- 13 percent of Louisiana drivers don’t have the car insurance required by law.
- In an effort to keep insurance rates under control, Louisiana passed the “no pay, no play” law that penalizes drivers that don’t have insurance.
- All Louisiana vehicles must have Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage coverage.
- Optional coverages are Comprehensive, Collision, UIM, Towing and Labor, Rental Car Coverage and Medical Payments.
- Insurance premiums vary greatly from one provider to another. Make sure to shop around and compare rates among reputable insurance companies to find the policy that works best for you.
Even though the state of Louisiana requires drivers to purchase certain minimum coverages of automobile insurance, 13 percent still fail to comply with the insurance requirements. This costs insurance companies much more when they must cover claims for their own insured policyholders caused by another driver being at fault.
Louisiana insurance coverages and rates are unique compared to many other states, so it is important to understand the specific requirements to protect yourself from penalties and financial liability in the event of an accident. Check out our breakdown of the need-to-know Louisiana car insurance information below.
High Auto Insurance Rates
Unfortunately, Louisiana has the second highest auto insurance rates in the country.
A big part of the reason is due to the high number of uninsured motorists driving on Louisiana roads. Location factors also contribute to high rates, which include statistics for accidents and thefts, amount and severity of injuries, number of DUI’s and more. Personal factors can include age, driving record, location of the vehicle and the type of car you drive.
No Pay, No Play Law
The state passed a law in 1997 in an effort to keep insurance rates under control referred to as the “no pay, no play” law. It is meant to encourage drivers to obtain the proper amount of insurance by penalizing them if they don’t abide by the law.
Penalties for failing to provide proof of insurance can range from a police officer doing the following:
- Removing and retaining your license plate and giving you a temporary vehicle use authorization until you obtain the minimum insurance required.
- Impounding your vehicle until you prove compliance.
- Suspension of your automobile registration.
- Requiring the payment for SR-22 Certification that guarantees insurance coverage for a certain period.
To reinstate your registration and recoup your vehicle, you will have to pay additional fines and fees.
Louisiana drivers who have no (or inadequate) liability coverage can face even more severe consequences than those listed above. If they are involved in an accident — even if it is the fault of another driver — they still will not be able to receive the first $15,000 of bodily injury and the first $25,000 for property damage that another driver’s insurance company normally would have been liable to pay, with only limited exceptions. Your ability to sue another driver for damages will also be severely hampered.
Therefore, it is important to always maintain the required amount of auto insurance. Not only do you face fines and penalties, but you could lose your right to receive compensation or seek damages from an at-fault driver that caused you harm.
Louisiana Mandatory Automobile Insurance Coverage
All vehicles registered in Louisiana require the following minimum insurance coverages to meet legal requirements:
- Bodily injury liability: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage: $25,000
Auto insurance companies are required to notify the state if you cancel or lower your insurance below the minimum needed to drive legally. You will not be able to renew your registration because your vehicle will be flagged for the violation. High worth individuals can also purchase higher limits to protect their assets from claims or lawsuits.
Optional Insurance Coverages
Most drivers would also benefit from purchasing some additional optional coverages, such as:
- Comprehensive: Coverage in the event that your vehicle is damaged from something other than a collision (vandalism, flooding, fire, theft or flying objects).
- Collision: This coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle related to damages from an accident/collision.
- UIM (Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist): Depending on your selections, this covers damage to your vehicle, bodily injury and medical expenses caused by a driver with no insurance or too little insurance coverage.
- Medical Payments: Covers medical payments for injuries to drivers or passengers, regardless of fault.
- Rental Car Coverage: Provides you a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced.
- Towing & Labor: Pays for the towing of your vehicle and certain repairs when it is disabled.
Choosing higher deductibles on these optional coverages can actually be quite cost-effective because the higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be. Keeping a safe driving record and choosing a vehicle model that is cheaper to insure is also important to get cheaper premiums. If you have multiple cars and special theft deterrent features, there are usually discounts available depending on your insurance provider.
Shop around and compare rates among reputable insurance companies since premiums can vary greatly from one insurance provider to another. Make sure you get the right coverage for yourself, and whatever you do, please don’t let your auto policy lapse in Louisiana as there can be harsh consequences. In the event of an accident, you may need more than insurance coverage on your side. Contact our office to find out how we can give you the help you need.