If you're planning to buy or have recently purchased a used vehicle, you may be wondering what type of insurance you're required to carry. Like most states, Missouri requires all drivers to have auto insurance, even if they're driving a used vehicle. There can be differences, however, in the level of coverage you choose to purchase for a used car versus a brand-new car. CarSmart of Farmington has created this guide to help you understand what insurance features you need for a used car.
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Nearly every state requires drivers to have liability insurance. This type of insurance typically includes bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The first covers the cost of injuries to another person in accidents where you're found to be responsible. These costs may include medical bills and lost wages. Property damage liability covers the cost of damages to other drivers' vehicles or personal property, such as a fence or mailbox.
Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of bodily injury liability and property damage liability as part of their auto insurance policies. In Missouri, you're required to have $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. These minimum liability levels are the same whether you drive a new or used vehicle.
When purchasing an auto insurance policy, you need to have the minimum amount of liability coverage mandated by your state. However, this coverage may not be enough to cover all expenses after an accident. Having higher liability limits can offer maximum protection, and the cost of increased coverage is usually only slightly higher than the state-required minimum. For this reason, many people choose to purchase additional liability coverage, even if they drive used vehicles. A recommended level of liability coverage is $100,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $300,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $100,000 property damage coverage per accident.
In addition to liability coverage, 20 states, including Missouri, require drivers of all vehicles to have uninsured motorist coverage. This type of coverage protects you if you're involved in an accident caused by a driver who doesn't have auto insurance. Uninsured motorist coverage will cover any injuries to you or your passengers, as well as any damages to your vehicle. This type of coverage also protects you in hit-and-run accidents, where the at-fault driver leaves the scene. In Missouri, you're required to have $25,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person and $50,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
Similarly, underinsured motorist coverage offers protection in accidents caused by a driver who doesn't have enough insurance to cover the damages incurred. While some states require this coverage, it's optional in Missouri. In order for your underinsured motorist coverage to kick in, you must carry at least double the coverage limit of the at-fault driver. Consider the age, quality, and condition of your used vehicle to help you decide whether to add this type of insurance to your policy.
If you finance a used vehicle, it's likely your lender will require you to have collision coverage as part of your auto insurance policy. This type of insurance covers damages to your own vehicle after an accident with another driver, regardless of who causes the accident. Collision insurance can also cover damages if you get into a single-car accident or you hit an inanimate object, such as a tree.
If you own your used vehicle outright, consider whether you want to add collision coverage to your policy. Many used vehicle owners choose to decline collision coverage to help reduce the cost of auto insurance. However, if you believe you may struggle to afford repairs to your vehicle after an unexpected accident, it's a good idea to add collision coverage to your policy.
Lenders also typically require you to have comprehensive insurance if you have a loan for your used vehicle. Comprehensive insurance covers damages to your own vehicle in non-accident situations. These events may include theft, vandalism, or inclement weather, such as hail or flood damage.
While comprehensive coverage is optional in Missouri if you own your used vehicle, it's a good idea to carry full coverage, which includes both comprehensive and collision insurance, if you drive a vehicle that's 10 years old or newer. That's because both insurance types cover repairs to your own vehicle, which may still be expensive on newer-model vehicles. Full coverage can help lower or eliminate any out-of-pocket expenses after an accident.
As your vehicle ages, you may not receive as much reimbursement when you file a claim. At this point, it may not make sense to have collision and comprehensive coverage as part of your insurance policy.
Only two states — Maine and New Hampshire — require drivers to have medical payments coverage, commonly known as MedPay. This type of insurance covers medical expenses for you and your passengers if you're involved in an accident. These medical expenses typically include initial out-of-pocket costs, such as copays and deductibles of health insurance policies. This coverage helps fill the gaps between health and auto insurance so you can get the necessary treatment you need to recover after an accident.
If you have a health insurance policy with a high deductible or if you're worried about costly medical expenses after an accident, it may be wise to add MedPay coverage to your auto insurance policy. The type of vehicle you drive is a factor that can affect how much this coverage costs. If you drive a used vehicle, it's typically cheaper to add MedPay coverage to your policy than if you drive a new vehicle. Speak with your insurance company to learn how much it may cost to add this coverage to your policy.
Find a Used Vehicle in Farmington, Missouri
Now you know more about the insurance you need for a used vehicle, along with some other coverage that may be helpful after an accident. Besides lower prices, buying a used vehicle can also help you save money on your auto insurance policy. At CarSmart of Farmington, we offer a wide selection of quality used cars, trucks, and SUVs to help you find the right vehicle for your lifestyle and budget. Visit our dealership or contact us today for more information. We look forward to helping you find a great deal on a used vehicle.