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The following is an excerpt from the Automobile Insurance Consumer's Guide Click Here to read the entire article

What the law requires

Mississippi law requires that all drivers

maintain liability insurance and carry a card

in their vehicles at all times showing that you

have liability insurance. On January 1, 2006, the

minimum liability requirements increased to the

following: $25,000 per person (limited to a single

accident), $50,000 per accident for bodily injury,

and $25,000 per accident for property damage.

Technically, you, as a Mississippi driver, can

legally satisfy these requirements by:

Showing proof of liability insurance with

bodily injury and property damage limits at

least equal to the minimum requirement.

Posting a bond for these same amounts.

Making a cash or security deposit equal to the minimum requirement.

However, for the vast majority of people,

automobile liability insurance is the most effective

way to protect yourself financially in case of

an automobile accident. Maintaining it in your

vehicle is now the law. State law says that a law

enforcement officer cannot stop you solely to

check if you have an insurance card, but he or

she can ask you for proof of insurance during a

stop for any other statutory violation. The initial

penalty for failing to maintain an insurance card

is $1,000 and suspension of driving privileges for

one year or until the motor vehicle owner shows

proof of insurance.

Liability: What you need to know

Liability coverage pays for damage you cause

to other people and their property. It protects your

assets and wages from seizure and litigation.

However, you should realize that in todayʼs era

of ever-rising medical costs and auto repair bills,

the state-mandated minimum requirements of

25/50/25 may not be sufficient. It is a good idea

to consider purchasing liability coverage with

higher limits. Remember, if you are at fault in

an accident, liability coverage will only pay up to

your limits of insurance. You will be responsible

for any damages over that amount. You will need

to purchase other kinds of coverage if you want

the insurance company to pay for your medical

bills and vehicle repairs.

Know what your policy covers

Many states with compulsory liability laws still

have substantial numbers of uninsured motorists

– those without any form of automobile insurance.

If an uninsured motorist hits your car, you may

not be able to collect damages. However, if you

purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (UM/

UIM) protection, you can make a claim for your

injuries or damages through your own insurance


Other optional coverages that can be

added to your auto insurance policy include

collision, comprehensive, and medical

payments components. Collision coverage will

pay for the cost of repairing damage to your car

caused by an impact with a vehicle or object.

Comprehensive coverage will reimburse you if

your car is stolen. Medical payments coverage

will pay the expenses of persons injured in an

accident regardless of fault. If your car was

financed, most often your lender will require

you to carry collision and comprehensive


If you have an accident.

If you are involved in an accident and have a

claim, there are certain things that you should do:

Call the police – even if it is an accident where

the police do not normally respond.

Get the name, address, registration number,

insurance company name and operatorʼs

license number of all vehicles and operators


Note the time, date, location, road conditions,

make and year of vehicles involved, apparent

damage and injuries, and your version of

what happened. Make a diagram of the

accident scene.

Notify your insurance agent or company as

soon as possible.

Obtain the names and addresses of all witnesses

and individuals involved in the accident.

Take reasonable steps to protect your property

from further damage.


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