Auto Insurance Basics

Auto Insurance Requirements in Mississippi

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In order to make sure that motorists and pedestrians are both protected in an auto accidents, the auto insurance law in Missouri requires that every driver carry liability insurance of at least 25/50/25 before they hit the road.

If you are ever stopped on the road in the Hospitality State, law enforcement officers can ask you to show proof of insurance and fine you if it's not on you. Always keep a copy of your insurance ID card (issued by your insurance provider) in your vehicle to avoid this.

Mississippi Required Car Insurance CoverageMS Required Min. Limits
Bodily Injury (BI) $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
Property Damage (PD) $25,000 per accident

Mississippi Car Insurance Minimum Requirements

You need a liability insurance policy that contains both bodily injury and property damage coverage to satisfy Mississippi's financial responsibility law. A liability policy is a contract between you and the insurance provider: in exchange for your premiums, your insurer will pay on your behalf in case you cause an accident that results in the other party’s harm - up to the limits of your coverage. Here are the minimum coverage limits you need to carry as a Hospitality State motorist:

Bodily Injury (BI): in short, for each accident you're negligent in that causes injuries or death to someone in the other party, your insurer pays up to $25,000 of medical bills per person, but no more than $50,000 in total. The only time that BI may pay for your own expense is your lawyer’s fee when you are sued and need to hire one. As the other driver has the right to sue you in case their medical expenses exceeds the 25/50k limits that your insurer pays under a minimum policy, you may want to consider purchasing higher limits. If your financial standing allows, coverage limits can be as high as 250/500 - varies by insurer.

Property Damage (PD): as for the property damage you cause in an accident that you are at-fault for – such as damage to the other driver’s taillights or rear bumper – your insurer pays up to $25,000 worth of car repair per accident in a minimum MS policy. Your accident might be more serious, and may even involve public property damage, so you may want to purchase higher PD limits in Mississippi as long as you can afford it.

Optional Coverage in Mississippi

Liability coverage in a Mississippi policy ensures that your insurer pays on your behalf to reimburse others, but it does not pay for you (except for your lawyer’s fee). When you cause an accident, the following coverage types can make sure that your own expenses are also provided for:

Medical Payments (MedPay): regardless of fault, your insurer will pay for medical care for any injuries that occur in a car accident. We suggest this coverage in case you are injured in a crash that you cause, and your Mississippi health insurance plan does not cover car accident injuries (check with your provider). If it's an accident caused by the other driver, their bodily injury would hypothetically cover pay your medical bills. Even if your health insurance does, note that MedPay can still help by paying for bills that your health insurance requires of you, such as the deductible and/or copays.

Uninsured Motorist (UM): Mississippi was found to have the 3rd highest uninsured motorist claims percentage – 22.9% – in the entire US in 2012. By purchasing UM coverage, you are protecting yourself against the nearly 1-in-4 odds of being hit by an uninsured driver. An uninsured driver may not have the necessary financial ability to pay for their damage. Licensed Mississippi insurers will offer you UM for both bodily injury and property damage, in the same limits as your BI and PD liability (for example, 25/50/25 in a minimum policy). You may choose to keep both, decline UM property damage, or reject both in writing, but note the risk you will be under if you reject this coverage.

Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility 

There is more than one way to provide proof of liability insurance in the Hospitality State. Although an auto insurance policy is the most convenient way to satisfy the Motor Vehicle Safety-Responsibility Law, proof by any of the following methods will suffice as well:

Surety Bond as proof: have a surety company, which is licensed in Mississippi, to issue you a surety bond payable for $75,000 for payments in an at-fault accident with bodily injury or property damage. A copy of such a bond should suffice as your proof if you are ever requested to provide one. Note that unlike a typical MS car insurance policy, the surety company will ask you for whatever payments it made on your behalf back.

Real Estate Bond as proof: you can find two other individuals who own real estate in the state of Mississippi to be your sureties, and file a real estate bond with the Department of Revenue that is signed by both people. Specifically, they must not only list their property on the bond as collateral in case you fail to make any payments you are liable of within 60 days, but also prove that they have $150,000 in stock or equity together. A real estate bond is only valid when you have filed it with the county clerk where the listed real estate is located.

Certificate of Cash as proof: the second most common proof of financial responsibility to a liability policy is a certificate of cash. You can receive this by depositing $15,000 in cash with the State Treasurer. Deposits made in some kind of securities with the same value – such as a government note – will also be accepted. Once the Treasurer confirms that you've closed all previous judgments against you from past accidents, he or she will issue the certificate.

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