinsured driver and the limit you purchase. For example, if you purchase underinsured coverage of $100,000.00 and the driver who hit you had a limit of $25,000.00, your underinsured coverage will provide you with $75,000.00 of coverage in the usual situation.

Underinsured motorist coverage may stack if you insure multiple cars over the same policy of insurance or it may not depending on the language of your insurance policy. The stacking of underinsured motorist coverage has been the subject of much litigation in Missouri and elsewhere. It should be considered in the underinsured scenario. [continue reading]

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