Mississippi Car Insurance 101 (Compare Costs & Companies)

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Gianetta Palmer is a writer for CarInsurance101.com, copywriter, and essayist. Her work has appeared in EverydayHealth.com, Healthline, and The Dyrt Magazine. She is the author of Scrunchie-Fried and writes a lot about car insurance...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life...

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Reviewed byMelanie Musson
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UPDATED: Mar 16, 2020

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Mississippi Statistics SummaryDetails
Road MilesVehicle Miles – 39,890
Miles of Road – 76,777
Vehicle RegistrationNumber of Vehicles Registered – 2,040,524
State PopulationNumber of People Residing in Mississippi – 2,976,149
Most Popular VehicleMost Popular Vehicle in State – Pickup Truck
Uninsured DriversPercent of Uninsured Drivers in Mississippi –23.7%
Total Driving Related DeathsThere are over 690 road fatalities in Mississippi every year
Cheapest ProvidersAllstate P&C and Geico General

Need car insurance in Mississippi? Our guide compares rates and companies as well as state laws and safe driving tips. Keep reading to find out more. Whether you are purchasing your first policy or renewing an old one, finding the right car insurance company can be a hassle.

How much coverage do you need? What car insurance companies are available in your area? What are Mississippi state laws regarding car insurance?

You can find the answers to all of these questions and many more right here on this page. We hope to make finding the right car insurance policy for you as simple as possible.

Use our free quote tool to start comparison shopping for car insurance today.

Table of Contents

Mississippi Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

When shopping for auto insurance, you want to make sure you get not only the best price but also the right amount of coverage as required by the state of Mississippi.

How do you go about finding the right insurance company for you? We can help.

We spend a lot of time finding all the answers to your most common questions about auto insurance so you don’t have to. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about car insurance and operating a motor vehicle in the state of Mississippi.

What is Mississippi’s car culture?

Cars are an important part of life in Mississippi. Being a rural state, you can see large passenger vehicles and pickup trucks on every roadway from Southhaven to Biloxi.

There is very little public transportation in the state so most people depend on personal vehicles to get them where they need to go.

Mississippi also sees about 23 million visitors every year. These people share already crowded rural roadways with Mississippi residents and sometimes issues do arise so it’s important to be prepared.

Whether you’re driving to Tupelo to visit Elvis Presley’s birthplace or to Iuka to visit one of the country’s oldest drive-in theaters, you must carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage to drive on Mississippi roads.

How much coverage is required for Mississippi minimum coverage?

Mississippi requires all drivers to carry liability insurance on their vehicles and to carry proof of that insurance with them at all times. The minimum coverage requirements for Mississippi drivers are as follows:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $25,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.

According to NOLO, bonds can also be posted with these prices:

Mississippi vehicle owners can also post a bond in these same amounts, or make an equivalent cash or security deposit at these minimums in order to demonstrate financial responsibility, but the vast majority of people choose to purchase a liability insurance policy.

What are forms of financial responsibility in Mississippi?

Any driver operating a motor vehicle on any state’s roadways is required to abide by the financial responsibility statutes established by that state. In Mississippi, this means that drivers must carry proof of insurance on them at all times while operating a motor vehicle.

That proof can be presented in various forms:

  • A paper copy of your insurance ID card
  • A digital copy of your insurance ID card (an image on a cell phone, for example)
  • A Self-Insurance Certificate (proof of a cash or security deposit that fulfills the minimum financial responsibility requirements)
  • Proof of a Surety Bond that fulfills the minimum financial responsibility requirements

No matter how you decide to establish your financial responsibility as a Mississippi driver, you must make sure to carry proof of it on you at all times in the case of a traffic stop or automobile accident.

How much percentage of income are premiums in Mississippi?

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing an automobile insurance policy is price. How much will you pay for car insurance in Mississippi?

There are many different factors that affect car insurance premiums. Your age, driving record, vehicle type, and amount of coverage all affect how much you pay for car insurance.

In 2016, Mississippians spent an average of $858.64 per person for auto insurance. The average household income for Mississippi that same year was $58,856. Therefore, Mississippians spend about 2 percent of their yearly incomes on car insurance.

This is only an average, however. Keep reading to find out what factors affect your premiums and how you can use that information to help you save money on your car insurance.

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What are the core coverages in Mississippi?

How much coverage are you required to have as a resident of the Magnolia State?

Mississippi requires that all drivers carry basic liability insurance as a minimum. As mentioned above, those minimum requirements are as follows:

  • $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $25,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.

However, some drivers may want more coverage and in some cases, more coverage may be required. For example if you are financing your vehicle, the loan carrier may require you to carry full coverage on the vehicle.

Keep reading to find out more about what kinds of coverage are available for drivers in Mississippi such as add-ons, riders, and comprehensive coverage.

What additional liability is available in Mississippi?

Mississippi only requires you to carry the minimum liability coverage, but you may opt to purchase more coverage. For example, you may opt for liability insurance with higher amounts of coverage or lower deductibles.

Liability insurance only protects the other person if you are involved in an accident that is ruled to be your fault. This means that for any repairs done on any damage done to your own vehicle, you will have to pay for out of pocket.

Car repairs can be very expensive. For this reason, many drivers opt to purchase more than just the required liability insurance.

Some of the more common types of additional coverage purchased by drivers are:

  • Collision – This type of coverage helps to pay for damage done to your own vehicle in the event you are involved in an accident.
  • MedPay – This type of coverage helps to pay for medical bills for anyone involved in a car accident. This includes ambulance rides and treatment when necessary.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This type of coverage helps to protect you in the event that you are involved in an automobile accident with a driver who does not have insurance or who does not have enough insurance.
  • Comprehensive – This type of coverage helps to protect your vehicle in the case of a natural disaster or other non-collision damage.
  • Personal Injury Protection – This type of coverage helps to pay for lost wages and medical payments.

Keep reading to find out what other types of coverage are available to you as a resident of Mississippi.

What add-ons, endorsements, and riders are available in Mississippi?

There are various add-ons available for your insurance policy. Some of the most common are listed below:

  • Roadside Assistance – This service is useful when your car is broken down or otherwise disabled. It may cover such services as towing, tire changes, or locksmith services.
  • Accessories Coverage – This add-on can be used to cover the loss of any automobile accessories through theft or damage.
  • Consumables Coverage – This add-on can be used to help you cover the price of all the consumable products you may use in taking care of your vehicle such as motor oil, nuts and bolts, oil filters, lubricants, etc.

Two other types of additions you can add to your insurance policy are endorsements and riders. Endorsements and riders both change your standard policy. The difference is that a rider typically refers to an added coverage to your policy, while an endorsement can be made to add or subtract coverage.

It is always best to check what types of add-ons, riders, and endorsements are available to you as each one provides different levels of coverage for different premiums. It is also important to check to see if you are eligible for any discounts.

Keep scrolling to find out what other factors determine your insurance rates and coverage.

Do gender and age affect my car insurance in Mississippi?

For the most part, gender does not affect car insurance premiums in the Magnolia State even though there is no official state mandate prohibiting the use of gender as a factor in determining insurance premiums. On average, women pay $740 per six-month policy, while men pay $735.

AgeGenderAverage Six-Month Car Insurance Premium
16 Years OldMale$3,897
16 Years OldFemale$3,378
17 Years OldMale$3,366
17 Years OldFemale$2,904
18 Years OldMale$3,070
18 Years OldFemale$2,631
19 Years OldMale$2,409
19 Years OldFemale$2,044
20 Years OldMale$2,198
20 Years OldFemale$1,874
21 Years OldMale$1,690
21 Years OldFemale$1,479
22 Years OldMale$1,553
22 Years OldFemale$1,375
23 Years OldMale$1,455
23 Years OldFemale$1,301
24 Years OldMale$1,381
24 Years OldFemale$1,242

Age, however, can play a role in your premiums especially if you are a younger driver. Younger drivers pay higher insurance prices because they are considered more likely to take risks while driving. They are also considered more likely to drive recklessly or file claims.

When it comes to insurance rates for younger drivers, gender does play a small role.

Men younger than 20 pay an average of 14 percent more per year for car insurance than do women in the same age bracket. Between the ages of 20 and 24, male drivers pay 8 percent more than do their female counterparts.

What are the cheapest rates by ZIP code in Mississippi?

Sometimes, where you live can affect your car insurance premiums. The following ZIP codes in Mississippi pay the most expensive car insurance premiums in the Magnolia State.

ZIP CodeCityAverageAllstate P&CGeico GeneralSafeco Ins Co of ILNationwide P&CProgressive Gulf InsState Farm Mutual AutoTravelers Home & Marine Ins CoUSAA
39086Hermanville$4,323.64$5,937.03$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,172.69$5,343.98$3,750.24$4,122.10$2,246.10
39096Lorman$4,250.87$5,952.13$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,172.69$4,786.78$3,640.79$4,191.49$2,246.10
39150Port Gibson$4,242.24$5,952.13$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,172.69$4,633.82$3,724.69$4,191.49$2,246.10
39120Natchez$4,189.65$5,776.88$4,843.48$4,809.69$3,408.49$4,765.89$3,637.59$4,185.69$2,089.52
39144Pattison$4,185.94$4,913.98$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,172.69$5,243.77$3,702.49$4,191.49$2,246.10
39635Fernwood$4,170.57$5,666.66$4,413.77$4,809.69$2,904.76$6,115.20$3,086.49$4,275.68$2,092.33
39190Washington$4,157.25$5,776.88$4,843.48$4,455.43$3,408.49$6,109.19$3,257.71$3,317.33$2,089.52
39669Woodville$4,149.93$5,666.66$4,843.48$4,809.69$3,179.85$4,763.60$3,414.41$4,275.68$2,246.10
39633Crosby$4,144.61$5,666.66$4,843.48$4,809.69$3,179.85$4,675.36$3,460.09$4,275.68$2,246.10
39174Tougaloo$4,138.74$5,685.01$5,029.37$4,580.96$2,855.35$6,070.04$3,009.23$3,763.32$2,116.62
39558Lakeshore$4,129.33$5,414.07$4,249.19$4,791.37$2,903.45$6,133.27$3,402.87$3,914.68$2,225.77
39173Tinsley$4,112.92$5,685.01$4,465.85$4,580.96$2,921.61$6,033.91$3,203.44$3,763.32$2,249.27
39069Fayette$4,107.16$4,738.71$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,408.49$4,747.18$3,508.36$4,191.49$2,246.10
39210Jackson$4,105.52$5,531.13$4,306.19$4,511.45$2,960.85$6,145.30$3,132.64$3,932.01$2,324.60
39175Utica$4,053.43$6,044.71$5,029.37$4,580.96$2,747.96$4,832.26$3,575.66$3,403.71$2,212.86
39668Union Church$4,050.99$4,738.71$5,029.37$4,987.59$3,408.49$4,365.76$3,440.44$4,191.49$2,246.10
39632Chatawa$4,041.93$4,628.49$4,413.77$4,809.69$2,904.76$6,124.21$3,086.49$4,275.68$2,092.33
39555Hurley$4,024.29$5,226.77$4,111.73$4,729.40$2,698.41$6,199.53$3,027.85$4,008.74$2,191.87
39474Prentiss$4,013.94$5,952.13$4,738.27$4,757.59$2,904.76$4,530.70$3,124.12$3,964.07$2,139.85
38768Rome$4,009.06$5,050.32$4,708.47$4,592.13$2,592.31$6,051.98$2,914.98$3,914.43$2,247.83
39631Centreville$4,006.38$4,628.49$4,843.48$4,809.69$3,179.85$4,676.86$3,390.87$4,275.68$2,246.10
39427Carson$4,005.18$5,937.03$4,738.27$4,757.59$2,904.76$4,454.93$3,144.92$3,964.07$2,139.85
39204Jackson$3,996.62$5,688.01$4,306.19$4,511.45$2,960.85$4,858.31$3,566.53$3,757.06$2,324.60
39193Whitfield$3,994.81$5,685.01$4,050.47$4,522.87$2,666.99$6,030.89$3,132.64$3,769.73$2,099.87
38630Farrell$3,994.56$4,971.83$4,708.47$4,318.54$2,758.50$6,202.51$3,303.85$3,565.68$2,127.07

The following ZIP codes pay the cheapest car insurance premiums in Mississippi:

ZipcodeCityAverageAllstate P&CGeico GeneralSAFECO Ins Co of ILNationwide P&CProgressive Gulf InsState Farm Mutual AutoTravelers Home & Marine Ins CoUSAA
39756PRAIRIE$3,274.33$4,286.97$3,494.31$4,194.64$2,956.33$3,655.04$2,569.39$3,114.26$1,923.75
38856MARIETTA$3,274.20$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,318.54$2,376.76$3,604.50$2,761.22$3,122.51$1,879.74
38826BELDEN$3,272.51$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,194.64$2,376.76$3,748.01$2,620.30$3,156.96$1,953.10
39730ABERDEEN$3,269.64$4,286.97$3,494.31$4,194.64$2,956.33$3,562.27$2,624.64$3,114.26$1,923.75
38841ECRU$3,265.32$4,388.22$3,484.78$4,194.64$2,376.76$3,612.02$2,562.22$3,550.86$1,953.10
39755PHEBA$3,261.14$4,387.80$3,615.39$3,806.80$2,956.33$3,665.32$2,557.77$3,175.99$1,923.75
38801TUPELO$3,258.36$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,018.35$2,376.76$3,757.05$2,646.87$3,213.84$1,923.75
39705COLUMBUS$3,257.98$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$4,168.87$2,813.54$3,354.13$1,728.25
38821AMORY$3,253.21$4,286.97$3,494.31$4,194.64$2,956.33$3,474.09$2,533.65$3,161.95$1,923.75
38866SALTILLO$3,251.39$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,018.35$2,376.76$3,806.47$2,635.76$3,106.15$1,937.35
39773WEST POINT$3,249.13$4,662.83$3,615.39$3,806.80$2,956.33$3,462.65$2,658.13$2,907.15$1,923.75
38824BALDWYN$3,247.35$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,018.35$2,376.76$3,739.79$2,653.75$3,122.51$1,937.35
39710COLUMBUS$3,246.30$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,979.90$2,749.21$3,354.13$1,888.14
38878VARDAMAN$3,246.01$4,286.97$3,379.63$4,194.64$2,956.33$3,338.05$2,571.36$3,317.33$1,923.75
39702COLUMBUS$3,243.42$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,865.86$2,900.26$3,294.02$1,888.14
38804TUPELO$3,239.30$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,018.35$2,376.76$3,849.45$2,616.13$2,999.66$1,923.75
38849GUNTOWN$3,237.09$4,645.52$3,484.78$4,018.35$2,376.76$3,612.02$2,683.71$3,122.51$1,953.10
39741CEDARBLUFF$3,231.09$4,662.83$3,615.39$3,806.80$2,956.33$3,157.21$2,550.46$3,175.99$1,923.75
39750MABEN$3,228.95$4,387.80$4,046.98$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,652.49$2,462.43$3,175.99$1,888.14
39776WOODLAND$3,220.89$4,286.97$3,484.78$4,194.64$2,956.33$3,073.13$2,530.20$3,317.33$1,923.75
39766STEENS$3,208.63$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,824.18$2,818.20$3,139.46$1,888.14
39769STURGIS$3,196.85$4,562.00$3,101.32$3,806.80$2,410.97$4,005.00$2,466.06$3,334.50$1,888.14
39743CRAWFORD$3,180.23$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,403.02$2,573.26$3,578.39$1,888.14
39701COLUMBUS$3,158.94$4,286.97$3,494.31$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,396.99$2,813.08$3,334.16$1,728.25
39759STARKVILLE$3,077.33$4,662.83$3,101.32$3,806.80$2,410.97$3,073.49$2,426.04$3,357.57$1,779.61

There are many factors that affect how much you will pay for car insurance. Your ZIP code can give you some idea of whether you will be at the higher or lower end of the price spectrum.

What are the cheapest rates by city in Mississippi?

What city you live in can also affect your insurance premiums. Two reasons for these rate differences are commute times and auto theft rates in those cities. The table below shows insurance premiums by city in the state of Mississippi.

CityCommute Time (min)Auto Theft Rate per 1,000Annual Insurance CostMonthly Insurance Cost
Aberdeen22.10.92$1784$149
Amory24.30.2$1619$135
Bay St. Louis231.8$1630$136
Biloxi19.93.15$1459$122
Booneville19.60.29$1517$126
Brandon27.30.38$1322$110
Brookhaven22.90.32$1702$142
Byram28.81.98$1789$149
Canton19.61.04$1804$150
Clarksdale20.93.72$2006$167
Cleveland14.70.99$1665$139
Clinton20.60.38$1414$118
Columbus19.11.52$1195$100
Corinth14.71.76$1627$136
Flowood24.42.39$1554$130
Forest19.20.53$1472$123
Fulton20.60.1$1626$135
Gautier25.12.13$1432$119
Greenwood14.50.99$1775$148
Grenada14.81.37$1778$148
Gulfport18.21.76$1459$122
Hattiesburg191.48$1377$115
Hernando23.50.26$1544$129
Horn Lake25.25.76$1359$113
Indianola16.40.98$1597$133
Jackson12.66.53$1386$116
Kosciusko22.90$1453$121
Laurel16.81.42$1608$134
Leland17.81.86$1783$149
Long Beach21.70.57$1567$131
Madison22.20.39$1335$111
McComb21.71.34$1988$166
Meridian20.73.49$1268$106
Moss Point193.92$1778$148
Natchez13.51.33$1184$99
New Albany19.70.12$1627$136
Ocean Springs222.32$1683$140
Olive Branch25.23.01$1359$113
Oxford13.21.63$1341$112
Pascagoula18.81.76$1432$119
Pass Christian24.90.35$1641$137
Pearl20.70.43$1386$116
Ridgeland18.40.73$1322$110
Senatobia26.80.7$1779$148
Southaven22.24$1359$113
Starkville18.40.96$1195$100
Tupelo17.62.67$1259$105
Vicksburg152.6$1359$113
West Point180.27$1689$141
Yazoo City21.42.03$1911$159

Cities with longer commutes and higher auto theft rates tend to have higher insurance premiums overall.

Best Mississippi Car Insurance Companies

With so many car insurance companies to choose from, it is sometimes hard to decide which company is the best one for you. That is why we have compiled all the relevant information from Mississippi’s top insurance companies and compared them for you.

Keep reading to find out about the ratings, average premiums,and more from some of Mississippi’s top automobile insurance companies.

What are the financial ratings of the largest car insurance companies in Mississippi?

Choosing the right auto insurance provider can seem like an impossible task. We are here to help.

In the table below, you will find the financial ratings for the top ten car insurance companies in Mississippi. These rating are according to AM Best, a worldwide credit agency with a focus on the insurance industry.

Best Rated CompaniesRatingOutlook
Alfa Insurance GroupA++Stable
Allstate Insurance GroupA+Stable
GeicoA++Stable
Liberty Mutual GroupAStable
Nationwide Corp GroupA+Stable
Progressive GroupA+Stable
Shelter Insurance GroupAStable
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty GroupA+Stable
State Farm GroupA++Stable
USAA GroupA++Stable

A company’s financial rating can be used as a good indicator of the company’s overall health and viability. A company with a high financial rating is less likely to reject your claim in the event that you need to file one.

Which car insurance companies have the best ratings in Mississippi?

J.D. Power also keeps statistical information on car insurance companies in order to help consumers make informed decisions about where to purchase their automobile insurance policies.

The table below ranks some of the car insurance companies available in Mississippi by rating.

CompanyOverall SatisfactionFirst Notice of LossEstimation ProcessRepair ProcessRental ExperienceClaim ServicingSettlement
Allstate3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
American Family3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
Amica Mutual5/55/55/53/53/55/55/5
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
Auto-Owners Insurance3/54/53/54/54/53/53/5
Automobile Club Group3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
Country Financial5/54/55/55/55/55/55/5
CSAA Insurance Group3/52/52/53/52/53/53/5
Erie Insurance3/54/55/53/53/53/54/5
Esurance2/53/52/53/53/53/52/5
Farmers3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
Geico3/54/53/53/53/53/54/5
The Hartford3/53/54/53/53/53/53/5
Liberty Mutual3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
MAPFRE Insurance2/52/53/53/53/52/53/5
Mercury2/52/53/52/52/52/52/5
MetLife3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
National General2/52/52/52/54/52/52/5
Nationwide3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
NJM Insurance Co.5/55/55/55/54/55/55/5
Progressive3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
Safeco3/53/53/53/53/53/53/5
State Farm3/53/53/53/53/54/53/5
Travelers3/53/54/52/53/53/53/5
USAA5/55/55/55/54/55/55/5

As you can see, the table rates each company using a five-point system based on different criteria such as overall satisfaction, rental experience, and claim servicing.

Which car insurance companies have the most complaints in Mississippi?

Looking at how many complaints a company has against it is another way of determining which car insurance company is the best fit for you.

The table below shows the complaint ratio for the top 10 car insurance companies in Mississippi. The ratio is based on a baseline of 1.0. This means that a company with a ratio of 1.0 has an average number of complaints.

CompanyDirect Premiums WrittenComplaint Ratio
Alfa Insurance Group$70,8410.16
Allstate Insurance Group$155,1470.50
Geico$117,8900.68
Liberty Mutual Group$117,4255.95
Nationwide Corp Group$108,2330.28
Progressive Group$192,0120.75
Shelter Insurance Group$59,8440.61
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Group$223,0230
State Farm Group$483,0640.44
USAA Group$95,8020.74

If you ever need to file a complaint against your car insurance company, there are several ways in which you can do so:

  • Complaints can be filed online at the Mississippi Insurance Department website
  • You can download a printable copy of the proper forms and mail them to the Mississippi Insurance Department at the following address: Attn: Consumer Services Division, P.O. Box 79, Jackson, MS 39205
  • You can fax these forms to the following fax number: 601-359-1077
  • You can send an email to consumer@mid.ms.gov

What are the cheapest car insurance companies in Mississippi?

When purchasing a car insurance policy, price is usually a key factor in making that decision. After all, who doesn’t want to save money on car insurance?

When it comes to finding the best deal on your next car insurance policy, we are here to help. Check out the table below to see some of the cheapest rates available to you as a Mississippi driver.

CompanyAverage+/- Compared to State Average (Rate)+/- Compared to State Average (%)
Allstate P&C$4,941.34$1,276.5325.83%
Geico General$4,086.36$421.5410.32%
Safeco Ins Co of IL$4,455.56$790.7417.75%
Nationwide P&C$2,756.17-$908.64-32.97%
Progressive Gulf Ins$4,312.60$647.7815.02%
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,980.08-$684.74-22.98%
Travelers Home & Marine Ins Co$3,730.17$65.351.75%
USAA$2,056.25-$1,608.56-78.23%

It is important to remember that these rates are just general guidelines. The actual price of your car insurance policy will be determined by multiple factors such as coverage type, driving record, commute time, etc.

Keep reading to find out how each of these factors among others can affect the price of your car insurance policy.

Does my commute affect my car insurance rate in Mississippi?

Does your commute time affect your car insurance premiums? The short answer is yes.

While there are many factors that go into determining your insurance premium, you will generally pay more for insurance if your commute is longer simply because of the fact that you spend more time behind the wheel.

Company10-Mile Commute.
6,000 Annual Mileage.
25-Mile Commute.
12,000 Annual Mileage.
Liberty Mutual$13,055.12$13,847.08
Nationwide$2,926.49$2,926.49
State Farm$2,011.15$2,122.82
USAA$2,824.14$2,899.06

If you’ve ever purchased a car insurance policy in the past, you may have noticed that most companies will ask you how long your commute is and if your vehicle is mostly used to travel to and from work.

The reason for this is that the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident or other event that will require you to file an insurance claim.

Can coverage level change my car insurance rate with companies in Mississippi?

As a general rule, the more coverage you carry, the more you will pay for your car insurance premium. By shopping around, however, and comparison shopping you can save a lot of money.

Always be sure to check with your insurance company to see if you qualify for any discounts, as well, as this may help determine what level of coverage you can afford.

How does my credit history affect my car insurance rate with companies in Mississippi?

It may come as a shock to many drivers that car insurance companies take your credit rating into account when determining your policy pricing. The reason for this is that insurance companies believe that drivers with higher credit ratings are less likely to submit a claim if involved in an accident.

Check out the table below to get an idea of just how your credit rating may affect your policy price.

CompanyGood CreditFair CreditPoor Credit
Allstate$4,037.04$5,065.11$5,721.87
Geico$2,606.95$3,490.89$6,161.23
Liberty Mutual$7,062.75$9,029.73$14,094.18
Nationwide$2,459.66$2,747.94$3,397.54
Progressive$3,875.40$4,170.46$4,891.94
State Farm$1,581.04$2,102.98$3,451.55
Travelers$3,502.98$3,453.60$4,233.92
USAA$1,776.60$2,069.13$3,914.74

Your credit score is not the only thing you will want to keep an eye on when looking to save money on car insurance. Your driving record can also affect how much you pay for car insurance.

How does my driving record change my rates with car insurance companies in Mississippi?

In the Magnolia State, safe driving can save you a lot of money on car insurance. On the other hand, just one ticket or DUI offense can leave you paying huge premiums for years to come.

While Mississippi does not have a traditional point system when it comes to driving violations, citations do go on your record and are accessible by car insurance companies as well as by employers.

The table below gives some insight into how certain driving violations can affect your policy pricing.

CompanyClean RecordWith One Speeding ViolationWith One DUIWith One Accident
Allstate$4,169.28$4,726.86$5,956.24$4,912.99
Geico$2,541.48$4,078.45$5,869.23$3,856.26
Liberty Mutual$3,162.70$4,442.21$5,170.33$5,046.99
Nationwide$2,202.58$2,438.23$3,574.60$2,809.29
Progressive$3,692.78$4,338.27$4,267.10$4,952.25
State Farm$2,707.79$2,949.82$2,949.82$3,312.87
Travelers$3,260.37$3,558.80$4,688.01$3,413.50
USAA$1,605.19$1,785.46$2,783.92$2,050.45

As you can see, keeping your driving record clean can save you hundreds of dollars a year on car insurance.

Which car insurance companies are the largest in Mississippi?

There are many car insurance providers in the state of Mississippi, but some possess a larger market share than others. Market share is the percentage of the overall market that is controlled by a single company.

CompanyMarket Share
Alfa Insurance Group3.77%
Allstate Insurance Group8.26%
Geico6.28%
Liberty Mutual Group6.25%
Nationwide Corp Group5.76%
Progressive Group10.22%
Shelter Insurance Group3.19%
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Group11.87%
State Farm Group25.72%
USAA Group5.10%

A high market share is a good indicator that the company is financially stable and has a strong growth trend. Both of these characteristics usually translate into lower policy premiums overall.

How many car insurance companies are available in Mississippi?

New competitors are entering the car insurance market due to the industry’s strong growth trend. That is good news for you as a consumer since more competition means lower prices.

Car insurance companies in the state of Mississippi fall into two categories:

  • Domestic Companies – These companies have been formed under Mississippi laws
  • Foreign Companies – These companies have been formed under the laws of any state, district, territory, or commonwealth of the United States aside from Mississippi

At the current time, as a resident of Mississippi, you have about 15 domestic insurance providers and over 900 foreign insurance providers to choose from.

Now that you have learned all you need to know about insurance providers and what you can do to keep your policy rates low, let’s take a look at the rules of the road in the Magnolia State.

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Mississippi Laws

The laws of the road for driving in Mississippi can sometimes be confusing. That is why we spend so much time researching everything you need to know. We do the hard work for you.

Keep reading to find out more about Mississippi insurance laws and driving laws as well as how any violations of those laws may affect your license and/or insurance rates.

What are the car insurance laws in Mississippi?

We have already told you that Mississippi law requires all drivers to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. There are also many other laws that govern car insurance and how it is used in the state of Mississippi.

Car insurance is required to register a vehicle and to get a driver’s license or permit.

Driving is considered a privilege in the state of Mississippi, and that privilege can be taken away by the state if you fail to follow the rules of the road.

Keep reading to find out what those laws are, how they apply to you, and how this information can help you in your search for the best automobile insurance.

How Mississippi Laws for Insurance Are Determined

The Mississippi State Legislature works closely with both the Mississippi Insurance Department and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety in order to assure that all laws governing car insurance and roadway safety are in the best interests of all the residents of the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi Department of Insurance decides which drivers, such as commercial drivers and taxi drivers, must carry special types of insurance coverage.

Knowing what is expected of you as a driver can save you both time and headaches as well as money when purchasing car insurance.

Windshield Coverage

Imagine you are driving down one of the many dirt roads in Mississippi and a rock flies up and puts a chip in your windshield. A minor inconvenience such as this can sometimes lead to costly repairs. Will you be paying out of pocket or will your insurance cover it?

Chances are in the state of Mississippi, if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, you will be paying for repairs yourself. The reason is that while some states have passed laws requiring insurance companies to pay for glass repairs, Mississippi is not one of them.

Mississippi does, however, have a few other laws that apply to windshields:

  • All vehicles must be equipped with a windshield. The only exceptions to this rule are antique and classic vehicles that were originally manufactured without a windshield.
  • Windshield wipers are required on all vehicles and must be under the control of the vehicle operator.
  • All vehicles are required to have windshields made of safety glass or safety glazing material.
  • Drivers cannot drive any vehicle on the roadways that has posters, signs or other materials on or in the windshield, front- or back-side windows, or the rear window.
  • Only stickers and certifications required by law are permitted to be attached to the windshield.
  • Any cracks or breaks present cannot obstruct or hinder the driver’s ability to see through the windshield.
  • Cracks that do not enter the area cleared by the wiper on the driver’s side may be permitted provided there are no other areas of damage or discoloration that obscure the driver’s view.
  • Multiple chips, pits or areas of shattering are not permitted.

Mississippi also has some regulations on window tinting as well:

  • Only non-reflective tint applied above the manufacturer’s AS-1 line is permitted on the windshield.
  • Persons who have a medical condition requiring decreased exposure to sunlight may be permitted to have darker tint on the windshield and other windows of their own vehicle or one in which they are a frequent passenger. This provision requires a written statement from a physician and a certificate of medical exemption that was issued by the Commissioner of Public Safety on display.
  • Tint on all other windows must allow a 28 percent light transmittance.
  • The front-side and back-side windows may have reflective tint providing it does not reflect more than 20 percent.
  • Each tinted window on a vehicle must have a sticker placed between the glass and film certifying that it is within the legal limits.

There are legal penalties for violating window tinting laws. Drivers who do not comply with tinting laws can face fines of up to $1,000 and/or up to three months in jail.

High-Risk Insurance

If you have had more than your fair share of traffic citations, automobile accidents, and/or car insurance claims, you may be considered a high-risk driver.

High-risk drivers can sometimes find it difficult to find car insurance in the regular marketplace. For this reason, Mississippi established the Mississippi Automobile Insurance Plan (MSAIP) in 1948.

Through this program, high-risk drivers are assigned an insurer through the MSAIP. In order to qualify for the program, a driver must have a valid Mississippi driver’s license and a car registered, or about to be registered, in the state of Mississippi.

You may NOT apply for insurance through the MSAIP if any of the following apply:

  • You have an outstanding, unpaid auto insurance premium bill
  • You mislead the insurance company with information on your application and are seen as not applying in good faith

You can find more information on the MSAIP including how to find out if you are eligible to apply, where to apply, and how to apply by calling the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Help Line at 800-562-2957. You can also visit their website.

Low-Cost Insurance

While Mississippi does have a program in place to assist high-risk drivers, the state does not have a program to help those who are unable to purchase automobile insurance because of financial hardships.

If you visit the website for the Mississippi Insurance Department, you will find some helpful links on how to find the best possible rates for the lowest possible prices.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Mississippi

There are various types of insurance fraud punishable by law in the state of Mississippi. While you may be doing everything legally, you should be on the lookout for agents or companies that are not.

Always make sure your insurance carrier is licensed in the state of Mississippi, and watch out for any of the following more common fraud schemes:

  • Pocketing – Instead of turning an insurance policyholder’s premium payment into the company, an agent simply “pockets” it and leaves the consumer without coverage.
  • Twisting – An agent persuades the life insurance policyholder to change policies after the first year that it is in effect so that he or she can continue to receive the highest commission rates that typically are paid during that first year.
  • Churning – An agent tries to sell an additional policy to a person who already has a life insurance policy with cash value. However, the cash value of the old policy is depleted to pay the premium of the new policy, requiring the policyholder to come up with money to pay for both policies, or allowing the coverage to lapse.
  • Sliding – An agent “slides” extra, more expensive coverage into a low-commission life insurance policy. The extra coverage typically includes high-cost accidental death, guaranteed renewable term or motor club membership.
  • Understatement of risk, or “cleansheeting” – An agent omits pertinent health information from a consumer’s health insurance application to make a sale that might not otherwise meet the insurance company’s risk-management requirements.
  • Fraud rings – An agent that is part of a fraud ring tries to restrict you from going to one particular doctor, auto repair shop, or attorney.

Another type of insurance fraud is fraudulent insurance claims. According to the Mississippi Insurance Department, “Auto accident fraud typically involves staged accidents in which the drivers intentionally collide or involve an innocent driver in a wreck that is made to look like his or her fault.”

This type of fraud results in higher insurance premiums for everyone and is punishable by fines and/or jail time.

To report insurance fraud, call the Mississippi Insurance Department Consumer Help Line toll-free at 800-562-2957 or the Insurance Integrity Enforcement Bureau of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at 888-528-5780.

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations sets the period of time someone has to take some kind of legal action. As is usual with most claims, Mississippi has a statute of limitations when it comes to making a car insurance claim.

If you are filing an auto insurance claim for personal injury, you must do so within three years following the incident or you waive your right to do so. Any injury claims against the state of Mississippi must be filed within 90 days through the Attorney General’s office.

State Specific Laws

Most states have their own unique driving laws and Mississippi is no exception to this rule. Some of these rules and regulations are applicable statewide while others are local ordinances.

For example, in the town of Brandon, Mississippi, you may not stop someone from walking down the street by placing a truck in their way.

In Winona, it is illegal to use car horns as it may scare the horses, and in Oxford, it is illegal to drive around the town square more than 100 times in a single session.

The state of Mississippi, along with its list of older and more obscure laws, is always working towards new rules of the road to insure driver safety on the state’s many roadways. Keep reading to learn more about the rules of the road in Mississippi.

What are the vehicle licensing laws in Mississippi?

The first time you register a motor vehicle in the state of Mississippi you will need to do so at your local county tax collector’s office. Licensing fees vary from county to county.

How long do you have to register a newly purchased vehicle? The vehicle must be registered within seven working days of the date you purchased the vehicle.

If you purchased the vehicle outside of your home county, you have 48 hours to transport the vehicle to your residence or place of business and then seven business days to register the vehicle before penalties apply.​

How long do I have after moving to Mississippi to register my vehicle? You have 30 days to register your vehicle in Mississippi if you have a current registration in your prior state of residence.

If you do not register within 30 days of moving into the state, you will be charged the standard late fees and a $250 penalty.

You can find more detailed information including fees, required paperwork, office locations, and more by visiting the website for the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

REAL ID

If you live in the state of Mississippi and have received or renewed your license after October of 2018, you should have a small gold star in the upper right-hand corner of your license that indicates REAL ID status.

REAL IDs are required in order to board an airplane flight or enter a federal building. They are not required for things such as driving, voting, and other everyday activities.

Mississippi was actually the first state to become REAL ID compliant and is currently urging anyone with a license that is not compliant and who wishes to travel to renew their license in order to become compliant.

Requesting a duplicate license costs $11 in the state of Mississippi. More information on Mississippi’s REAL ID compliance system can be found here.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

What will happen if you are caught driving without insurance in Mississippi?

Good question.

Driving without insurance in the state of Mississippi is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine. If a person is caught driving without insurance their license can be suspended for up to a year or until they can provide proof that they have purchased the minimum insurance necessary.

If the driver cannot provide current proof of insurance at the time of the offense, the state will require the driver to purchase SR-22 insurance to prove future financial responsibility. They must also pay $25 to have their license reinstated.

If the driver provides proof of current insurance before the hearing, the court will normally waive all fines, costs, and suspensions. If the driver provides proof of the purchase of SR-22 insurance before the hearing, the court will normally drop the fine to $100.

SR-22 insurance must be maintained for three years.

Teen Driver Laws

Mississippi uses a multi-stage licensing process to ease teenage drivers into driving over an extended amount of time.

  • Age 14 – teenagers can apply for a learner’s permit which is only valid for driving education vehicles with an instructor. In order to qualify for a learner’s permit, they must provide proof of their enrollment in a driving education course.
  • Age 15 – teenagers can apply for a regular learner’s permit. This requires the teen to complete an application including the notarized signature of both parents or guardians, their birth certificate, social security card, and proof of school enrollment. They must also pass a written driving exam and vision test.
  • Age 16 – after having a learner’s permit for 12 months, teenagers can take the driving test at the local DMV. They must bring in all the documents required for the learner’s permit and pass a second vision test. Once all of this is submitted and they pass the tests, they will be issued an intermediate license.
  • Age 16 1/2 – after having an intermediate license for six months, teenagers are eligible for a full unrestricted license. They must show proof that they are enrolled in school.

Teenagers with a regular learning permit must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older sitting in the front seat at all times.

Teenagers with an intermediate license cannot drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday or between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m on Friday and Saturday unless they are driving to or from work. They may only drive during these hours if a licensed driver 21 years of age or older is with them in the front seat.

Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

Mississippi requires its older residents, specifically those 75 years of age and older, to renew their driver’s licenses in person.

Mississippi takes a special interest in identifying and dealing with older drivers who may be a hazard on the road.

For this reason, they also accept requests for unsafe driver investigations from interested parties. In other words, if someone feels that their senior family member, friend, or neighbor has become an unsafe driver, they may submit a request for an investigation.

Some of the things considered in that investigation include:

  • Are there any unexplained dents in the paint of the car or on the garage?
  • Does the senior allow others to ride in the car with them when they are driving?
  • Does the senior seem nervous or extra anxious when driving?
  • Does the senior take alternate routes to avoid major highways?
  • Does the senior fail to stop at red lights or stop signs?
  • Are speed limits obeyed?
  • Have neighbors or others who have seen the senior driving observed anything unsafe?
  • Is the senior able to pass a vision test?

Click here for more information on the rules of the road for seniors in Mississippi and driver’s license renewal procedures for Mississippi residents 75 years of age and older.

New Residents

What should you do to get a license if you are a new resident of Mississippi?

If you are a new resident of Mississippi, you will not be eligible to apply for a license online or by mail. You will be required to apply in person at the DMV.

Aside from that, the process is fairly simple.

Driving and written exams are waived as long as the driver possesses their previous unexpired out-of-state ID. A four-year license costs $24 dollars, and an eight-year license costs $47. You will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid out-of-state license
  • A certified birth certificate (long form)
  • An original Social Security card
  • Two proofs of residency (lease, utility bill, bank statement, etc.)

You can find all the locations and business hours of every driver’s license office in Mississippi by visiting the Driver Service Bureau of Mississippi.

License Renewal Procedures

What should you do if you need to renew your Mississippi driver’s license?

Driver’s licenses in Mississippi are valid for four years for a fee of $24 or eight years for a fee of $47 if you are a citizen of the United States. If you are not a citizen, you can only renew your license for one year or for the duration of your stay in the country, whichever is shorter.

Luckily, Mississippi makes renewing your driver’s license pretty easy and convenient. It can be done online, by mail, or in person. Here are a few things you should know about renewing your license in Mississippi:

  • You may renew your license up to six months before it expires and up to a year after it expires
  • Regardless of how you choose to renew your license, you should receive it by mail within seven days.
  • There is a late fee if your license is expired
  • If you have restrictions on your license you will need to renew your license in person
  • Any name or address changes must also be done in person
  • If your license has been expired for more than a year, you will have to retake the written exam and the driving exam
  • If your license is suspended, it must be reinstated before renewal

You can find more information about how to renew your Mississippi driver’s license at the Department of Public Safety of Mississippi.

Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

What is NOTS? The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) is sometimes referred to as the “point system.”

It is a program designed by the Department of Motor Vehicles to keep negligent operators of motor vehicles off the roads by assigning them points to their license for infractions such as speeding, reckless driving, driving without insurance, etc.

Mississippi does not use a traditional point system, but that’s not to say that they don’t keep track of moving violations because they do. Getting too many of them could result in your license being suspended.

Some of the more serious moving violations in Mississippi are DUIS, reckless driving, and driving without insurance.

What are the rules of the road in Mississippi?

Like all states, Mississippi has established its own rules of the road in order to keep its residents and visitors safe. Knowing these rules can help you avoid tickets and other violations and also help you keep your auto insurance rates down.

Keep reading to find out what you need to know about the rules of the road in the Magnolia State.

Fault Versus No-Fault

Mississippi is a fault state when it comes to automobile accidents. This means that the person who caused the accident, the person at fault, is the person responsible for the damages. Therefore, the insurance carrier of the person who caused the accident will cover damages up to policy limits.

You can learn more about the difference between fault and no-fault states here.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

In Mississippi, all passengers in moving vehicles must be wearing a seat belt.

Children under 4 years old must be in a car seat. If a child is between the ages of 4 and 7, but has not yet reached a height of 4’9″ or a weight of 65 lbs., that child must be in a booster seat fastened into the car with both a lap and a shoulder belt.

The only exception to this last rule is if a vehicle is carrying more than two children in booster seats and the car does not have enough shoulder belts. Only in this case is it okay to fasten the child into a booster seat using only a lap belt.

These child restraint laws do not apply to farm equipment.

There are a few other cases in which a seat belt is not required in a moving vehicle:

  • Any operator or passenger who cannot wear a seat belt for medical reasons and has the proper medical verification
  • A car operated by a letter carrier from the United States Postal Service
  • A Utility meter reader on duty

Violating these seat belt laws can result in a misdemeanor charge and a $25 fine upon conviction.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

Mississippi’s Keep Right law states that vehicles must drive in the right lane. There are exceptions to this rule.

Exceptions are made when passing another vehicle, when the right lane is closed due to construction or repair, on a roadway with three marked traffic lanes, or on any roadway marked for one-way traffic. Slower traffic must also keep right.

Mississippi’s Move Over law requires vehicles approaching a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights to vacate the lane closest to the emergency vehicle. This should happen if it is safe to do so or if you slow to a safe speed for road conditions.

This law applies to ambulances, police vehicles, towing and recovery vehicles, utility vehicles, municipal vehicles, and road maintenance vehicles.

Violators of Mississippi’s Move Over law may be fined anywhere from $250 for failure to comply and up to $1000 if there is damage to the official vehicle or the driver of the official vehicle.

Speed Limits

Mississippi traffic laws set the limits for how fast drivers can legally travel on state roadways. Violations of these laws can result in a traffic ticket, a fine, a suspended license, or even arrest.

In Mississippi, the maximum speed limit on both rural and urban freeways is 70 MPH. This includes both trucks and passenger vehicles. However, during severe weather or times of poor visibility, both trucks and tractor trailers are required to slow down to 45 MPH.

The maximum speed limit on divided roads in Mississippi is 65 MPH. The minimum speed limit on divided roads is 55 MPH. The median on divided roads lowers the chance of head-on collisions and is the reason for the higher speed limit.

The maximum speed limit in residential areas is 25 MPH. Residential areas in Mississippi have the lowest speed limits because they have the highest potential for speed-based accidents.

The speed limits in school, hospital, and construction zones are often even lower with strict enforcement and large fines for speeding.

Ridesharing

Before 2016, cities were in charge of regulating taxi and ridesharing services in the state. Now, Mississippi is one of only a few states that regulates ridesharing services on a statewide basis. The regulations for ridesharing services in the state of Mississippi are as follows:

  • Each company is required by law to pay a yearly licensing fee of $5,000
  • The state requires a background check on all drivers
  • The driver’s license and plate number must be displayed online before picking up any passengers
  • Either the company or the driver must carry insurance for carrying passengers
  • Either the driver or the company must be insured for up to $1 million

Mississippi began the statewide regulations as a means to protect both companies and passengers. You can read more about this decision at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy.

Automation on the Road

At the current time, Mississippi has no laws on the books regarding autonomous vehicles other than the regulation of truck platooning.

Autonomous vehicles are legal to drive in Mississippi with a safety operator.

It is very likely that new laws will be added to govern autonomous vehicles as U.S lawmakers have come to an agreement on the framework for the legislation to govern the design, manufacture ,and use of self-driving cars.

The new legislation, which is awaiting approval, serves to give the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration the power to regulate the design, construction, and performance of self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles.

Since it will be a federal law, states will only be tasked with registering and licensing self-driving cars. They will have no say on the vehicle design and specifications

What are the safety laws in Mississippi?

There are a number of safe driving laws meant to keep Mississippi drivers safe on the state’s roadways. We have already talked about how those laws apply to things such as vehicle licensing and driver’s licenses, but those are not the only issues that Mississippi drivers face.

In fact, some of the most important safety laws include things like DUI laws, Reckless Driving laws, and laws governing distracted driving.

Keep reading to find out how these laws affect you and how to keep you and your passengers safe while on the road.

DUI Laws

By law in the state of Mississippi, a person cannot drive a motor vehicle if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher (.04 percent in a commercial vehicle).

However, a person may be prosecuted for a lower BAC if it is ruled that their intoxication is enough to impair their ability to drive.

The penalties for driving under the influence in the state of Mississippi are shown in the table below:

OffenseJail TimeFine
First OffenseUp to 48 hours$250 to $1,000
Second OffenseFive days to six months$600 to $1,500
Third OffenseOne to five years$2,000 to $5,000

This table is only a basic outline of punishments. The punishment for a second-offense DUI conviction also includes anywhere from ten days to six months of community service as well as an alcohol abuse assessment and possible treatment for alcohol abuse.

Offenses including injury or death may be prosecuted as an Aggravated DUI and are punishable by up to 25 years in prison for each person harmed. Drunk drivers with minors in the car may face up to $1,000 in fines and a maximum of 12 months in jail.

You can read more about the specifics of Mississippi’s DUI laws at the National College for DUI Defense.

Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

In the state of Mississippi, a person can be convicted of a DUI if they are under the influence of marijuana or any other substance that affects their ability to drive a motor vehicle.

Any person driving a vehicle on public roads in Mississippi is subject to a urine, blood, or breath test to determine if they are under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Refusal to take this test can result in the driver’s license being suspended for 90 days.

The punishment for driving under the influence of marijuana or other intoxicating substances is the same as a DUI for alcohol use.

Distracted Driving Laws

According to a study conducted by the Mississippi State Department of Health in 2010, three-quarters of adult drivers admitted to using their cell phones while driving. One-third admitted to texting while driving.

Why is distracted driving such a concern?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving was the cause of 10 percent of deadly accidents, 17 percent of vehicular injuries, and 3,331 deaths in 2011. Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involve distracted driving.

While Mississippi does not currently have any laws against making or receiving phone calls while driving, it is illegal to text and/or use social media while driving.

Hands-free and voice-operated devices are fine to use as are weather, traffic, and emergency alerts. Messages regarding the operation or navigation of the vehicle are also acceptable in this instance.

A ticket for texting and driving in the state of Mississippi will cost you $100 and can also lead to a reckless driving conviction.

Driving Safely in Mississippi

Mississippi has been referred to as the most dangerous state in the country to drive a motor vehicle. According to the CDC, Mississippi’s motor vehicle mortality rate was higher than any other state in the nation from 1999–2016.

Why?

Mississippi is the fourth-most rural state in the country, and rural roads are four times as deadly as city streets.

Speed limits in rural areas are generally higher than in urban areas. Hospitals are further away and harder to access in rural areas, as well. All of these factors make rural roads much more dangerous and explain the high motor vehicle mortality rate in Mississippi.

How many vehicle thefts occur in Mississippi?

The table below shows vehicle theft rates by state. The numbers show how many thefts occur per 1,000 registered vehicles. In Mississippi, on average, there are two to three cars per 1,000 stolen every year.

State201320122011
Countrywide2.732.942.92
Alabama2.212.102.28
Alaska2.162.051.85
Arizona3.243.824.02
Arkansas2.352.382.45
California5.896.265.18
Colorado2.682.762.66
Connecticut2.182.462.46
Delaware1.411.571.70
District of Columbia9.7211.5114.25
Florida2.312.482.66
Georgia3.453.834.02
Hawaii2.763.013.74
Idaho0.910.860.85
Illinois2.052.632.85
Indiana2.552.362.50
Iowa1.201.211.18
Kansas2.532.862.82
Kentucky1.501.871.82
Louisiana2.312.062.29
Maine0.760.880.96
Maryland3.503.894.24
Massachusetts1.831.911.95
Michigan3.003.332.87
Minnesota1.531.741.75
Mississippi2.122.142.45
Missouri2.802.963.05
Montana1.201.271.24
Nebraska2.362.262.24
Nevada4.544.864.55
New Hampshire0.670.840.81
New Jersey1.952.172.29
New Mexico3.143.143.17
New York1.451.721.91
North Carolina1.872.122.83
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Ohio1.892.002.14
Oklahoma3.243.493.34
Oregon2.742.973.00
Pennsylvania1.321.501.70
Rhode Island2.623.202.58
South Carolina3.163.493.62
South Dakota0.921.141.02
Tennessee2.172.482.73
Texas3.263.283.30
Utah3.623.133.39
Vermont0.550.750.87
Virginia1.211.311.43
Washington4.444.694.39
West Virginia1.321.581.61
Wisconsin1.381.671.67
Wyoming0.700.760.68

The most commonly stolen vehicle in Mississippi since 2004 has always been a pickup truck. In 2008, it was the 2006 Ford F-150. In 2013, it was the 2004 Chevrolet Pickup truck.

How many road fatalities occur in Mississippi?

Mississippi has led the nation in the rate of traffic fatalities in all but three years since 1999. Most of the reason for this is that Mississippi is mostly a rural state. Therefore, rural roads are more dangerous than city streets and state freeways.

In 2016, there were 690 automobile fatalities in Mississippi.

While rural roads account for many of the state’s fatalities, drivers in Mississippi also tend to wear their seat belts less than drivers in other states.

Nationally, 90.1 percent of Americans wear their seat belts. In Mississippi, that number is only 77.9 percent. Statistically, one out of every two people killed in motor vehicle crashes in Mississippi are not buckled up.

Most Fatal Highway in Mississippi

While it is very difficult to determine which highway in Mississippi is the single most fatal, there are a few roads that are worse than others.

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Mississippi Department of Transportation gives us some idea as to where you should be most careful when traveling:

  • I-55 – Interstate 55 is one of the most traveled roads in northwest Mississippi and it’s known for its accidents. There are approximately 0.61 fatalities per mile.
  • I-20 – Interstate 20 travels through the central region of Mississippi. Compared to other highways, it’s narrower and more winding. Many of the collisions on I-20 involved tractor trailers. It’s estimated that 0.66 fatalities per mile occur on this portion of the interstate.
  • I-59 – I-59 passes mainly through rural areas of Mississippi. Reports have indicated 0.55 fatalities per mile.

It is important to note, however, why these accidents happen. The most common causes are due to drunk driving, distracted driving, disobeying traffic laws, speeding, and vehicle defects.

Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Sometimes the weather affects your ability to drive. Heavy rain, snow, fog, or ice can all affect your ability to drive safely. The table below shows the number of total fatalities in the U.S., with reported adverse weather conditions, for the years 1994–2012.

YearVehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) in BillionsTotal FatalitiesRate of Total Fatalities per Billion VMTFatalities Associated With Adverse Weather – Rain or Wet RoadsFatalities Associated With Adverse Weather – Snow or Icy RoadsFatalities Associated With Adverse Weather per Billion VMTProportion of Fatalities Associated With Adverse Weather
199423584071617.3559015623.017.6
199524234181717.3564817603.117.7
199624824206516.9571220063.118.3
199725604201316.4599218043.018.6
199826254150115.8571911982.616.7
199926794171715.6492412462.314.8
200027474194515.3501417182.516.0
200127964219615.1526113042.315.6
200228564300515.1556613952.416.2
200328904288414.8573816552.617.2
200429654283614.4578114782.416.9
200529894351014.6534714212.315.6
200630144270814.249479872.013.9
200730314125913.6452215092.014.6
200829773742312.6443815492.016.0
200929573388311.5432611891.916.3
201029673299911.1355312041.614.4
201129463247911.0345010841.514.0
201229693356111.336667351.513.1

Depending on what time of the day you are driving, light conditions can also affect your ability to drive safely. The table below shows Mississippi auto fatalities by weather and light condition.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal27360196160545
Rain304101045
Snow/Sleet011002
Other11122016
Unknown203016
TOTAL30666222191614

Most accidents in Mississippi occur during daylight hours while rainy days also cause some issues.

Regardless of weather or light conditions, always make sure to take road conditions into account when driving and remember to drive defensively. Doing so can help to keep you and your passengers safe as well as keep your rates down.

Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

As we mentioned earlier, sometimes where you live can affect how much you pay for car insurance. One way to understand why this is the case is to take a look at car crash statistics for the different counties in your state.

The table below shows the five-year trend for car crash fatalities in Mississippi by county.

County2013 Fatalities2014 Fatalities2015 Fatalities2016 Fatalities2017 Fatalities
DeSoto1719242423
Forrest89151018
Harrison2423282134
Hinds2831474645
Jackson1828202723
Lee1920141923
Marshall1414171617
Panola1511101221
Pike911151320
Rankin2118161922

As a general rule, the more dangerous it is to drive in your county, the higher your insurance premiums will be. You can find more information about traffic fatality statistics in Mississippi by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Traffic Fatalities

Unfortunately, Mississippi has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities in the nation. Most of the reason for this is that the Magnolia State is made up of mostly rural roads, which are much more dangerous than their urban counterparts.

It’s no surprise that urban and rural driving are two very different experiences, in turn requiring different driving skill sets. What may come as a surprise, however, is how much a change of scenery can affect your likelihood of being in a fatal car accident.

Traffic Fatalities20132014201520162017
Rural519551559533430
Urban9456118154259

As you can see from the table above, you have a much higher chance of being involved in a fatal car accident on a rural road in Mississippi than on an urban one.

If you find yourself on a country road in the Magnolia State, make sure to obey speed limits, drive defensively, and always keep a lookout for road debris and animals crossing the road. Doing these things can not only save you money on car insurance. It could literally save your life.

Fatalities by Person Type

In Mississippi, the occupants of passenger cars are the most likely to get involved in a fatal car crash followed by light cars and pickup trucks.

The table below shows some statistics about traffic fatalities in the Magnolia State based on person type.

Person Type2014 Total2014 Percent2015 Total2015 Percent2016 Total2016 Percent2017 Total2017 Percent2018 Total2018 Percent
Passenger Car2624325738272403074526239
Light Truck – Pickup1131916124130191041511417
Light Truck – Utility821411217110161091610516
Light Truck – Van132142243162112
Light Truck – Other5120512000
Large Truck132183172193183
Bus0000005120
Other/Unknown Occupants1837116261162
Total Occupants5068357184574845688352880
Pedestrian53963958871108813
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist6151516161
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants1010001010
Total Nonoccupants6010691063978119514
Total Motorcyclists417375507396416
Total607100677100687100685100664100

Age and race also play a factor in this equation.

Persons between the ages of 20–29 are the most likely to be involved in a fatal car crash. The two age groups least at risk are persons under the age of 20 and persons over the age of 59.

White non-Hispanics are the racial demographic most likely to be involved in a fatal car crash while Asians are the least likely. These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, however, when it comes to race as white non-Hispanics also make up a majority of Mississippi’s population.

Fatalities by Crash Type

Despite the abundance of pickup trucks on Mississippi’s roads, passenger vehicles are the most likely to be involved in a fatal car crash according to the NHTSA. Most fatal car crashes in the Magnolia State are single-vehicle accidents.

Crash Type20142015201620172018
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)607677687685664
Single Vehicle366399409371369
Involving a Roadway Departure325424432394358
Involving a Rollover151207200174204
Involving a Large Truck817290105108
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)1121049810792
Involving Speeding9696815948

As you can see from the table above, many fatal car crashes in the state involve speeding or intersections. Taking the time to slow down and look both ways can save you time and money. It may also save you and your passengers’ lives.

Five-Year Trend for the Top 10 Counties

The table below shows the five-year trend for fatalities in the top 10 counties in Mississippi:

County2013 Fatalities2014 Fatalities2015 Fatalities2016 Fatalities2017 Fatalities
DeSoto1719242423
Forrest89151018
Harrison2423282134
Hinds2831474645
Jackson1828202723
Lee1920141923
Marshall1414171617
Panola1511101221
Pike911151320
Rankin2118161922

If you live in one of these counties, you can expect your auto insurance rates to be slightly higher than residents of counties with lower auto fatality rates.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Mississippi’s speed limits laws are put into place to keep drivers safe on the state’s roadways. Violations of these speed limits can result in not only fines and jail time, but also death.

The table below shows automobile fatalities in Mississippi involving excess speeding:

County2013 Speeding Fatalities2014 Speeding Fatalities2015 Speeding Fatalities2016 Speeding Fatalities2017 Speeding Fatalities
Adams02110
Alcorn10210
Amite10001
Attala10300
Benton10001
Bolivar21220
Calhoun00020
Carroll00000
Chickasaw00210
Choctaw01000
Claiborne11010
Clarke12000
Clay00100
Coahoma10000
Copiah81000
Covington12300
DeSoto62478
Forrest00122
Franklin00000
George21021
Greene02110
Grenada20002
Hancock21300
Harrison861133
Hinds451086
Holmes00100
Humphreys00000
Issaquena02000
Itawamba01100
Jackson54351
Jasper00021
Jefferson00000
Jefferson Davis41000
Jones14421
Kemper00200
Lafayette10000
Lamar43000
Lauderdale32321
Lawrence11000
Leake10310
Lee53200
Leflore02000
Lincoln44111
Lowndes14010
Madison36420
Marion00301
Marshall22320
Monroe32130
Montgomery10010
Neshoba00121
Newton30130
Noxubee00011
Oktibbeha20010
Panola52012
Pearl River53531
Perry10000
Pike01133
Pontotoc10411
Prentiss00010
Quitman10010
Rankin44226
Scott22021
Sharkey00000
Simpson11120
Smith01001
Stone42001
Sunflower10000
Tallahatchie20000
Tate13002
Tippah02100
Tishomingo01001
Tunica10000
Union11002
Walthall02100
Warren21101
Washington01125
Wayne10100
Webster30110
Wilkinson00000
Winston11010
Yalobusha30010
Yazoo00000

It is important to always obey speed limits and to slow down for adverse weather conditions. Doing so can keep you from getting a traffic citation and also reduces your risk of being involved in a fatal automobile accident.

Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County

The table below shows all the automobile fatalities in Mississippi involving an alcohol-impaired driver by county:

County2013 Alcohol Fatalities2014 Alcohol Fatalities2015 Alcohol Fatalities2016 Alcohol Fatalities2017 Alcohol Fatalities
Adams44111
Alcorn22122
Amite23120
Attala10100
Benton11102
Bolivar42411
Calhoun10220
Carroll02111
Chickasaw12201
Choctaw00000
Claiborne32342
Clarke20101
Clay11210
Coahoma31211
Copiah32423
Covington32202
DeSoto510645
Forrest31523
Franklin10100
George41621
Greene11101
Grenada51110
Hancock41321
Harrison1267310
Hinds7915118
Holmes52302
Humphreys10102
Issaquena00000
Itawamba21113
Jackson56586
Jasper11121
Jefferson10001
Jefferson Davis50110
Jones44301
Kemper12133
Lafayette31334
Lamar42004
Lauderdale35343
Lawrence31113
Leake24022
Lee65632
Leflore12022
Lincoln67321
Lowndes22302
Madison16433
Marion32101
Marshall24733
Monroe33032
Montgomery13000
Neshoba10432
Newton21110
Noxubee00000
Oktibbeha40101
Panola63225
Pearl River52422
Perry20001
Pike25634
Pontotoc25211
Prentiss22264
Quitman21120
Rankin56421
Scott41211
Sharkey00001
Simpson22022
Smith11032
Stone31222
Sunflower21101
Tallahatchie11100
Tate12363
Tippah11214
Tishomingo21013
Tunica33211
Union43001
Walthall11120
Warren62341
Washington33117
Wayne20101
Webster10100
Wilkinson02010
Winston01101
Yalobusha30001
Yazoo13301

No matter what county you live in, always remember to assign a designated driver or be prepared to call a cab or a friend if needed. There is no excuse for drunk driving and doing so can put your life and the lives of others at risk.

Teen Drinking and Driving

Teen drivers convicted of DUI face many of the same punishments that adult drivers do. This includes fines, education programs, and alcohol treatment in certain cases.

Since drivers under the age of 21 are not legally allowed to drink in the state of Mississippi, the DUI laws are often much stricter and can carry heavy weight for someone who is convicted. You can be convicted of underage DUI in the state of Mississippi with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or more.

EMS Response Time

Mississippi strives to maintain an EMS response time of eight minutes or less.

In rural areas, however, EMS can take up to 30 minutes to respond depending on weather conditions, availability and location of ambulances, and the number of other EMS calls. This is one of the reasons that Mississippi has such a high automobile accident fatality rate.

Driving defensively and obeying the laws of the road will help you to avoid being involved in one of the 600 incidents that Mississippi EMS respond to each year.

What is transportation like in Mississippi?

While Mississippi does have its fair share of taxi and ridesharing services in its largest cities, much of the state is rural and most residents use their own personal vehicles to get to their various destinations.

Whether you are driving to Leland to visit the birthplace of Kermit the Frog or to Flora to see the Mississippi Petrified Forest, it is likely that you will be sharing the road with many other personal vehicles.

Keep reading to learn more about transportation and commutes in Mississippi.

Car Ownership

The average household in the Magnolia State owns two cars. The next most common number of cars per household is three. This highlights the state’s lack of public transportation and dependence on personal vehicles.

There are currently over 2 million vehicles registered in the state of Mississippi.

How does this affect your insurance premiums?

The more cars you own, the more you will end up paying in car insurance. Most companies offer a multi-car discount so make sure to take this into account when shopping for car insurance.

Commute Time

On average, Mississippi residents spend about 24 minutes daily commuting to and from work, which is just lower than the national average of 27 minutes.

Additionally, about 2.5 percent of all Mississippi workers have commutes that take more than 90 minutes. These types of long commutes are sometimes called super commutes.

Insurance companies do take commute times into account when setting premium rates. Generally, the longer your drive, the more you are likely to pay. This makes sense since the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an automobile accident.

Commuter Transportation

As we mentioned earlier, Mississippi is mostly a rural state. This means that there is not a whole lot of public transportation to be found there. This also means that there are a lot more cars on the road since most people must depend on personal vehicles for their daily commutes.

In 2018, 8.88 percent of Mississippians carpooled to work, while 2.64 percent worked from home. 85.5 percent of Mississippians drove themselves to work, making them the majority by a large margin.

There are a few small groups starting to form across the state in response to this lack of public commuter transport. These groups include Carpool Mississippi and Rideshare Mississippi, but for now, most residents in the state are dependent on personal vehicles to get them where they need to go.

Traffic Congestion

The more cars that are on the road, the more chances you have of being involved in an automobile accident. More cars on the road also mean more traffic congestion.

According to INRIX, American commuters lose 97 hours a year to traffic congestion at a cost of $87 billion.

INRIX finds Boston to be the most congested city in the country. Mississippi residents can take some comfort in knowing that not a single city in the state made the list of cities with the most traffic congestion.

One way to avoid being caught in a traffic jam is to avoid peak driving times or times when you can be sure there will be more drivers on the roadways.

On weekdays, for example, driving during the rush hours between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. as well as 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. should be avoided if at all possible to minimize traffic congestion.

Avoiding driving during hours of heavy congestion not only saves you money in gas, but also reduces your risk of being involved in an automobile accident. This keeps your rates low and saves you money on car insurance as well.

Now that you know all you need to know about Mississippi driving laws, you are ready to take the next step in becoming a safe and legal Mississippi driver by finding the right car insurance provider for you.

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