According to the Mississippi Insurance Department, all drivers in the state of Mississippi must maintain liability insurance and carry proof of this insurance, either in paper or electronic formats, in their automobile at all times
The minimum liability requirements for automobile insurance in the state of Mississippi, as of January 1, 2006, are:
|Bodily Injury Liability (limited to a single accident)||$25,000|
|Accident total for bodily injury||$50,000|
What constitutes valid proof of liability insurance?
Your best bet is to carry the current, most recent insurance card you received from your insurance company with your policy. These cards show the vehicle year model and make, vehicle identification number, insurance company name, name of insured person/s, the policy number, the effective dates and expiration dates of the policy, and the insurance company NAIC number. Check the dates on these to make sure the one you’re carrying in your vehicle is the most current
Additional forms of documentation include:
This compulsory liability law is enforced by the Department of Public Safety, which can be reached by calling 601-987-1255.
Check your alternatives
There are alternatives to purchasing this insurance, which include posting a bond or making a security deposit equal to the amounts required on the insurance policy. Details about or assistance with these alternate methods can be requested via the contact information on the state’s Insurance Department website.
Keep your automobile insurance current, and keep that insurance card handy
Keep in mind that a police officer in the state of Mississippi may pull you over solely for the purpose of requesting proof of insurance, or may also ask you for proof of insurance when an accident has occurred or during traffic stops conducted for any other reason. All drivers must produce this proof of insurance immediately upon request. Additionally, Senate Bill 2593, which passed July 1, 2013, allows for proof of insurance to be carried either in paper or electronic form, ‘including cell phone images or other electronic devices.
There is a $1,000 initial penalty for failure to provide an insurance card upon request as well as the suspension of driving privileges for up to one year or until the vehicle’s owner can provide valid proof of insurance.
Consider Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, although it is not mandatory:
Although the state requires mandatory liability insurance, there are still many drivers who break the law and go without it. In case you unfortunately find yourself in an accident with one of them, you may want to consider purchasing additional Uninsured/Underinsured motorists coverage or UM/UIM protection. This covers you for any injuries or damages you may sustain in the accident whether the other party has insurance or not.
Additionally, you may wish to consider other forms of coverage including:
This type of coverage pays for the repair of your car if damage is sustained during a collision with another automobile or object.
This type of insurance covers the value of your car if it is stolen, or if parts or tires are stolen.
Medical Payments Coverage
This insurance helps pay for the costs of those injured in an accident regardless of who is at fault. If you have health insurance, this type of coverage may not be necessary.
High Risk Drivers Even Have Options
If you are a high risk driver and have been denied automobile insurance coverage, ask about SR-22 coverage. Mississippi offers this as a high risk policy for drivers to use as insurance coverage when they have limited options otherwise. Not everyone will be eligible, however, so make sure you get all the facts.
Ways to Lower Your Rates:
Shop around for the best rates available before deciding on your policy. Different insurance providers offer various types of discounts for whatever your household needs, such as multi-car discounts, accident-free driving rates, lower rates for insuring your home and car with the same company, and deals for drivers with good grades, those who are non-smokers, and automobiles with passive restraint systems (air bags, automatic seat belts, etc).
Your age, gender, marital status, vehicle garaging address, driving history, type of car and year made, miles driver per year, and prior insurance coverage can all play a role in the determining of your automobile insurance rates. In general, maintaining a clean driving record (obeying the speed limit, avoiding alcohol when driving, using appropriate turn signals, etc.) and purchasing a sturdy, reliable vehicle over a sports car or “high performance vehicle” are useful ways to keep your rates low. A good credit score may also have an impact.
Make sure you keep other licensed drivers in your household informed and aware that their actions can impact your insurance rates as well. If they drive recklessly, cause an accident, exceed the speed limit, or are the cause other types of adverse incidents while driving, you may be required to pay higher premiums on automobile coverage, or even be denied insurance completely.
Mississippi's Rates are Close to, but Slightly Above, the National Average:
Depending upon the type of insurance you have, your personal living situation, and your zip code, rates of insurance in Mississippi can range significantly. Mississippi ranks 35th for affordable automobile insurance rates and other favorable driving factors. This means that Mississippi drivers, on average, pay slightly higher, but close to, the national average on insurance rates. By comparison, the average Mississippi drivers can expect to pay approximately $903 annually for the most common drivers’ automobile insurance against the national average of $866
Using 2010 Census data, we confirmed that the most populous counties in Mississippi are Hinds County, Harrison County, and DeSoto County. Liability insurance only is always cheaper, so we opted for comparing rates for a 40-year-old married woman purchasing liability only insurance with the minimum policy requirements. Within these specifications, drivers in Mississippi can expect to pay approximately $368 in Hinds County, $506 in Harrison County, and $451 in DeSoto County annually.
Overall, shop around and ensure your insurance rates stay low by keeping your credit score high, your vehicle sturdy and safe, and your driving record clean:
As with most states, you can keep your automobile insurance rates low in the state of Mississippi by driving responsibly, avoiding drinking or texting while driving, obeying traffic laws and speed limits, and keeping your credit score as high as possible. Additionally, pay attention to other drivers in your household and make sure they remember to do the same — their driving habits can impact your insurance rates as well.