Mississippi can be an expensive state for home insurance – but with higher property crime rates, devastating floods, and frequent tornadoes, it remains an important purchase. Once you’ve made the decision to buy home insurance, getting an idea of what the average policy costs, what it covers, and how your unique circumstances affect pricing can guide you in your search for the perfect policy.
- Fun fact: In 2002, Martin Strel swam the entire length of the Mississippi River over the course of 68 days.
Average Rates in Mississippi
Mississippi is among the top 10 most expensive states for home insurance, coming in at number 7 on the Insurance Information Institute’s 2017 ratings with its $1,537 average premiums. That’s several hundred dollars in excess of the national average for home insurance premiums of $1,211. The states closest to Mississippi in pricing are Rhode island, with premiums averaging at $1,551, and Colorado, with average premiums of $1,495.
Mississippi is the most expensive state in the country for renter’s insurance, with $258 average premiums that overshoot the national average by $78. It’s also over $20 more than the second and third most expensive states – Oklahoma’s average premiums run at $236, and Alabama’s average premiums $235.
Mississippi Legal Insurance Requirements
In Mississippi, home insurance isn’t required by the state government. It is required by most mortgage lenders, however – and your contract may force you onto an unideal or expensive insurance if you don’t choose one yourself. Most standard insurance policies in Mississippi include the following five coverages:
- Property Damage. This protects the structure of your dwelling as well as personal possessions (such as furniture, clothing, and appliances) from loss or damage due to a known peril. A peril is a damaging event that an insurance company offers coverage for.
- Additional Living Expenses. In cases where damages to your home are so extensive you cannot live inside of it during repairs, complete loss of your home due to events like wildfires or hurricanes, or government-ordered evacuations, this will help pay for living expenses while you are living outside of your home. This can be especially helpful in paying for motel or hotel stays, and the coverage is designed to help you maintain your normal standard of living until you can live in a home again.
- Liability Coverage. If someone files a lawsuit against you, claiming your negligence damaged their person or their property, this will help pay for legal expenses, including lawyer fees, court fees, and settlement fees.
- Medical Payments Whether or not you’re held responsible, if someone on your property (besides you, your family, or a pet) is injured, this will help pay for medical treatment and hospitalization fees
- Other Coverages can cover other structures on your property, like fences and work sheds, as well as trees and shrubbery (to a limited extent).
These kinds of insurance are offered in various packages called “forms,” which cover different kinds of perils (more expensive policies cover more perils). If you’re a renter, your coverage differs in that it extends only to the possessions of your home, rather than the physical structure you reside in that’s owned by your landlord. And, in the case of condominium owners, there’s a special HO-6 form that allows coverage only for the walls, flooring, and portion of the condominium that is owned by the insured, rather than insuring for the entire condominium complex.
Common Risk Factors in Mississippi
Though Mississippi is fairly protected from earthquakes and seismic events, properties experience significant risks every year from wildfires, tornadoes, and flooding that affect this coastal state.
- Wildfires. Based on 2019 information collected by the Insurance Information Institute, Mississippi ranks 25th in the nation – the exact middle – for number of wildfires: 547 burned within that year, destroying 5,473 acres of land
- Tornadoes. Mississippi runs more of less average risks from wildfires, but its location within Tornado Alley makes risks of property damage from winds skyrocket. On average, 43 tornadoes strike the state every year, pulling up roofs, destroying porches, knocking debris into homes, and even lifting homes off of their foundations. As with fire insurance, wind damage is protected by standard home insurance in Mississippi.
- Flooding. By far this is the most significant risk to Mississippi properties that is NOT covered by standard home insurance. Booth flooding from the river valley and from tropical storms along the coast can wreak havoc on this state. In 2019 alone, the Great Flood of the Mississippi River cost an estimated $2 billion dollars of damage, in a flood that lasted for over half a year. To get flood insurance in Mississippi, you must purchase it through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is available to participating communities in your state.
Insurance Demographics/Statistics in Mississippi
Numerous factors influence the overall price of a home insurance policy – not just laws and risk factors from natural/man made hazards, but also localized demographic information. How valuable is your home? How likely are you, the insured, to suffer from property crime in your area? Understanding how insurance companies view this information can give you a leg up in your search for great home insurance.
Your Home’s Value
This is likely the single most important calculation for your home insurance – the worth of your home is the basis upon which your coverage limits and overall policy amount will be. Insurance companies most often calculate home value in terms of replacement cost, or how much money is needed to completely rebuild your home using similar materials and with current construction labor costs. For older homes as well as with some basic policies, home value can be calculated in terms of actual cash value. This is essentially the replacement cost of your home, minus any depreciation, damage, or wear and tear it has already sustained.
Average home values in Mississippi are far below the national average – $127,539 compared to the national $248,857. When you assess your home’s value, bear in mind that the sale price of your home isn’t an exact corollary for its insurance value. Included in the sale price of a home is the price of the land sold with it. Since home insurance companies largely don’t concern themselves with the value of land, and because replacing a home has less to do with supply and demand of homes than the housing market, a sale price may not be a useful gauge for home value.
Local Crime Rates
If you live in an area with low property crime rates, you may get more savings from home insurance than if you live in an area rife with vandalism and burglary. This is because most home insurance offers protection against property crimes, and need to offset costs from insurance claims in neighborhoods with higher crime. In Mississippi, the property crime rate (minus auto theft) overall is greater than the national average – 2.26% as opposed to the national 1.97%, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program
Your Income and Education
People with high incomes and a college degree are, as a group, associated with higher credit scores, which can be beneficial when shopping around for home insurance. And there’s no denying that higher incomes ease the burden of making home insurance payments. In Mississippi, where home insurance is more expensive, this can be more difficult. According to the Census Bureau’s 2018 report, Mississippi average incomes and educational attainment fell below the national average. While Mississippians earned on average $44,717 per household, the national average was $62,179. Similarly, while amongst those above the age of 25, 21.8% had obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in Mississippi, nationally 32.06% of people in the same age bracket had done so.
Where To Purchase Home Insurance in Mississippi
So what’s the best way to get home insurance in Mississippi? Given information on the average policy rates, coverages, and property risks, the next step is to compare a wide variety of home insurance companies to find the right fit for you. Agilerates.com will help you do just that – giving you accurate quotes for all the top insurers within your area. Even if you already have a home insurance policy, it’s excellent to compare policies around your annual renewal time. According to the Pulse Whitepaper from iii.org, only 44% of homeowners compare prices of different insurers at renewal time, and only 17% do so online. That means more than half of all homeowners are leaving money on the table at renewal time. Use Agilerates.com online form to get matched with a local agent, get free quotes, and shop around!