Accidents happen. One of life’s eternal truths.
Auto accidents are no exception. And if you are involved in an accident there’s about a 1 in 5 chance it will involve an uninsured motorist in Missouri. This is according to the Insurance Research Council using statistics gathered in the year 2012. http://www.insurance-research.org
Missouri ranks 18th in the nation for uninsured motorist accidents; Oklahoma ranks 1st with $25.9%, and Massachusetts wins the award for least amount of uninsured accidents at a mere 3.9%
What is Massachusetts doing right to have such a low underinsured motorist rate?
A Claims Manager of a major auto insurance company domiciled in Massachusetts was able to shed some light on this subject. He explained that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has some of the toughest auto registration procedures in the nation. Insurance companies operating in Massachusetts are required to notify the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) of any drivers who do not have auto insurance; any drivers who are discovered to be operating vehicles without insurance are subject to heavy fines and risk having their vehicles impounded.
Why doesn’t Missouri utilize the tougher registration procedure?
The RMV’s tough stance may dramatically reduce the number of uninsured motorists in Massachusetts, but it comes with a price. Once placed on the commonwealth’s list of uninsured motorists, some drivers discovered it was exceptionally difficult to get themselves removed even after obtaining auto insurance coverage. Innocent, law-abiding citizens were finding themselves facing penalties that were intended only to apply to actual, uninsured motorists. It stands to reason that the state of Missouri is wary about adopting similar procedures which would entail also adopting these unintended consequences.
What Is The Crackdown on Uninsured Motorist in Missouri?
To its credit, Missouri is one of eleven states that have passed legislation that is commonly known as “no pay – no play”. This law stipulates that uninsured motorists cannot collect on non-economic damages if they are involved in an accident that is deemed to other driver’s fault. Non-economic claims would be for pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of companionship. Medical bills and property damage are typically still recoverable.