NEWS RELEASE: Missouri Department of Insurance Suggests
|As Published on Dept. Of Insurance Blog
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging homeowners to check their insurance policies for earthquake coverage. Only three out of every 10 homes are covered in Missouri. That number drops to two out of every 10 homes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.
The New Madrid area is the most active earthquake zone in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains. Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Separate earthquake coverage, called an “endorsement,” must be purchased.
“Having earthquake coverage is the best way to ensure you and your family, as well as our state, can recover from an earthquake,” said Insurance Director John M. Huff. However, the department’s 2015 Earthquake Report shows that Missouri is experiencing a coverage crisis.
“We have reached a critical juncture where the amount of uninsured property in Missouri will soon eclipse the amount of insured residential property, estimated at $101 billion. This could jeopardize our ability to fully recover from a major earthquake.”
Some homeowners may not buy coverage, expecting the federal government to help rebuild their homes should a major earthquake hit, Huff said. Under FEMA’s Individual Assistance program, the maximum grant award is $32,900, far less than what most homes are worth.
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Contact MJM Insurance of St Louis City to find out if your property qualifies for Earthquake Coverage. Give us a call! (314) 645-2100 Our agents will conduct a free assessment of your current policy and we will shop your insurance for you! That’s right, simply provide your declarations page to an agent and we can process the assessment. Our goal is to ensure you are properly protected.
How Insurance Works, Premiums and Deductibles
MJM Insurance of St. Louis City is not just an insurance agency, we care about our clients’ well-being and take the time to help our clients understand Missouri Auto Insurance and build a long-term, trusting relationship. We provide the tools and resources necessary for consumers to receive the proper Missouri Auto Insurance Education. Helping you understand your policy is our duty as a Trusted Choice Agent.
As part of our Missouri Auto Insurance Education, we have included the basic information about your auto insurance policy. Our agents offer a free review of your policy to determine if you have the proper coverages, terms, limits, conditions, and exclusions.
The Missouri Auto Insurance Policy
An insurance policy is a contract between a policy holder and an insurance company. All policies are unilateral in that the policy holder pays the insurance company a premium. The purpose of an auto insurance policy is to make one whole, or return the policy holder back to their original condition prior to a covered financial loss. For example: you own a 2015 vehicle with actual cash value of $20,000 and the car was totaled by a covered peril. The recovery amount is limited to the amount of the actual loss incurred, and not the actual cash value – or replacement cost less depreciation.
Auto Insurance Laws in Missouri
Missouri law requires motorists to have auto insurance. No owner of a motor vehicle registered in Missouri may operate, register, or maintain registration of a motor vehicle, or permit another person to operate the vehicle, unless the owner maintains the required liability coverage.
* Proof of insurance must be carried in the insured motor vehicle at all times. *
Missouri law requires all drivers to carry at least state minimum – in the amount of $25,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 1 person in any 1 accident and, subject to the limit for 1 person, $50,000 because of bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any 1 accident, and $10,000 because of injury to or destruction of property of others in any 1 accident.
Auto Insurance Policy
There are 6 parts to your auto insurance policy and our professional agents can help you determine the best coverages you need for your situation with a price that meets your budget. We have access to multiple carriers – so let us shop your insurance for you! Consider this: if you have 2 teenage drivers on your policy and own a $500,000 home – our agents would recommend enough coverage for a loss up to $500,000 so that your mortgage is covered in case of loss.
Liability Insurance protects you, the insured/policy holder, against a claim made by another party, and covers the insured’s legal responsibility to body and property damage.
- Bodily injury liability (BI) insurance covers you if you cause an accident in which someone else is injured. Your policy is designed to pay claims for each person injured in an accident, and limits the total paid per occurrence.
- Property damage liability (PD) insurance covers you when you damage someone else’s property. For example, your property damage will pay out when you are at fault for an accident that causes damage to someone else’s car.
- Collision insurance pays for damage to your car if you run into another object. This coverage is not required by law, although your bank may require it if you have a lien on your car. This is commonly known as “full coverage”.
- Comprehensive insurance covers you in case your car is damaged other than a collision. The covered perils include hail, fire, theft, flood, earthquake, explosion, falling objects, and encounters with wildlife, such as deer. Comprehensive is optional coverage and you may choose your deductible amount.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance covers your expenses when you are hit by a driver who does not carry adequate, if any, auto insurance. Our agents always recommend carrying uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance so that you are not left with a financial loss because of someone else’s negligence to carry auto insurance.
- Medical insurance coverage (Med Pay/MPC) acts as primary coverage for medical expenses you and your passengers incur if injured in a motor vehicle accident, regardless who’s at fault. Med pay can help you pay your bills as soon as they are incurred.
Cost of Missouri Auto Insurance
Insurance premiums are determined by the statistics of a large group of people who share the same risk. Many factors can affect your premium, and they all help determine how likely you are to have an accident. Click here for more information from the Insurance Information Institute. Some of the factors that will be used to determine the cost of insurance can include your credit score, driving history, motor vehicle report, the type of car you drive, etc. Insurance companies obtain the ratio of exposure by analyzing industry trends and driver statistics. For example: if you live in an area where the average age of drivers is 55 years and they have decent driving records; the risk is slim, therefore calculating a lower premium. It’s not that simple, but you get the idea.
Missouri Auto Insurance Deductibles
A deductible for an auto insurance policy is the amount of money you agree to pay for damages before the insurance company provides payment towards the damage/loss. Choosing a higher deductible means there is less risk of a payout for the insurance company, and so you may pay smaller premiums. MJM Insurance of St. Louis City can help you make an informed decision on how to choose your deductible. Everyone’s situation is different and we understand some may be able to afford a larger deductible, others may not.
Contact one of our professional agents to schedule a free auto policy review and we’ll make certain you have the best coverage at the best price! (314) 645-2100
Missouri Auto Insurance Resources