Does Mississippi Have Compulsory Auto Liability Insurance?
Since Jan. 1, 2001, motorists in Mississippi have been required to maintain automobile coverage that includes liability insurance to lawfully drive. Because these laws are not enforced through vehicle registration, motorists must carry proof that a policy has been purchased at all times while behind the wheel. During a traffic stop or after an accident, an officer of the law may request to see this proof. Drivers who are unable to demonstrate that they are adequately insured may face a fine of $1,000 and license suspension for a year. Sometimes driving privileges may only be returned if the offending motorist can show that he or she has purchased a policy that meets Mississippi’s standards.
The minimum amount of liability coverage that is required by the state is 25/50/25. These specific minimum limits were set in January 2006 and translate to $25,000 for bodily injury per person with $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. This form of protection, however, only pays for another party’s damages or injuries that the policyholder is responsible for.
Because the Insurance Research Council estimates that roughly 28 percent of drivers in the Magnolia State are uninsured — the highest percentage in the nation as of 2009 — motorists may also want to consider uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This additional vehicle protection generally covers bodily injuries sustained by the insured motorists, members of their household or passengers in the insured vehicle when struck by an uninsured driver. This also typically includes damages that may be caused by drivers who are underinsured and are unable to fully pay for damages that result from their own negligence. If the at-fault driver is underinsured, this coverage can include lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium and medical payments.
Improving upon the basic Mississippi auto insurance that is required can increase a resident’s premium, but drivers in the Magnolia State also have an estimated average expenditure of only $654, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which is fairly inexpensive when compared to rates across the nation.
Drivers may be able to find cheap or affordable policies by comparing a large number of quotes. Because insurers usually price individual residents differently for various reasons, people can often save money by taking the time to search for the cheapest estimates. Prices are largely based on personal details like age, gender and marital status, but also on a person’s driving record. For this reason, it’s often financially beneficial to avoid unnecessary risks while behind the wheel and to strive to be an exceptional driver. Using the Internet to compare multiple quotes at once can make shopping more efficient, and sometimes drivers may even be able to buy auto insurance online in a short amount of time and from the convenience of their home.