Shopping for car insurance can be a daunting task. There are so many options and things to consider since each state has different requirements. In this article, we are going to focus on Mississippi, specifically the Meridian area, and how to get cheap insurance there.
Understand the State Laws
The first thing to do when searching for affordable car insurance in Meridian, MS, is to know what the state minimums are. If you fail to carry insurance in the state of Mississippi, you face penalties that could include fines and/or jail time.
If you live in Meridian, MS, you are required to have at least the following:
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability
You are not required to have additional coverage in Mississippi, such as personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. You should keep in mind that if you own property or other assets of value, having supplemental coverage will protect you from financial loss.
Once you have solidified your coverage, Mississippi requires you to carry proof of insurance. Always keep your insurance card in a safe spot in your car. If you are pulled over, a police officer will ask for proof of insurance. A first offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and/or license suspension.
Understanding Mississippi Car Insurance Premiums
The Mississippi Insurance Department is in charge of regulating premiums in the state. There are many factors that go into how your premiums are charged and what can provide a discount. Your credit score may also play a role in your cost.
Other factors include:
- Make and model of the car
- Driving record
- Previous auto insurance
- Driver’s age
- Driver’s gender
- How much will the car be driven
- Marital status
- Driver’s address
- How long has the driver been driving
- Will the car be used for business
How to Get the Best Car Insurance Rates
If you are shopping for affordable car insurance in Meridian, MS, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Shop around: One of the easiest things you can do is use a comparison tool for the best rates in Meridian.
Ask about discounts: If you have homeowners, renters, or another insurance policy, ask if they offer a bundle discount. Many companies provide rate reductions if you carry more than one policy with them. Some providers also offer discounts for good driving records.
Bigger isn’t always better: Just because you are familiar with a company’s name does not mean they offer the best rates. There are four giant insurance companies that control more than half the auto insurance business in the country. However, many local providers can offer you lower rates and typically have better customer satisfaction. Meridian is full of local agents that can all provide the state requirements.
Pay a lump sum: Most of the local agents and the national brands offer a break if you pay your premiums in a lump sum. You can usually choose between every 6 months or the full year.
Ask the dealer: The make and model of your car is a huge factor when it comes to your insurance premiums. Do your research prior to shopping, or ask the dealer which cars offer the lowest rates. Built-in safety features and fuel efficiency play a big role when it comes to your insurance rates.
Don’t over-insure: If you are insuring an older vehicle, you might be able to skip collision and comprehensive coverage. Mississippi does not require either form of policy to be carried. If your car has a low market value, paying for these coverages could be a waste of money.
Collision covers you if you hit an object, such as a fence, or damage from another car. Comprehensive pays you if your car is damaged from things like vandalism, weather, flood, and fire. If your car is valued at a low price, your premium could be more than the payout.
Pay-per-mile Options: If you drive your car less than 10,000 miles a year, you might want to consider pay-per-mile or usage-based insurance. You are exchanging low mileage and good driving behavior for lower rates. This means your insurance company will be able to track your driving.
If you live in Meridian, MS, you are going to pay slightly less than the national average on car insurance. Always do your homework before signing up for a policy. As stated above, there are many factors that play into your insurance premiums. Shop around and ask questions. Don’t forget you can always switch insurance companies, so it’s best to keep your eye on local rates.