If you live in Mississippi, you’re probably paying around $1,734 a year for car insurance. That’s not a bad deal compared with the rest of the nation. However, most Mississippi residents still are paying more than they have to.
When shopping for your policy, it’s important to remember that every little factor has an effect on how a quote is calculated. Everything from your ZIP code to your age to your credit score can have a significant influence on the quote you receive. That’s why it’s difficult to say which company is going to be best for you. The only way to determine what your best options are is to get the quotes yourself.
Thankfully, it doesn’t take much work to find a pile of savings. Cheap car insurance quotes are easy to get and don’t affect your credit score. Start with companies that offer online quote tools to get a feel for the process, and then move on to phone calls. You might want to schedule a meeting with an agent to ask more questions and get a more personalized quote. Altogether, you should expect to spend no more than an hour. When you consider the potential savings, it’s not a hard commitment to make.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Mississippi
Each of these companies meets J.D. Power’s criteria for solid customer service and A.M. Best’s test for financial strength and stability. J.D. Power conducts thorough customer service satisfaction surveys, and A.M. Best takes a look at insurance companies’ financial viability to help you find the company that will be able to pay claims in a timely fashion should there be an accident.
State Farm’s quote of $1,168 ($566 under the state average) makes it very attractive for consumers. You should stick with an affordable yet reliable company, like State Farm in this instance, and put your money into better coverage. However, it’s worth noting that some of the more expensive options, like Geico and Nationwide, might turn out to be competitive options if you want more than the state-mandated coverage levels.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Mississippi’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
The basic level of coverage required in Mississippi, according to the DMV, is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $25,000 for property damage, also called a 25/50/25 plan.
Just in case you’re looking for a workaround, Mississippi does offer some ways to meet the state-required financial responsibility without buying insurance. The driver has to meet/have one of the following requirements:
- Post a bond for the minimum coverage amounts
- Make a cash or security deposit equal to the minimum coverage amounts
Why are Mississippi’s insurance rates so high?
Mississippi has longstanding issues with drivers ignoring the state’s laws. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, Mississippi ranks second for uninsured motorists, with 23.7 percent having no liability insurance. The culprit for the high premiums is a loophole that allows ticketed drivers to buy insurance after the fact and avoid paying all but $100 of the fine. Reportedly, thousands of Mississippians take advantage of this loophole and purchase a policy only for a month before dropping it. It’s because of these uninsured drivers that those who do pay for insurance in the state pay an extra $11 billion annually.
One factor that could be keeping skyrocketing prices slightly in check is the low cost of labor for vehicle repairs in Mississippi. With that in mind, it’s possible the low cost of repairs is the one thing keeping Mississippi’s premium prices from inflating even more.
What if you’re not a full-time Mississippi resident?
To purchase insurance in the state of Mississippi, you must either be a resident of the state or prove that your vehicle is principally parked there. The only other exemption to the rule is anyone with active military status.
Should you purchase more than the minimum requirements?
Unfortunately, it’s likely that you will have to file an insurance claim in your lifetime. Statistics show that the common driver averages an accident every 17.9 years, and the average cost of a nonfatal accident with injuries is $93,800.
In most cases, upgrading to a 50/100/50 plan isn’t as daunting as you might expect. For example, a quote for a 25/50/25 plan with State Farm is $1,168. To up your coverage to 50/100/50, the cost goes up to $1,338, which is only $170 more annually. This is a drop in the bucket compared to paying out of your pocket in the event of an accident. The peace of mind you get with more coverage can offset the difference in cost.
Is Mississippi a no-fault insurance state?
Mississippi does not require that you carry no-fault insurance. Instead, it is a tort state, which means that the at-fault driver in any accident must pay the medical expenses for anyone involved in the incident. This means that people involved in the accident also have the right to pursue additional compensation for pain, suffering and lost work time.
Do you need collision or comprehensive insurance?
Because Mississippi is a tort state and you may be required to pay all of the expenses in an accident, you might want to consider buying collision and comprehensive insurance. Collision insurance covers you if you hit another vehicle, a tree or a guardrail. It also covers you if your car sustains damage from road hazards such as potholes. If your vehicle rolls over, you would file for collision insurance.
Comprehensive insurance, on the other hand, is necessary if your car is vandalized or stolen. You might also use comprehensive insurance if your car hits an animal or if a tree branch falls on your vehicle. When your car is damaged by a natural disaster such as a fire, a tornado, or a hurricane, you would file under your comprehensive insurance policy.
In Mississippi, consider the weather, wildlife and the area where you live to determine whether you need collision or comprehensive coverage or both. You should also consider your driving record and the value of your vehicle. These factors can help you decide which type of insurance plan is right for you.
What happens if you drive without insurance in Mississippi?
Having car insurance is required in Mississippi. If you are caught driving without insurance, you will be fined $1,000, and you will likely lose your license and registration for up to one year. You will likely be required to purchase SR-22 insurance before you can be reinstated.
What is SR-22 insurance?
You won’t ever need SR-22 insurance if you have a clean driving record. However, if you are caught driving without insurance, driving under the influence, or having multiple traffic violations in a short period of time, the state of Mississippi may require that you buy SR-22 insurance.
This is a policy that is added to your regular insurance coverage. Because it involves a lot of extra paperwork, the SR-22 can be very expensive. However, it is often necessary in order to get your license or registration reinstated.
Shop Around for the Best Rates
Insurance companies don’t just consider your risk as a driver when they calculate your premium; they also consider how sensitive you are to price change. According to several recent studies, many heavyweight insurance companies like Allstate and Progressive analyze your personal data (like credit scores, web-shopping habits and social media activity) to predict how tolerant you will be of price increases. If the company determines that you’re a complacent customer, it’ll give you incremental price increases because it figures you won’t resist. It’s a strategy called “price optimization.”
Your rate should reflect your driving record, claims history and other relevant factors — not a data-driven algorithm that says you’re too lazy to shop for better rates.
Don’t fret just yet, though. Providers know when you shop around, and the more you do, the riskier it will be for them to raise your rates. Plus, you’re going to learn a lot about the competition and whether your current rate is truly competitive. It’s a win-win, really.
Take advantage of discounts for good drivers if you qualify. Because your good driving – and, therefore, lack of accident claims – will save insurance companies money, that savings can be passed on to you in the form of good-driving discounts. If your current insurance company doesn’t offer this type of reward for your clean record, you can use it to your advantage when you’re shopping around.
While you’re looking at other companies, it’s important to also keep in mind your credit score. Unfortunately, if your score is below 620, car insurance companies may use that against you and raise your insurance premium.
However, this is not the only aspect of your driving and lifestyle that insurance companies consider when they quote you a rate. If you, or someone on your policy, is a new driver, this might also work against you. Insurance companies look at your driving record and base your premium on your driving trends and how likely you are to cause an accident. If you don’t have a driving record because you’re new to putting in time behind the wheel, insurance companies don’t have any evidence that you might be an excellent driver. Evidence has shown that new drivers are the least experienced and therefore the most likely to be in accidents, so their insurance is likely to be higher. If you’re in these two categories, you can shop around for good student discounts or try to improve your credit score.
Think about these different factors as you look to find the car insurance policy that is best for you.