There is an apparent paradox about Mississippi car insurance that people who are not familiar with car insurance quotes in Mississippi may find alarming. Research on the Internet indicates that auto insurance rates in Mississippi are generally below the national average, but when you first receive a Mississippi auto insurance quote it will usually be much higher than what you are expecting. There are several reasons for this.
Mississippi has the second highest rate of road fatalities in the country (1). It also has the second highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the country (2). The rates of car theft in Jackson, Memphis and Biloxi are amongst the highest in the country (3). Yet in our list of “Typical Mississippi Auto Insurance Rates” towards the end of the page, all but three of the cities has an average insurance rate below the national average of $1,440.
The reason for this, and the perception that auto insurance in Mississippi is cheap, is that Mississippi is a “low-income” State, and many of its drivers choose to take the bare minimum of insurance rather than protect themselves adequately with what they actually need. Furthermore, before January 2006, Mississippi had the lowest liability rates in the country and when they were increased to be more in line with other States, Mississippi car insurance companies suppressed the increase in Mississippi auto insurance rates in an attempt to avoid the mass lapsing of car insurance policies in Mississippi. Sadly, that measure met with only limited success.
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Traffic Safety Facts 2009
2 Estimated at 28 per cent by the Insurance Research Council (2007)
3 National Insurance Crime Bureau “Hot Spots” 2010
Mississippi Car Insurance Requirements
As Mississippi is a “tort” State, a driver is financially responsible for damage and injury they cause in a road traffic accident. There are two ways of showing financial responsibility in Mississippi – by posting a bond or certificate of deposit for $25,000 with the Mississippi Insurance Department or by taking out Mississippi auto insurance. Most people choosing to show financial responsibility on the roads choose the latter.
The only compulsory auto insurance requirement in Mississippi is that you carry liability insurance. Every other type of insurance is optional, although as you will see from our “Recommended Mississippi Auto Insurance Coverage” section below, you should seriously consider some of these options as necessary. The minimum liability limits for auto insurance in Mississippi is as follows:-
$25,000 for injury/death to one person
$50,000 for injury death to more than one person
$25,000 for damage to property
Mississippi Auto Insurance Laws
One of the reasons that such a large number of drivers “get away” with driving without insurance in Mississippi is that there is no requirement to show proof of insurance when registering a vehicle, or renewing its registration. You should, by law, keep a valid insurance card in your vehicle at all times in case you are asked to show it to a law enforcement office during a traffic stop or after an accident.
Penalties for not carrying auto insurance in Mississippi are stiff. If you are discovered not to have Mississippi auto insurance, you will be fined $1,000 and have your vehicle registration suspended for a year. The only way you will able to revoke the suspension within that time is to file SR-22 insurance – which is considerably more expensive than regular Mississippi car insurance – for a period of three years. Should your SR-22 car insurance in Mississippi lapse, the penalties will be even harsher.
Recommended Mississippi Auto Insurance Coverage
Most industry experts will agree that the increase of the minimum liability limits in 2006 was a step in the right direction for car insurance in Mississippi, but possibly not adequate for these days, as personal injury compensation settlements for road traffic accidents have more than tripled in the past five years. Therefore it is recommended that your liability limit be increased to $100,000/$200,000.
Due to the high volume of uninsured motorists in Mississippi, you should also consider uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (with the same increased limits) and comprehensive insurance if you live in an area of high vehicle theft as indicated below. Although adding all this additional Mississippi auto insurance might seem like an expensive course of action, there are still ways in which you can get cheap Mississippi car insurance quotes.
Cheap Mississippi Car Insurance Quotes
Car insurance companies in Mississippi like people who show responsibility and who take steps to minimize the amount of risk they take on the road. Therefore, you can attract cheap Mississippi car insurance quotes by installing your vehicle with safety and security devices such as air-bags, automatic seat belts, daytime running lights and anti-lock brakes, and also by participating in defensive driving courses.
Drivers in Mississippi who use their cars infrequently should consider “pay-as-you-drive” Mississippi auto insurance which offers discounts in excess of 50 per cent to drivers who drive safely within a limited mileage each year. More frequent car users should compare the Mississippi car insurance market to ensure they are getting the best deals and ask for discounts which may not be advertised.
You may qualify for cheap Mississippi car insurance quotes if you do not smoke, if you combine your home insurance policy with your auto insurance policy, if you insure more than one vehicle with the same Mississippi auto insurance company and even if you pay your traffic fines on time! Car owners who include their household on their Mississippi car insurance policy should advise their insurers if a young driver is away at college or university, and if they are studying from home and getting good grades, you may even get a discount for that!
Mississippi Auto Insurance Ratings
The most important consideration when trying to get cheap Mississippi car insurance quotes is your insurance rating. Mississippi auto insurance ratings show potential insurers the level of risk they are taking when they offer you auto insurance, and they price their auto insurance rates accordingly. Each Mississippi car insurance company places different emphasis of different elements of your car insurance rating, and this is why it is better to shop around. Some Mississippi car insurance companies may feel that parking your car in a locked garage overnight is far more important than a couple of minor driving misdemeanors, whereas others may take the opposite view entirely.
There are several factors which all Mississippi car insurance companies will take into account when calculating your Mississippi auto insurance rating:-
- Your Credit Rating – Car insurance companies in Mississippi are permitted by law to request your credit history. You cannot be penalized for having a bad credit history, but you could qualify for a discount if you have an excellent financial history. Car insurance research has shown that people with a good credit rating make more responsible drivers on the road and if you have the available credit, negotiate a discount for paying a year´s premiums in advance!
- Your Age and Gender – Nationally, young drivers – particularly males – have a poor record for being the cause of accidents. This is not necessarily the case in Mississippi, so if you feel that your car insurance company in Mississippi is penalizing you for being a young driver, point them to the statistics collected by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) which indicate a low percentage of accident liability among young drivers in many Mississippi counties.
- Make and Age of Vehicle – Some cars in Mississippi are “thief magnets” (see our “Most Frequently Stolen Cars in Mississippi) and others are so old they are almost classic cars. However, if you have a new car which is more valuable than your neighbor´s “old banger”, you may still be paying lower car insurance rates in Mississippi if yours is a vehicle with a greater number of safety and security features.
- Vehicle Usage – As mentioned above, drivers who use their vehicles infrequently will benefit from cheap auto insurance rates in Mississippi through “pay-as-you-drive” plans, however even if you do not qualify for these, you should still advise your Mississippi car insurance company if you only use the car for school runs and a little local shopping or you could be paying the same Mississippi car insurance rates as a person who uses their car to drive 50 miles to work every day. The less you are on the road, the less risk you present to car insurance companies in Mississippi.
Mississippi “Hot Spots” for Vehicle Theft
One of the most important elements of your Mississippi car insurance rating is where you live. Those who live in big cities areas which see vast volumes of traffic will pay more for their Mississippi car insurance than those who live in tranquil rural areas. Those who live in big cities with a high level of vehicle theft will pay even more!
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) publishes a list each year of the 360 metropolitan districts which nationally have the worst record for car theft. Thankfully, only five metropolitan districts within Mississippi appear on the list. In 2010 they were (with their national position in brackets) –
- Jackson (19)
- Memphis (49)
- Biloxi (85)
- Pascagoula (112)
- Hattiesburg (228)
Most Frequently Stolen Cars in Mississippi
The NICB also produce a State-by-State directory of the most frequently stolen cars. If yours appears on this list, you may have to add additional security devices to your vehicle to prevent being penalized by Mississippi car insurance companies with higher auto insurance rates.
The most frequently stolen vehicles in Mississippi for 2010 were –
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Ford F150 Pick-Up
- Chevrolet Impala
- Chevrolet Caprice
- Dodge Ram
- Honda Accord
- GMC Pick-Up
- Buick Lesabre
- Mercury Grand Marquis
Typical Mississippi Auto Insurance Rates
It is difficult to define “typical” Mississippi auto insurance rates because so many car owners pay the minimum they can. The list below shows what the average car insurance premium was in a selection of cities throughout Mississippi, but fail to reflect the cost of adequate Mississippi auto insurance. If you get a Mississippi car insurance quote which is lower than those below, take it. Anything above these figures should inspire you to use the car insurance comparison tool at the top of the page to save money of car insurance in Mississippi!
Car insurance in Greenville – $1,258
Car insurance in Tupelo – $1,258
Car insurance in Hattiesburg – $1,320
Car insurance in Southaven – $1,339
Car insurance in Jackson – $1,344
Car insurance in Vicksburg – $1,378
Car insurance in meridian – $1,416
Car insurance in Biloxi – $1,450
Car insurance in Pascagoula -$1,473
Car insurance in Gulfport – $1,524
Mississippi Car Insurance Companies
There is a lot of competition between the car insurance companies in Mississippi, and this can be to the advantage of anybody looking to take out or renew a Mississippi car insurance policy. The best advice we can offer is to approach as many Mississippi car insurance companies as possible and compare their car insurance quotes. Some will offer discounts for car drivers of a certain profession whereas others may provide cheap Mississippi car insurance quotes if you have maintained a spotless insurance record for a number of years.
|American Century||General Insurance Company||Safe Auto|
|American Family Home||of America||Safeco|
|American International||Grain Dealers Mutual||Safeway|
|American Modern||Granite State||Sagamore|
|American National||GuideOne||Security National|
|American Security||Infinity||Southern United Fire|
|American Western Home||Insurance Company of the||Standard Fire|
|AMEX Assurance||State of Pennsylvania||State Auto|
|AMICA Mutual||Integon||State Farm|
|Auto Club Family||Lincoln General||Travco|
|Automobile Club InterInsurance||Markel||Travelers|
|Coast National||MeraStar||Union Insurance Company|
|Direct||Mississippi Farm Bureau||United Automobile|
|Economy||Mountain Laurel Assurance||Unitrin|
|Esurance||National Security Fire & Casualty||Victoria|
|Farmers||National Union Fire||Vigilant|
|First Acceptance||New Hampshire Indemnity||Yosemite|
In the table above we have underlined those Mississippi car insurance companies which we have reviewed. You can click on the underlined links or use the panel to the right of the page to find out what we have to say about them but, for the most comprehensive selection of Mississippi car insurance quotes, enter your zip code in the interactive tool at the top of the page and answer a handful of preliminary questions to get the best car insurance rates in Mississippi. You are under no obligation to accept any of the quotes offered to you and always remember to ask for further discounts.