Compared to other states, the penalties associated with driving without insurance in Mississippi are relatively low. Other jurisdictions threaten drivers with the risk of incarceration for driving without insurance. That is not the case in Mississippi.
While there is no risk of jail for driving without insurance in the state, there are some consequences that can come with driving without insurance. Upon a conviction, you could face a fine of up to $1,000 and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to 12 months.
However, if the driver can show proof of insurance at his or her hearing date, the fine may be reduced to $100. If the driver had insurance at the time he or she was issued a citation and can prove it, the fine will be waived.
Mississippi is also different from other states because it does not impose escalating penalties for multiple offenses. Many states dramatically increase the penalties associated with second or subsequent offenses for driving without insurance. But in Mississippi, the penalties are the same for each offense.
Either way, driving without insurance can lead to penalties and higher insurance rates.
There are a few different requirements for reinstating your license after a suspension due to a lack of insurance coverage. You must maintain your SR-22 insurance for at least three years and pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back.
What Factors Does Mississippi Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?
When insurance companies set the cost of a driver’s premium, they rely on numerous factors to reach that amount. Because so many different factors are in play, two drivers with numerous similarities can have very different quotes.
There is a reason for every factor the insurance companies rely on when making policy decisions. Each of these factors is linked in some way to an increased likelihood of an accident. For example, accidents are more common in some zip codes compared to others. In those zip codes, the cost of insurance is typically higher. Some of the factors that insurance companies commonly use to set insurance premiums include:
- Zip code
- Accident history
- Claim history
- Type of vehicle
- Marital status
- Credit score
Any of these factors could increase the cost of your insurance. Thankfully, there are also ways to bring those costs back down. For example, driving an older vehicle could reduce the amount of coverage you need. Making the most of available discounts is another way you could reduce your annual insurance bill.
Am I Required to Report an Accident in Mississippi to Authorities?
Most of the time, you are required to report an accident to the police in Mississippi immediately after it occurs. While rare, there are situations where reporting an accident is not necessary. That said, it could benefit you to notify the police of an accident under any circumstances. The police report could be invaluable to you in the future if an insurance claim is filed.
The Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires that the police submit a written report in certain circumstances. In each of these, you are required to notify law enforcement regarding the accident right away. It is necessary to notify the police of an accident if it involves injury, death, or property damage totaling $500 or more.
There are only a limited number of accidents that do not meet this threshold, and each of them is exceedingly minor. Even somewhat minor property damage is likely to exceed the $500 threshold. Any type of bodywork — even for a minor accident—could cost more than $1,000.