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If you are considered a high risk driver, you may find it difficult to find coverage in the voluntary insurance market in Missouri. It generally happens when you lack a number of years of driving experience, have a record of accidents or motor vehicle violations, or a poor credit score. If that's the case, you can find an alternative in the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan (MO AIP). In Missouri, all drivers must carry auto insurance of at least $25k/$50k/$10k for liability and $25k/$50k for uninsured motorist in order to be on the road legally.
What is the Missouri Automobile Insurance Plan (MO AIP)?
Missouri’s AIP came into existence in 2008. Its purpose is to insure drivers who are unable to otherwise find coverage. It is not an insurance company itself, but rather an entity which assigns drivers to existing auto insurance companies in the state. In order to write auto insurance in Missouri, all licensed insurance companies in the state must participate in this program and accept all drivers it assigns. It’s a way to expand coverage to drivers, while sharing the losses across all insurers.
Any insurance agent can help you with MO AIP application, in case you need it. Be aware that even if you are working with an agent from a specific company, the company may NOT be the insurer who provides your policy. Contrary to the voluntary market – where auto insurance companies rate you and decide whether or not they want to give you a policy – MO AIP will assign you an insurer and not by your individual preference.
High-risk drivers are assigned to Missouri car insurance companies in proportion to the total amount of auto insurance policies that each company carries in the state. So for example, if State Farm insures 20% of the market in Missouri, then it must cover 20% of the drivers from the MO AIP.
MO AIP Eligibility
Anyone with a valid driver’s license and a car that is registered (or about to be registered) in Missouri can have this coverage available to them. When you apply to the Missouri Automobile Plan, you must certify on your application that you have tried to find coverage in the voluntary market – and been turned down – within the last two months.
You may not find coverage through Missouri’s Plan if you have unpaid insurance premiums from within the last 36 months. Once you pay up, you may apply to the Plan. You may be denied coverage through the MO AIP if the insurer finds that your application misrepresents important facts. In that case, you may have to wait 12 months to re-apply to Missouri’s plan.
Also note that while it is usually an option, physical damage coverage may not be available to you through the MOAIP if (1) your vehicle is an antique (older than 25 years), (2) if your car’s market price costs more than $50,000 or (3) if you don’t bring your vehicle in for inspection by your assigned insurer.
Missouri AIP Coverage
As a high risk driver through MO AIP, you are offered the same kinds of insurance coverages that safer drivers buy. That includes the both liability auto insurance and Uninsured Motorists coverage, as well as other optional coverages, such as Comprehensive and Collision coverage.
As part of the plan mandates, your assigned insurer must cover you for at least a consecutive period of 3 years. At the end of that time, if you are still considered “high risk” and unable to find coverage outside of the Mo AIP, you can re-apply to the program, and the assignment process happens again. That means your assigned insurer may change, but you will continue to have insurance coverage.
Below is a table listing the minimum amount of coverage you need to drive legally in Missouri, as well as the highest limits you can opt to buy when you are assigned through the MO AIP. Talk with your insurance agent about how much different levels of coverage you need based on what assets you have to protect. The more coverage you buy, the more protection when accidents occur, but also the higher your premiums will be.
|Mandatory Coverage||Missouri Required Min. Limits||MO AIP Maximum Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$100,000 per perosn / $300,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$10,000 per accident||$100,000 per accident|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)||$25,000/$50,000||As high as the limit for BI on the same policy|
There are also optional coverages that your insurance agent may offer you. Both physical damage coverages (Collision and Comprehensive) come with a deductible – an amount that you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. Any MO AIP policy will give you a choice of deductible amount of $100, $200, $250, $500, and $1,000. Know that the lower your deductible, the higher your premium will be.
|Optional Coverage||Missouri Required Min. Limits||MO AIP Maximum Limits|
|Underinsured Motorist - Bodly Injury (UIMBI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||Must be the same limits as your UMBI if you decide to purchase higher than the Financial Responsibility limits|
|Medical Payments (MED)||$500 per person per accident||$1,000 per person per accident|
|Collision||$100 deductible||Covers the actual cash value of your car, up to $50,000|
|Comprehensive||$100 deductible||Covers the actual cash value of your car, up to $50,000|
Missouri AIP Premiums and Payments
Premiums for high risk drivers in Missouri are based on many factors. Your insurance agent has a lot of flexibility when it comes to pricing your policy. It pays to understand how the auto insurers evaluate you as a risk - for example, by driving conservatively or sticking to the speed limits over the next few years, you can demonstrate lower driving risk.
The MO AIP policies lets you pay your auto insurance premiums in 2 basic ways. The first is to pay 30% of the total premium when you submit your application. Then when you receive your policy, you pay the remainder within 30 days. The second way is an installment plan. You still have to pay 30% of the annual premium up front, but you pay the balance in 5 equal monthly installments. There is a service charge of $4/month if you use the installment plan. Be sure to keep up with paying your insurance premiums. A failure to pay on time can result in cancellation of your policy through the MO AIP.
How to Get Insurance through Missouri’s Automobile Insurance Plan
Any Property and Casualty insurer licensed in Missouri can discuss your options through the MO AIP.
For more information about the MO AIP, call the Missouri Department of Insurance at 800-726-7390.