Auto insurance requirements in Mississippi
Car insurance is a legal requirement in Mississippi. Every driver must carry a minimum amount and proof of this coverage is required to be carried at all times. This proof of coverage must be shown at the request of any law enforcement official. Below you’ll find Mississippi’s minimum car insurance requirements as well as some optional coverages that can add even more protection.
Liability coverage in Mississippi
Liability coverage is the only legally required insurance coverage in the state of Mississippi. It pays for injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering that you inflict on another driver — or their passengers — in an accident in which you are at fault. Liability also covers damage that you cause to the other driver’s vehicle. In Mississippi, liability coverage is typically listed as 25/50/25, representing the three different types of coverage it contains, which are explained below:
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
When you hear about a car insurance limit, it is referring to the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay out for a claim. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and can almost always be increased for an additional premium from most insurers.
Liability limits are normally split into three categories: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. Read more about these three coverages below:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person refers to the maximum dollar amount an insurer will pay for a single person that you injure in a car accident.
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount your insurer will pay for all injuries that you cause in an accident where more than one person is hurt.
- $25,000 property damage per accident is the maximum amount that will be paid for physical damage that you cause in a car accident.
Do Mississippi’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
Mississippi sets these basic insurance requirements in order to protect you and other drivers. However, carrying just the lowest liability limits leaves you at risk. Your bodily injury limits can be exhausted quickly even with moderate injuries. This is especially true if you injure more than one person, as $50,000 is not likely to go as far as you think. The same holds true for the property damage limits, as $25,000 is just barely in the realm of the cost to replace a new vehicle.
It’s highly recommended that drivers increase their liability limits. This can usually be done for a relatively low increase in insurance rates. Furthermore, consider adding extra coverages which are discussed later in this article.
Mississippi’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Mississippi takes car insurance seriously. If you are caught driving in Mississippi without car insurance, you can expect to face the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Suspension of driving privileges for up to a year
- Possible conviction of a misdemeanor
Optional car insurance coverage in Mississippi
While Mississippi law only requires liability insurance in order to be a legal driver, there are other great options for increasing your coverage. Here are some of the more common options:
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle from non-collision perils such as theft or weather damage.
- Collision: This covers damages to your vehicle if you collide with another car or stationary object. Keep in mind that hitting an animal is covered by comprehensive coverage, not collision.
- Loan/Lease Payoff: Often referred to as gap coverage, loan/lease payoff covers the difference between your vehicle’s actual cash value and the amount still owed on the loan in the event that your car is totaled.
- Medical Payments: This coverage goes toward paying the medical expenses of those in your vehicle at the time of an accident and can be used regardless of fault.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: In the event that your car is unable to be driven due to an accident, this coverage can go toward paying the cost of a rental.
- Roadside Assistance: This coverage can come in handy if you find yourself broken down. It typically offers reimbursement for things like towing, flat-tire fixes, and even overnight stays in some cases.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Unfortunately, not all drivers choose to obey the law. If you are injured by a driver who cannot pay your medical expenses, this coverage steps in to help.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: Similar to the coverage above, this coverage extends to your vehicle or other personal property that is damaged by a driver who is unable to pay due to a lack of sufficient coverage.
Why adhering to Mississippi’s car insurance requirements is important
Keeping in line with Mississippi’s car insurance laws is a good way to protect yourself and your assets. Adding further coverage is always encouraged, but some are concerned about the extra costs that come with increasing limits or adding new coverage types. If you share these concerns, it may be time to look for a new policy. The Zebra can help you compare side by side insurance quotes from the nation’s top companies. Click below to find great coverage at a price you can afford.