Mississippi Cracking Down on Uninsured Motorists

Mississippi Cracking Down on Uninsured Motorists
October 1, 2013 msverdict
by msverdict
October 1, 201311:11 am

The Magnolia State leads the nation in the number of uninsured motorists.  In fact, nearly one out of every three drivers on Mississippi roads today does not carry automobile insurance.  This is a double the national rate of uninsured motorists, which is 14 %.  To combat this troubling statistic, Mississippi law enforcement officials have developed a new system to make it easier to determine whether motorists are insured.

The system is called the Mississippi Vehicle Insurance Verification System and it will go into effect in early 2014.  The Mississippi Vehicle Insurance Verification System instantly checks whether an individual has valid insurance coverage through your vehicle’s tag number.  It will allow county tax collectors and law enforcement officers to instantly check an individual’s insurance status, and, eventually, should be able to automatically issue tickets for those the system finds are uninsured.

Currently, law enforcement officers and tax collectors are forced to rely on the paper cards that insurance companies are required to send to policy holders.  This system is easily fooled by individuals who buy a six month automobile insurance policy and cancel it after they receive their cards.  Forgery of insurance cards is also a common problem.  Officers are also frequently fed the line that the driver forgot their insurance card or lost it, and may not issue a citation for this reason.

With the new Vehicle Insurance Verification System, no such mistakes can be made.  The winning contractor on the project predicts the system will net the state $464.9 million over three years, a huge increase from current fines collected.  Under the new system, those caught not carrying insurance will be fined $300 for the first offense, $400 for the second, and $500 for each time thereafter.  If you obtain insurance before your court date, the fine will be reduced by $100.  A sixth month testing period for the system should begin in late October, with the official launch beginning in early 2014.

Tax collectors will be required to use the system before issuing drivers license plates to vehicles and must refuse to register a vehicle to anyone without insurance.  Additionally, officers will use the system at traffic stops and issue citations if the system finds the driver to be uninsured.

The hope is that the new system will curtail the burgeoning number of uninsured motorists in Mississippi.  Uninsured motorists are a massive problem for law abiding citizens in our state. Uninsured motorists force other drivers to buy uninsured motorist coverage and pay high premiums to cover the damage caused by those who go without insurance.  Often, uninsured motorist policies contain low limits that may not cover all the damages caused by the uninsured motorist, such as lost wages, damage to your vehicle, and personal injuries from the automobile accident.  Those without uninsured motorist coverage are forced to pursue claims directly against the uninsured motorist, which can be a difficult, complex process.

For more information about the new Mississippi Vehicle Insurance Verification System, or if you or someone you love is injured in an automobile accident involving an uninsured motorist, call the Giddens Law Firm today.  The Giddens Law Firm has extensive experience representing individuals involved in accidents with uninsured motorists.  Accidents with uninsured motorists are more complex than regular accidents, and may involve some creative avenues to achieve recovery.  Do not go through this complicated process alone.  The Giddens Law Firm will fight for you to achieve the best possible outcome.  Call our 24 hour answering service today at (601) 355-2022 or Toll Free at (888) 335-2022 to schedule a free initial consultation.