2005 Missouri Revised Statutes - § 379.203. — Automobile liability policy, required provisions--uninsured motorist coverage required--recovery against tort-feasor, how limited.

379.203. 1. No automobile liability insurance covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto, or in the case of any commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 301.010, RSMo, any employer having a fleet of five or more passenger vehicles, such coverage is offered therein or supplemental thereto, in not less than the limits for bodily injury or death set forth in section 303.030, RSMo, for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, resulting therefrom. Such legal entitlement exists although the identity of the owner or operator of the motor vehicle cannot be established because such owner or operator and the motor vehicle departed the scene of the occurrence occasioning such bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, before identification. It also exists whether or not physical contact was made between the uninsured motor vehicle and the insured or the insured's motor vehicle. Provisions affording such insurance protection against uninsured motorists issued in this state prior to October 13, 1967, shall, when afforded by any authorized insurer, be deemed, subject to the limits prescribed in this section, to satisfy the requirements of this section.

2. For the purpose of this coverage, the term "uninsured motor vehicle" shall, subject to the terms and conditions of such coverage, be deemed to include an insured motor vehicle where the liability insurer thereof is unable to make payment with respect to the legal liability of its insured within the limits specified herein because of insolvency.

3. An insurer's insolvency protection shall be applicable only to accidents occurring during a policy period in which its insured's uninsured motorist coverage is in effect where the liability insurer of the tort-feasor becomes insolvent within two years after such an accident. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to prevent any insurer from affording insolvency protection under terms and conditions more favorable to its insureds than is provided hereunder.

4. In the event of payment to any person under the coverage required by this section, and subject to the terms and conditions of such coverage, the insurer making such payment shall, to the extent thereof, be entitled to the proceeds of any settlement or judgment resulting from the exercise of any rights of recovery of such person against any person or organization legally responsible for the bodily injury for which such payment is made, including the proceeds recoverable from the assets of the insolvent insurer; provided, however, with respect to payments made by reason of the coverage described in subsections 2 and 3 above, the insurer making such payment shall not be entitled to any right of recovery against such tort-feasor in excess of the proceeds recovered from the assets of the insolvent insurer of said tort-feasor.

5. In any action on a policy of automobile liability insurance coverage providing for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles, the fact that the owner or operator of such uninsured motor vehicle whether known or unknown failed to file the report required by section 303.040, RSMo, shall be prima facie evidence of uninsured status, and such failure to file may be established by a statement of the absence of such a report on file with the office of the director of revenue, certified by the director, which statement shall be received in evidence in any of the courts of this state. In any such action, the report required by section 303.040, RSMo, when filed by the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle, shall be prima facie evidence of lack of insurance coverage and the report, or a copy thereof, certified by the director of revenue, may be introduced into evidence in accordance with section 303.310, RSMo.

(L. 1967 p. 516, A.L. 1971 H.B. 85, A.L. 1972 S.B. 458, A.L. 1982 S.B. 480, A.L. 1991 H.B. 385, et al.)

(1974) Held that where vehicle was run off road without actual contact uninsured motorist coverage would apply if vehicle which ran plaintiff off the road could be positively identified and was in fact an uninsured motorist. Ward v. Allstate Insurance Co. (Mo.), 514 S.W.2d 576.

(1975) Where insured was passenger in his car and car was being driven by insured's brother who carried no insurance, insured was denied recovery under the uninsured motorist provisions of his policy after single automobile accident. Term "uninsured motor vehicle" requires insurers to protect their insureds only from collisions with other vehicles lacking liability coverage. Miles v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (A.), 519 S.W.2d 378.

(1975) Insuror is entitled to reimbursement, up to the amount it has paid under uninsured motorist coverage, from recovery had against uninsured motorist. State Farm ex. rel. Manchester Insurance and Indemnity Co. v. Moss (Mo.), 522 S.W.2d 772.

(1975) Holder of two policies on two different vehicles is entitled to "stack" uninsured motorist coverage of both policies if necessary to satisfy judgment. Galloway v. Farmers Insurance Company, In. (A.), 523 S.W.2d 339.

(1975) "Uninsured motor vehicle" does not mean underinsured vehicle. Mere fact that multiple claims greatly reduced coverage available to claimant does not allow him to come under uninsured motorist provision of his own policy. Brake v. MFA Mutual Insurance Company (A.), 525 S.W.2d 109.

(1975) Passenger in automobile is not a user within the policy provisions covering person "using" the insured automobile and is not covered under uninsured motorist coverage. Waltz v. Cameron Mutual Insurance Co. (A.), 526 S.W.2d 340.

(1976) Public policy expressed in this section prohibited insurer from limiting recovery by insured to only one of two separate uninsured motorist coverages, included in one policy and for which separate premiums were charged, one for each of two cars of which only one car was involved in the accident. Cameron Mutual Insurance Co. v. Madden (Mo.), 533 S.W.2d 538.

(1980) Employee eligible for payment under employer's uninsured motorist coverage was not entitled to "stacking" of the uninsured motorist coverage provided by the fleet policy for each vehicle insured by it. Linderer v. Royal Globe Insurance Co. (A.), 597 S.W.2d 656.

(1980) Person injured in accident involving his employer's vehicle and an uninsured motorist not entitled to a "stacking" of the uninsured motorist coverage provided for each of employer's 1,420 vehicles, but was entitled to a "stacking" of such coverage on his own vehicles. Linderer v. Royal Globe Insurance Co. (A.), 597 S.W.2d 656.

(1980) The term "uninsured motor vehicle" must be construed as referring to a vehicle being operated by a person whose legal responsibility for damages is not caused by any liability insurance provision. Dairyland Ins. Co. v. Hogan (Mo.), 605 S.W.2d 798.

(1980) Use of term "uninsured motorist" in statute requiring inclusion of uninsured motorist insurance within automobile liability policies, is shorthand expression for "owners and operators of uninsured motor vehicles"; therefore, focus of statute is on uninsured vehicle and not whether owner or operator is "uninsured motorist" under circumstances of accident. Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (Mo.), 607 S.W.2d 137.

(1980) Term "uninsured motor vehicle" as used in statutes providing that uninsured motorist insurance shall be included within automobile liability policy for protection of persons insured thereunder refers to vehicle whose operator or owner did not have in effect at time of accident an automobile liability policy with respect to motor vehicle involved in accident. Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (Mo.), 607 S.W.2d 137.

(1980) Uninsured motorist statute has no application in cases where tort-feasor did have automobile liability policy which complied with requirements of Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Law. Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (Mo.), 607 S.W.2d 137.

(1980) Provision of uninsured motorist statute which states that "uninsured motor vehicle" includes an insured motor vehicle where liability insurer thereof is unable to make payment with respect to legal liability of its insured because of insolvency applies only where automobile insured under policy is hit by another vehicle and insurer of record vehicle becomes insolvent. Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (Mo.), 607 S.W.2d 137.

(1980) Provision in statute requiring that uninsured motorist insurance be included within automobile liability policies allowing recovery under uninsured motorist provision when insurer of other vehicle involved is insolvent, by use of language "subject to the terms and conditions of such coverage," recognizes insurer's right to define uninsured automobile. Harrison v. MFA Mutual Insurance Co. (Mo.), 607 S.W.2d 137.

(1985) The public policy as declared in this section mandates that when an insured has two separate policies containing uninsured motorist clauses, effect shall be given to both coverages without reduction or limitation by policy provisions, and that both coverages are available to those insured thereby. Bergtholdt v. Farmers Ins. Co., Inc., (A.), 691 S.W.2d 357.

(1986) The term "uninsured motorist" as used in section 379.203, RSMo, includes a motorist who is underinsured by the standards of section 303.030, RSMo. Cook v. Pedigo, 714 S.W.2d 949 (Mo. App. 1986).

(1989) Insurer's prohibition of stacking by the policyholder's minor children is contrary to statute and invalid. Where plaintiff was a pedestrian and was injured by a hit and run driver, he was entitled to stack the uninsured motorist coverage on each of his father's autos. (Mo.App. E.D.) Husch by Husch v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., 772 S.W.2d 692.

(1993) Insurance company's limit of uninsured motorist coverage to injuries which were result of an accident is against public policy and is void because it attempts to narrow mandated uninsured motorist coverage required by section for every automobile liability policy. Thornburg v. Farmers Insurance Co., 859 S.W.2d 847 (Mo. App. W.D.).

(1995) Where plaintiff was otherwise qualified as an insured for liability purposes, insurance policy exclusions limiting uninsured motorist protection in insurance policy limiting coverage to owned vehicles was void as against Missouri law and public policy. Bernardo v. Northland Insurance Co., 45 F.3d 272 (8th Cir.).

(1996) Uninsured motorist coverage is not based on the vehicle in which the insured is operating or riding, but is personal coverage which follows the insured. Schmidt v. City of Gladstone, 913 S.W.2d 937 (Mo.App. W.D.).

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