You know you should have auto insurance, right?
What you may not know is that if you get in an accident and do not have insurance, the law will severely limit your claim. Both Kansas and Missouri have similar statutes that limit recovery of noneconomic damages with significant differences I will explain below.
Why is this important?
When you make a claim against the person at fault, you usually have to right to recovery not only for your economic loss but also for pain and suffering, which can be a substantial part of your claim. This recovery might be lowered a lot if you do not have insurance.
Kansas auto insurance accident law
In Kansas, if you do not have auto insurance at the time of the accident, you will not have a claim for noneconomic loss. This ban does not apply:
1. if you did not know the vehicle was without insurance, but this lack of knowledge must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.
2. If you failed to maintain coverage for 45 days or less and had insurance for a least one year prior.
Non-economic damages are also barred if the person has received a suspension of driving privileges following a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
See for more details see K.S.A. 40-3130.
Missouri auto insurance accident law
Missouri has a similar statute, but one court found it violated Missouri’s constitutional right to a jury trial. Jiles v. Schuster Co., 357 F. Supp. 3d 908 (W.D. Mo. 2018).
The Missouri state calls it a waiver of noneconomic damages if you do not have insurance, but that waiver doesn’t apply if the person at fault was under the influence, convicted of involuntary manslaughter or assault in the second degree. The waiver doesn’t apply if he or she did not have insurance because of failure to pay the premium within the last six months. This statute doesn’t apply to passengers.
The Missouri statute is found at this link, Click here.