The 7th most expensive state for auto insurance, Mississippi offers coverage for an average of $1,896 per year. Any individual policy may deviate from this price depending on the driving history of the insured. Individuals moving to Mississippi from another state may also see a policy increase. In order to understand the cost of car insurance in Mississippi, a driver must learn why premiums vary from one state to another so they can shop around and find the best rates.

How do car insurance companies calculate premiums?

The higher the risk of a claim being filed, the more the insurance policy will cost. Auto insurance companies calculate risk at an individual level by reviewing a driver’s history of accidents and traffic citations as well as his credit score, age, marital status and other factors. Risk is also evaluated on a geographic level. Some states have high risk factors related to traffic, weather, crime, uninsured motorist population and DUI statistics. These risks will work to raise the premiums for everyone in the area.

One reason for the high cost of insurance in Mississippi is the number of uninsured drivers in the state. Mississippi ranks second in the country for uninsured motorists, with 28 percent of all drivers operating without insurance. Whenever a driver without insurance causes an accident, the other person’s insurance company must absorb the cost of repairs without being reimbursed for the expense. In order to recover the lost expenses, the insurance company must raise premiums throughout the state.

Mississippi also has a relatively high incidence of drunk driving. In 2009, 264 people were killed in drunk driving accidents. This accounts for 38 percent of all traffic fatalities in the state. While lower than numbers for other states, this is a high concentration of accidents for the area’s population density.

Weather also plays a role in determining the cost of auto insurance. Areas with a high incidence of weather events such as hail, windstorms or floods will have higher auto insurance premiums than places that do not have extreme weather. In Mississippi, vehicles are more likely to sustain flood damage than in a state that is more inland.

Another major factor influencing the cost of auto insurance is a state’s policy requirements. Each state sets its own requirements for coverage, and some areas require policies that are more extensive than others. This can dramatically increase the disparity between average policy costs, but similar policies will have rates that are much closer in price.

Mississippi Car Insurance Requirements

Mississippi requires that all drivers maintain at least $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. Drivers must also carry at least bodily injury liability with a minimum $25,000/$50,000 coverage. It’s a good idea for a driver to purchase as much liability insurance as he can afford as he may be held personally responsible for damage he causes that exceeds the policy limit.

Drivers can also purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. Together they make up full coverage auto insurance and pay for damage to an insured vehicle. Full coverage insurance is necessary for leased or financed vehicles, but it’s a good idea to purchase full coverage for any new or valuable car.

Uninsured motorist coverage is optional in the state, but it might be a valuable investment considering the high concentration of uninsured drivers in the area. This coverage protects a driver from injuries and damages caused by a person without insurance. The deductible is usually lower than the collision deductible.

Drivers in Mississippi can also purchase first-party injury coverage as well as rental reimbursement and towing. These can all be purchased separately and added to a policy whether or not it has full coverage. This allows the driver to customize an insurance policy to suit his individual needs without purchasing unnecessary coverage.

Can I find cheap car insurance quotes in Mississippi?

Although insurance in Mississippi is more expensive than in other states, it’s not impossible to find affordable coverage. The best way to locate the best deal on auto insurance is to compare quotes online. By comparison shopping between multiple companies you can compare rates, learn more about discounts and find the best deal for your policy.