If you want to learn about car insurance in Mississippi, we’ve got all the information you’ll need right here on this page. Keep reading for information on required coverage, penalties for driving uninsured, important coverage decisions, and more.
Mississippi is a “tort” state where all drivers have been required to carry car insurance since 2001.
Mississippi law has certain standards car insurance policies must meet. Every policy must include a minimum amount of liability coverage. The following table breaks down the requirements:
|Required coverage types||Minimum amount of coverage|
|Bodily injury liability||$25,000 for each person’s injuries in an accident
$50,000 total for all injuries in an accident
|Property damage liability||$25,000 total per accident|
When someone driving your car causes an accident, liability coverage pays for victims’ medical and repair bills. However, it only pays up to a certain amount. Minimum Mississippi car insurance policies include $50,000 worth of coverage for medical bills and $25,000 for property damages. If you get the minimum amount of liability insurance, you may see it referred to as 25/50/25 coverage. You can buy more than the minimums to be better protected.
Remember, liability doesn’t cover the driver’s medical bills or car repairs. They only cover those expenses for victims.
If you break the law and don’t buy coverage, it could cost you. You could get stuck having to pay other people’s medical and repair bills if someone crashes your car. You could also have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and lose your driving privileges.
|No. of offenses||Fine||License & Registration suspension|
|1st||$300||Until car owner can provide proof of coverage|
|2nd||$400||Until car owner can provide proof of coverage|
|3rd & subsequent||$500||Until car owner can provide proof of coverage|
The state will soon be home to the Mississippi Vehicle Insurance Verification System. This system will allow authorities to verify whether or not cars in the state are insured. It does so buy comparing registration data with policy information to identify registered cars that have no matching insurance policy.
The verification system was set to go online in 2013 but was delayed. The system should be operational some time in 2014, according to news reports.
You may have to prove that you’re insured at traffic stops and after an accident. In the Magnolia State, you can do so with your smartphone or other electronic device. That’s thanks to the electronic proof law, which went into effect in July 2013.
For the electronic document to be valid proof of insurance, it should clearly state at least the following:
In addition to liability coverage, there are optional coverages you can add. They’ll raise the cost of your insurance, but they’ll also provide greater protection. The following are the most widely available coverage add-ons in the state.
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Some examples of this type of damage are vandalism, hail damage, and theft. In 2011, nearly 7 out of every 10 drivers in Mississippi bought comprehensive coverage, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured vehicle after an accident. In 2011, just over two-thirds of drivers in Mississippi bought collision coverage, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
It pays your medical bills and the medical bills of your family and passengers after an accident. It does so when the driver who caused the accident either:
Stacking: Mississippi law allows drivers to increase their uninsured motorist coverage through stacking. Stacking increases the amount of coverage you have. But it may also increase your premium.
You may be able to stack coverage if you have multiple cars under your policy or are insured through multiple policies. Stacking basically lets you combine the coverage from all those cars or policies when you file a large claim.
Stacking can differ from insurer to insurer. So check with your agent or company to find out your options.
It pays for repairing your car after an accident caused by an uninsured driver. You can buy this coverage only if you also buy uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury.
If you file a claim under this coverage, you will need to pay a $200 deductible.
It pays your accident-related medical and funeral bills. It also does so for your family members and passengers. It provides coverage no matter who caused the accident.
Statewide, about 28% of drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council. That’s the highest rate of uninsured drivers in the U.S.
If someone crashes into you, you have more than a 1-in-4 chance that they don’t have insurance. If that’s the case, they won’t be able to pay for your damages after an accident, and you may need to rely on your own policy.
So be prepared. The following optional coverages will pay for medical bills for you, your family, and any passengers if they were injured by an uninsured driver:
The following optional coverages will pay for your car repairs if it’s damaged by an uninsured driver:
All of these coverages are optional. If you don’t add them to your policy, you might not be able to get your medical bills and/or property damages covered in this situation.
One type of accident that may concern Mississippi drivers is a deer-vehicle collision. These accidents are more common here than in other parts of the country, and they can be serious. According to State Farm’s most recent report, the average property damages from a deer-vehicle accident are about $3,414.
State Farm projected that over the course of one year, there were more than 22,800 deer-vehicle accidents in the state. That leaves about a 1-in-84 chance that a Mississippi driver will hit a deer over the course of a year. Those are the 8th-highest odds of any state in the country.
If you want to have protection for accidents like this, you’ll need comprehensive coverage. If you don’t add it to your policy, repairs won’t be covered.
Your car can suffer serious damage from a hailstorm. In spring 2013, hailstorms struck the Magnolia State hard, leading to more than 31,000 auto insurance claims.
Comprehensive coverage can protect you against hail damage as well as other weather-related events like flooding or tornadoes. Without comprehensive coverage, the cost of repairs from such weather damage will likely come out of your own wallet.
Mississippi uses a “tort” system for car insurance claims. That means if someone injures you or wrecks your car, their liability insurance pays your medical and repair bills.
But in some cases, the other driver won’t be 100% responsible for the crash. Your actions could have contributed to the accident, and you could be partially responsible. This makes things a little more complicated.
If you’re partially responsible, it changes how much you can get from the other driver’s insurer. Mississippi uses “pure comparative fault” to determine payment. That means the amount you get for your bills will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you’re 20% responsible for a crash, the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay 100% of your bills. Instead, it pays only 80%, since you were 20% responsible. So in this example, if you have $10,000 in bills from a crash, the other driver’s insurer has to pay only $8,000.
So what if the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay your bills? You use your own policy. Medical payments coverage will help pay your medical bills. Collision will help pay your repair bills. But both of those coverages are optional. You’ll be on your own if you didn’t add them to your policy.
Mississippi car insurance premiums are about average when compared to other states. In 2011, the average cost of a policy in the state was 1.7% cheaper than the national average.
If you drive safely, infrequently, or both, you may want to look into a usage-based discount program. These programs use a device you install in your car to track how far it’s driven and/or if it’s driven safely. Depending on how you drive, you could potentially get a discount of up to 30%.
The following major insurers offer usage-based discounts in the Magnolia State:
If you’re buying car insurance from a small company or agent in the Magnolia State, you might want to make sure they’re licensed first. The Mississippi Insurance Department offers a verification tool so that consumers can make sure of certification.
Is there a delay with your claim payout? Or is there another problem you want regulatory officials to know about? Regulatory officials provide official documents for complaints against a Mississippi auto insurance agent or Mississippi car insurance company. Complaints are reviewed in the Consumer Services Division, which will contact the company or agent within 20 working days after you submit the complaint.
When you compare Mississippi car insurance premiums to the rest of the country, they're pretty close to average. According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the state's car insurance rates are 1.7% cheaper than the national average.