Why Is Auto Insurance So Expensive in Mississippi?
Last Updated on May 3, 2021
Mississippi has a low cost of living compared to other states, but it has relatively high auto insurance premiums.
The average Mississippian pays around $1,602 per year for full coverage car insurance, over $150 more than the nationwide average of approximately $1,450 per year.
Some blame Mississippi’s high rates of uninsured drivers. Others blame crime rates, accident rates, and other factors.
Why is car insurance so expensive in Mississippi? How can you save money on car insurance in Mississippi? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about car insurance in Mississippi.
Table of Contents:
- The Average Cost of Car Insurance in Mississippi
- Top 7 Reasons Why Car Insurance is Expensive in Mississippi
- Other Factors that Raise Car Insurance Premiums in Mississippi
The Average Cost of Car Insurance in Mississippi
Nationwide, the average driver pays roughly $1,450 per year for full coverage car insurance. That means the average Mississippian pays around $150 more per year for full coverage car insurance than the average American.
Some states have high car insurance premiums because they have strict car insurance requirements. Some states require drivers to carry high liability limits and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, for example, which raises rates substantially.
The average minimum liability insurance plan in Mississippi is around $664 per year, which is also higher than most other states.
Mississippi, however, does not have particularly high liability insurance requirements. The state of Mississippi requires a minimum liability insurance policy with 25/50/25 coverage, which includes $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.
Why is car insurance so expensive in Mississippi? We’ll break down other factors below.
Top 7 Reasons Why Car Insurance is Expensive in Mississippi
There are some obvious reasons and not-so-obvious reasons why car insurance is more expensive in Mississippi.
1) Mississippi Has More Uninsured Drivers Than Most Other States
Mississippi has the second-highest rate of uninsured drivers in the United States. More drivers in Mississippi drive without insurance than almost any other state.
Nationwide, approximately 1 in 7 drivers drive illegally without car insurance. In Mississippi, 24% of drivers, or nearly 1 in 4 drivers, lack even minimum liability insurance.
Because of a loophole in Mississippi law, drivers can drive without insurance while facing few consequences. As reported by WalletHub, drivers in Mississippi caught without insurance can buy a temporary car insurance policy, pay a $100 fine, then drop the policy immediately after leaving court. Thanks to this system, drivers in Mississippi can continuously drive uninsured while facing few consequences.
Uninsured drivers make things expensive for insurance companies. When an uninsured driver causes an accident, your insurance has to cover the cost of the accident. Because the other driver is uninsured, your insurer cannot seek compensation from the other party for the accident, even if the other driver was at fault. That means higher costs for insurers, and insurers pass those higher costs to policyholders.
2) People in Mississippi Are Driving More Frequently
The average number of miles driven per year has increased steadily across the United States. Mississippi is no exception. The average Mississippian drives more miles per year than ever.
The more miles you spend on the road, the more chances you have to cause an accident, damage another driver, and make a claim for your car insurance.
3) Repairs Are Getting More Expensive in Mississippi
Car repair costs have steadily increased over the years. It costs more to repair a car today than it did 10 years ago.
Instead of paying $2,500 for basic body repairs after an accident, a shop might charge your insurer $4,000. Insurers pass these higher costs to drivers like you.
4) Healthcare Is Getting More Expensive in Mississippi
Healthcare costs have increased substantially over the past decade in the United States, outpacing car repair costs, inflation, and other rising areas.
Instead of paying $50,000 in medical bills after an accident, your insurer might need to pay $150,000. As with other costs, your insurer passes these costs onto you in the form of higher premiums.
5) Mississippi Has Areas with High Crime Rates
Drivers in big cities tend to pay more for car insurance than drivers in smaller towns. Insurers check your ZIP code before assigning premiums. Drivers who live in an area with high rates of crime will pay more for car insurance than drivers who live in a safer ZIP code.
If you live in an area of Mississippi with high rates of crime, then your insurer considers this a high-risk factor. Your car is more likely to be vandalized, stolen, or broken into.
6) Mississippi Has Areas with Severe Weather
A single natural disaster can cost insurers billions of dollars. A tropical storm, hurricane, or drought can wreak havoc on an insurer’s customer base.
Even a single hail storm can cost an insurer millions. After a hail storm hits an urban area of Mississippi, for example, your insurer may need to cover thousands of hail damage car insurance claims.
Mississippi is experiencing more severe weather events each year. Every time there’s a severe weather event, your insurer needs to cover claims related to that weather event. Your insurer will raise rates to cover that event.
7) Mississippi Has Areas with High Accident Rates
Big cities are also more expensive for car insurance because of accident rates. Some of Mississippi’s largest cities have high accident rates. Depending on accident rates in your ZIP code, your insurer could raise rates substantially.
Other Factors that Raise Car Insurance Premiums in Mississippi
It’s not just Mississippi: other factors can lead to higher car insurance premiums across Mississippi, including:
Age: Younger drivers tend to pay more for car insurance than older drivers. Drivers who are over 70 could also pay higher rates.
ZIP Code: ZIP code impacts car insurance. Urban areas tend to pay higher rates for car insurance than rural areas. The most expensive cities for car insurance in Mississippi are Jackson, Byram, and Clarksdale.
Driving Habits: Drivers with long commutes during rush hour pay more for car insurance than drivers with short commutes or a work-from-home lifestyle. Drivers with a proven history of at-fault accidents, DUIs, speeding tickets, and other incidents will always pay more for car insurance.
Credit Score: Mississippi allows insurers to use credit scores to calculate premiums. Drivers with a low credit score could pay $1,000 more per year for car insurance.
Claims History: If you have several claims on your driving record, then it can raise your premiums. Insurers check your driving record and claim history to determine your risk.
Final Word: How to Get Cheap Car Insurance in Mississippi
Mississippi has relatively car insurance premiums, but there are still ways to get cheap car insurance in Mississippi.
By comparing quotes online today, taking advantage of discounts, and buying the right car insurance for your unique needs, you can save hundreds per year on car insurance in Mississippi.