Louisiana drivers face some of the highest car insurance premiums in the country, according to average rate data from Quadrant Information Services. But the penalties for driving without insurance far outweigh insurance costs. To help drivers make informed decisions, Bankrate’s guide outlines Louisiana car insurance laws, consequences of failure to comply and optional insurance coverage you may want to consider.

What are the car insurance laws in Louisiana?

The 3.4 million licensed drivers in Louisiana are required to carry a certain amount of car insurance to drive legally in the Bayou State. Louisiana auto insurance laws mandate the following:

  • Drivers are required to show proof of insurance to receive a driver’s license.
  • Drivers must be able to show proof of insurance at all times while behind the wheel.
  • Drivers are required to carry minimum liability coverage, which includes both bodily injury and property damage coverage.

Liability insurance in Louisiana

Louisiana car insurance laws require minimum liability coverage with 15/30/25 policy limits. This means drivers must carry:

Meeting these minimum Louisiana car insurance requirements will keep you square with the law, but this coverage may not be enough to protect you from financial issues. Drivers who cause an accident that results in substantial damage to other drivers’ vehicles or major injuries to other parties will be held liable for damages exceeding their policy limits.

Further, liability coverage does not help pay to repair or replace your own vehicle after an accident you cause. Nor does it pay for damage related to vandalism, theft or weather-related incidents. For that, you would need to add full coverage to your car insurance policy. Full coverage typically includes collision and comprehensive insurance.

Is Louisiana a no-fault state?

Louisiana is an at-fault state, or “tort” state. This means that if you are responsible for causing an accident, your insurance policy helps pay for the other driver’s medical bills and vehicle damage up to your policy limits. If the other driver’s bills exceed your policy limits, you would need to finance the remaining costs out of pocket.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Louisiana

Drivers face stiff penalties for disobeying Louisiana’s car insurance laws. Louisiana law requires that all registered car owners carry automobile insurance. Those caught driving without it are subject to fines ranging from $500 to $1,000.

There are additional penalties if you fail to present proof of an active insurance policy or if you let your insurance lapse. In these instances, your driving privileges could be suspended and your vehicle impounded. Your car registration and license plates could be revoked or canceled, as well.

If you are involved in an accident without liability insurance, your driver’s license could be suspended and your registration revoked for up to 180 days. Falsely claiming you have insurance has severe consequences, too.

Importantly, Louisiana is considered a “No Pay, No Play” state. This means if you do not have insurance, there are limits on how you’ll be compensated after an accident — even when it is the other driver’s fault. Without insurance, you are unable to recover the first $15,000 for personal injuries and the first $25,000 for property damage.

Additional auto insurance coverage options in Louisiana

Louisiana drivers spend an average of $3,625 per year for full coverage, which is one of the highest averages in the country. While opting for minimum coverage can help you save money on your policy, it may leave you financially vulnerable in the event of an accident. There are numerous options to customize your policy for further financial protection:

  • Collision: This covers your car if it’s damaged in a collision with another vehicle or a stationary accident.
  • Comprehensive: This is the insurance that covers damage to your car caused by circumstances other than an accident. Common examples of this include theft, fire, vandalism and flooding. Comprehensive coverage can also help if you are involved in an animal collision.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: According to the Insurance Information Institute, 13.7 percent of Louisiana’s drivers are on the road illegally without insurance. If you are involved in an accident and the at-fault driver does not carry insurance or does not have adequate insurance, this coverage option will help pay for damage, injuries or other expenses.
  • Rental car reimbursement: If your car is damaged in a covered claim, this option would help pay for a rental car while it’s being repaired. Some insurers have agreements with a rental company to provide direct payments and minimize paperwork.
  • Gap coverage: Guaranteed asset protection, or gap, insurance may be a good choice if you have a newer car with a loan or lease. If the actual cash value of your car after an accident is less than the amount you owe on the vehicle, this coverage will help pay the difference.
  • Roadside assistance: This provides help if you need towing, fuel delivery, lockout service and more.

Frequently asked questions

    • No single company is always the best option for everyone, all the time. The best car insurance company in Louisiana for you is one that offers coverage that matches your needs. For example, if you work from home or are retired, a company with low-mileage insurance may offer you the best options. If you have a spotty driving record, on the other hand, insurers who offer high-risk insurance could be worth looking at. If you’ve got young drivers in your household, a company with a reputation for writing affordable policies for teen drivers may fit your circumstances. Once you have determined what is most important to you, consider reading carrier reviews and checking out our 2024 Bankrate Award winners to find a company that’s a good fit.
    • To find cheap car insurance in Louisiana, experts recommend getting quotes from several top insurance companies to compare. Rates vary by provider since each has its own system for setting rates. You may want to start your search by referencing Bankrate’s cheapest car insurance in Louisiana resource, which is updated monthly. However, your exact premium will vary based on several factors specific to you and your vehicle, which is why it’s imperative to get personalized quotes before selecting an insurer.
    • To save on car insurance in Louisiana, it can help to get quotes from multiple insurers and ask about discounts like those for paying in full, signing up for paperless billing, taking a defensive driving course or purchasing multiple insurance products from the same company. Remember, when comparing quotes, it’s essential to specify the same coverage types and policy limits (or as close as possible) so that the comparisons are valid.
    • Ultimately, how much auto insurance you purchase is up to you, but some strong arguments favor maintaining more than the minimum coverage. These arguments tend to make two specific points. One is that minimum coverage may not be enough to pay for all the damage and injuries you might cause if you are at fault for an accident. The other is that liability coverage doesn’t cover your own vehicle costs or medical bills — it only covers financial losses you cause to others. Before deciding on a policy, you may want to speak with an insurance agent for further guidance.