Whether you are in Metairie or Monroe, New Orleans or Natchitoches, Louisiana drivers should understand the Louisiana car insurance laws and the requirements to drive legally. Louisiana offers amazing experiences for residents and miles of roads to explore the beautiful state. But to do this, the 3.4 million licensed drivers in Louisiana must carry the proper insurance or face steep penalties.
Car insurance laws in Louisiana
Like other states, Louisiana car insurance laws are in place for all drivers. Understanding the laws that pertain to you as a driver keeps you from potential driving nightmares. This includes:
- 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, including both bodily injury and property damage
Liability insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana car insurance laws require drivers to carry minimum liability coverage. You will see these limits referred to as 15/30/25. This includes:
- $15,000 for bodily injury per person
- $30,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 coverage for damage another vehicle or other property
Carrying the minimum does not mean you are adequately insured. For instance, the $30,000 for bodily injury per accident can leave you significantly short if you are at-fault for a multi-car accident. If several people require medical attention and care, the $30,000 might not be enough. You would be legally responsible for the difference between your insurance limits and amount owed.
Uninsured motorist coverage is not required, but a smart idea. Louisiana currently ranks 26th in the country for most number of uninsured drivers. Although not the highest amount, there is a risk you could get involved in an accident with someone who does not have insurance. If you do not have this additional coverage, you would have to sue the driver for payments, reimbursement and loss of income — which takes significant time, effort and money.
Is Louisiana a no-fault state?
Louisiana is an at-fault state, which is different in legal terms versus a no-fault state. This means if a driver causes the accident, then they are responsible for payments of damages and medical treatment. The insurance limits would This also means the at-fault driver can be sued for additional payments of damages, injuries, loss of income or other related accident expenses.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Louisiana
Drivers face stiff penalties for not obeying the Louisiana car insurance laws. Louisiana law requires that all registered car owners carry automobile insurance. If you are caught driving without it, a driver is subject to fines from $500 to $1,000.
There are additional penalties for lack of proof of having insurance or if you let your insurance lapse. If you can not prove you have liability insurance, your driving privileges could be suspended and your vehicle impounded. Your car registration and license plates could be revoked or canceled.
If you are involved in an accident without the liability insurance, your driver’s license could be suspended and your registration revoked for up to 180 days. Falsely claiming you have insurance has similar severe consequences.
Lastly, Louisiana is considered a “No Pay, No Play” state. This means if you do not have insurance, you have limits to collecting certain amounts of payments after a car accident,even when it is the other driver’s fault. Without insurance, your limits are capped at:
- The first $25,000 in property damages
- The first $15,000 in personal injuries
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Louisiana
Louisiana drivers spend an average of $2,711 per year for full coverage – the highest average in the country, but drivers do not have to sacrifice proper coverage. There are numerous options to customize your policy and provide adequate protection. Louisiana drivers can add:
- Collision: Collision insurance covers your car if you have damages from a covered accident. This also includes damages from hitting a stationary object. The average cost of collision insurance in Louisiana is $468.87, according to the III.
- 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, flooding and other water damage. In Louisiana, the average cost of comprehensive coverage is $231.76 per year, according to III.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: This provides extra financial protection if you are involved in another accident and the at-fault driver does not carry or have adequate insurance. It pays for necessary medical payments, loss of income and other expenses from the accident you need to recoup.
- Rental car reimbursement: For added convenience, this inexpensive option reimburses you if your car is in the repair shop due to an accident. Many carriers work directly with a rental car company for direct billing when you have this option.
- Gap coverage: If you total your new car in an accident, you most likely owe more on the loan or lease than what your car would be valued at from the insurance carrier. This insurance covers the difference so you do not have to pay out of pocket. Many lenders require this insurance for new cars or leases.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance is another way to make your life a little easier in case your car is inoperable. This assistance provides help if you need towing, getting unstuck, fuel delivery and help with other roadside inconveniences.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Louisiana?
There are many factors used to determine the best car insurance company in Louisiana, and many of these are personal to you. Look at the company’s financial stability, customer service ratings, rates and discounts to get started. Bankrate has compared several carriers in Louisiana, and found USAA and Geico maintain excellent ratings and competitive rates for drivers in Louisiana.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Louisiana?
Cheap car insurance is possible, even with Louisiana’s above-average auto insurance rates. Bankrate reviewed several carriers for rate options and found Geico to be the least expense. Geico cost around $448 per year for minimum coverage and $2,162 — both priced well-below the average rate.
How can I save on car insurance in Louisiana?
Comparison shopping is a valuable way to save as much money as possible. By looking at several carriers, you see which one offers the best coverage for you at the best price. Asking to review all discounts is another great tactic to save, since there are discounts you may not be aware are available. You can take on a higher deductible, which lowers your premiums. Lastly, keep your credit score strong and you will receive the most favorable rates.