As of 2013, Mississippi had the 3rd highest rate of uninsured motorists in the country at almost 23% of all drivers. This statistic alone could be what has driven the state’s overall insurance costs to be well above the national average, ranking it the 12th most expensive state. As the 32nd ranked state in area and 31st in population it is well above its geo-demographic for insurance costs.
Another reason for potentially higher insurance costs in the state could be the litigiousness of the at fault system in Mississippi. After an auto accident in Mississippi, drivers have a range of legal options in order to recover damages to property or cover medical expenses.
If the driver has insurance coverage, they can make a claim against their own insurance coverage. However, if they feel they were not at fault, they would likely pursue other avenues first. The second course of action would be to appeal directly to the suspected at fault driver’s insurance company for recompense. This process is considered an out of court settlement and depends on the assumed facts of the accident. If the at fault party is clear, many insurance companies would usually rather deal in an out of court settlement.
The last option is to file a civil court lawsuit against the at fault driver. This is usually the last resort for most drivers if they do not get the type of settlement that covers their loss.
Personal Liability insurance is required in Mississippi as part of the state’s legislation yet oddly proof of insurance is not required when you register a vehicle with the state or when you apply for a state driver’s license.
The insurance required as in most “tort” or at fault states is required to protect yourself and others in the case of injury and other property should you be at fault. With insurance in Mississippi, liability insurance is required in the following amounts:
$25,000 bodily injury per person
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident
These coverages only apply to other cars or drivers in the event of an accident if you elect to stick with only the minimum coverages in the state.
The state offers two alternative options to getting car insurance which include posting a bond for the same minimum coverage amounts listed above or depositing in cash or security the same amount with the Mississippi Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicles.
As a state with one of the highest uninsured rates in the country, you should get uninsured or underinsured coverage. With only minimal mandatory coverage that does not help you with your own vehicle or medical expenses, collision and medical payment coverage would be two other recommended insurances in the state. Comprehensive, roadside assistance, rental car and loan or lease gap coverages are also available in the state.
LMI raising Insurance rates
In recent reports it has proven that states with more low and middle income drivers, that insurance costs become prohibitive. Although a vehicle is required for most Americans to be able to work and provide basic services for their families, insurance costs can become too onerous to invest in.
This dynamic raises the amount of uninsured drivers which also raises the number of litigation claims against those without insurance. When these claims cannot be covered because the defendant cannot pay, the driver’s own insurance may have to pay if the plaintiff had coverage, raising the insurance rates for all. As Mississippi has one of the lowest average incomes of any state in the US, it has added significantly to the cost of insurance in the state.