Getting into a car accident is never a good situation. However, even minor crashes can become a major headache if the at-fault driver fails to stop. Hit-and-run accidents are more common than you think, which is one of the reasons why almost every state requires car insurance. If you drive in Louisiana, it is important to know what to do after a hit-and-run accident and how being accused of a hit-and-run will impact your car insurance premium.
Hit-and-runs in Louisiana
In Louisiana, a hit-and-run accident is defined as a collision where the driver responsible for an accident or involved in an accident, does not stop to exchange personal and insurance information with the other driver. Hit-and-run crashes are not uncommon in Louisiana. In 2019, there were 17,860 hit-and-run crashes in Louisiana that resulted in property damage, 4,176 crashes that involved injuries and 36 crashes that resulted in at least one fatality.
Louisiana hit-and-run laws
Louisiana hit-and-run laws state that the at-fault driver is fully liable in a hit-and-run collision. The consequences for causing a hit-and-run in Louisiana can be severe.
The driver responsible in a hit-and-run that results in property damage only will be fined a maximum of $500. They can also face up to six months in jail. If there are injuries or fatalities, the driver will be fined a maximum of $5,000, and may face jail time for up to 10 years with or without hard labor.
How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Louisiana
Drivers who cause a hit-and-run accident in Louisiana and get caught will be subject to a higher insurance premium. After a hit-and-run, the average Louisiana driver pays $5,324 per year for full coverage insurance, compared to $3,918 after a standard accident.
Louisiana is one of the most expensive states for car insurance, regardless of driving record. The United States national average car insurance premium of $1,674 is more than $1,000 less than the average rate in Louisiana, which is $2,724.
Average annual full coverage premiums:
|Before a hit-and-run||After a hit-and-run||After a standard accident|
3 things to do after a hit-and-run in Louisiana
If you get into a hit-and-run accident, the first thing you should do is pull over safely, even if the other driver does not stop. Assess the situation and make sure that you and your passengers are not harmed. If anyone in the car needs medical aid, call 911. If there are no injuries, here is what you should do:
- Call the police: Even if your car does not sustain major damage, you should call the police immediately after a hit-and-run. Leaving the scene of an accident is illegal in Louisiana, and police will investigate it as a crime. The officer will ask you to recall any information you can about the vehicle and driver that hit you. They will also write a police report which you can share with your insurance company.
- Take photos of vehicle damage: Before leaving the scene, take some photos of your vehicle’s damage. These will be helpful when you go to file an insurance claim. If you or any of your passengers needed medical aid, keep a record of the treatment received.
- File an insurance claim: Contact your insurance company and notify them of the hit-and-run. An agent will walk you through the claim process, and explain what your policy will cover. Make sure to have the police report and photos of the damage ready to go to expedite the process.
Will insurance cover a hit-and-run?
Yes, car insurance will cover a hit-and-run if you have the right policy. If you have a minimum coverage policy, which includes personal liability insurance only, it will not cover a hit-and-run.
However, if you have a full coverage policy, you will be covered in the event of a hit-and-run. Collision insurance will pay for your vehicle’s damages, and medical payments coverage will pay for your medical expenses, as well as treatment for your passengers.
Louisiana does not require drivers to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but if you have this optional policy, it will also cover a hit-and-run. Drivers who leave the scene of an accident are considered uninsured drivers, so your policy’s bodily injury coverage will pay for your medical bills and the property damage portion of your policy will cover any car repairs.
Frequently asked questions
How much does car insurance cost in Louisiana?
Car insurance in Louisiana tends to be expensive. Based on our sample rate quotes from Quadrant Information Services, the average cost of car insurance in Louisiana is $2,724 per year for full coverage. However, keep in mind that every driver pays a slightly different rate based on factors like age, credit score, claim history and driving record.
What is the best car insurance company?
The best car insurance company varies based on a few factors. For example, the best car insurance company for customer service may not be the best provider for cheap coverage. To find the best provider for you, shop around and compare insurers using your personal criteria, then get quotes to see which one could offer you the lowest rate.
How much car insurance is required in Louisiana?
Every driver in Louisiana is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. The minimum requirement is 15/30/25 personal liability insurance, which includes $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.