You can get car insurance by just getting a free quote online. Yet, when you’re looking for a policy in the state of Louisiana, don’t just take the first one you find. While doing this may save you a lot of time, it certainly does not save you money.
What you should do is look for several Louisiana car insurance quotes first. Getting a Louisiana car insurance quote is a good idea, but getting many is better. It will allow you to make sure that you get the deal that you are most comfortable with, since it allows you to weigh your options.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Louisiana
Louisiana has relaxed requirements for auto insurance in comparison with many other states in the US. At the current time, you are only required to buy liability insurance coverage. Moreover, your minimum liability insurance requirements are quite low.
Under authority of R.S. 32:898(B) and R.S. 32:900(B) you are required to carry different liability limits depending on the weight of your vehicle. They are as follows.
For vehicles weighing under 20,000 pounds (virtually all cars, mini-vans,pickup trucks and SUVs) you’ll need, 15/30/25 coverage:
- $15,000 bodily injury for 1 person;
- $30,000 bodily injury per accident;
- $25,000 property damage liability.
For vehicles weighing between 20,001 and 50,000 pounds (most transport trucks) you’ll need, 25/50/25 coverage:
- $25,000 bodily injury for 1 person;
- $50,000 bodily injury per accident;
- $25,000 property damage liability.
- Or: a combined policy of no less than $75,000
For vehicles weighing between over 50,001 pounds (only the biggest trucks) you’ll need, 100/300/25 coverage:
- $100,000 bodily injury for 1 person;
- $300,000 bodily injury per accident;
- $25,000 property damage liability.
- Or: a combined policy of no less than $300,000
While only liability vehicle insurance coverage is required in the state, the Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance’s office does recommend at least considering several other types of insurance. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical payments coverage (Med-Pay);
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage;
- Towing and labor coverage;
- Comprehensive coverage;
- Collision coverage;
In addition to these other forms of coverage, you are also strongly recommended to get more liability insurance than the minimums listed above. Court, accident and hospital bills can easily exceed what you are legally required to carry. Just remember, if that happens you’ll be required to make up the difference.
Louisiana State Auto Insurance Laws
There are many Louisiana insurance laws you should be familiar with. The first is that Louisiana has fault based insurance. This means you are financially responsible for accidents you cause. This is why you need to buy insurance, because most people don’t have enough money to pay for the costs of an accident sitting in their bank account.
This ties in to, two other important laws you should be aware of. The first are the financial responsibility laws that govern the requirement of insurance in the first place. So long as you maintain at least the minimum required insurance, as listed above, you will have met your legal requirements.
The second are the Safety Responsibility Laws that outline in greater detail what happens if you fail to meet your financial responsibly, what happens in the event of an accident, license regulation and suspension and a whole lot more. If you haven’t read them, you are encouraged to do so as they outline all your requirements as a driver in Louisiana.
As mentioned above virtually all vehicles regardless of weight have to get liability insurance coverage. However, there are a few rare exceptions as follows:
- Vehicles used in parades, exhibits, or shows;
- Agriculture and forest product vehicles as defined by law;
- Federal, State, County or City owned vehicles;
- Vehicles that are inoperable or you are no longer driving, provided you do one of the following within 10 days:
- Surrender your plates to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
- Submit a completed Statement of Non-use by mail or on-line at http://www.expresslane.org.
If your vehicle is not among these exceptions, you have to purchase insurance and show proof of insurance if requested by a law enforcement officer. Generally speaking this will be your insurance card.
However, the following may be used instead at the discretion of the office involved: copy of insurance policy or binder, copy of declaration page, or a letter from your insurance company or agent (on company letterhead) signed by representative of company/agent, and include full description of the vehicle, including the VIN.
Finally, if you fail to get auto insurance you will be punished; including fines, recovery of damages through the courts and the impounding of your vehicle. Fines start at $75 and can escalate to over $700 by a third conviction. Moreover, your vehicle can be impounded immediately.
Also, related is the “No Pay, No Play” law. It basically states that if you are not insured you can not claim the first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in personal injuries no matter who is at fault in an accident. This means that if you fail to get insurance, not only will you not be protected against claims against you; you will not be able to make complete claims against another driver if they cause an accident.
Louisiana Car Insurance Companies
There are many companies authorized to sell car insurance policies in Louisiana. You can find all them from the Department of Insurance’s Active Company Search Form. If you don’t have an idea about which company to pick you have two options.
First, you can use the quote form at the top or bottom of this page to get a quote and find which companies are offering their best deals to Louisiana drivers today. Second, you can visit the websites of each of the following companies to try and get their best rate.
If you can’t find insurance with any of the above companies it may time to get in contact with the Louisiana Automobile Insurance Plan. It works with drivers who can’t get insurance to help them find coverage.
On the other hand, if you’re having an issue with any insurance company you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance.
Average Louisiana Auto Insurance Rates
The reason only a few of the dozens of companies selling insurance in Louisiana were listed above has to do with the fact that they can all be found in the Louisiana 2010 Auto Rate Comparison Guide.
Using this guide we can get an idea of the range of rates you can expect to pay. Annual premiums for liability only insurance can vary from $238 per year for a married 60 year old woman, with no-accidents to $17,022 per year for a 21 year old male with two at-fault accidents.
In the real world rates actually vary even more than this. So what are the average rates of all drivers in the state of Louisiana? The answer depends a bit on who you ask as there seems to be some disagreement. The only thing all sources do agree on, is that insurance in Louisiana is expensive.
CarInsurance.com claims that the average rate in Louisiana stands at $1,792 per year compared to thee national average of $1,441. The Insurance Information Institute claims that in 2008 average premiums were only $1,105 per year compared to a national average of $789. Yet still making it the second most expensive place after DC.
No matter whose numbers you wish to believe auto insurance is going to cost you in Louisiana. That is why it is so important to make good use of the free quotes offered on this website.
Louisiana Car Accident Statistics
One reason rates are so sky-high in Louisiana is that it is a significantly more dangerous state to drive in than the US average. According to the Highway Safety Research Group at Louisiana State University in 2009 there were 155,857 accidents that resulted in 73,856 injuries and 821 traffic deaths. Almost half of all accidents were thought to be alcohol related.
The most common way to compare accident data is to look at the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Louisiana is doing very poorly on this front. In 2009 the rate was 1.83 in Louisiana and 1.14 in the US as a whole (lower numbers are better). Essentially this means you have a 60% greater chance of being killed on a Louisiana road compared to a typical US one.
The following 5 parishes have been found to be the worst according to the NHTSA: East Baton Rouge Parish, Orleans Parish, St. Tammany Parish, Caddo Parish and Calcasieu Parish. So please always pay attention to the road when you drive.
Why You Should Get Louisiana Car Insurance Quotes
It is always a good idea to get several auto insurance quotes, so that you can compare them with one another in order to find the ideal one for you. Keep in mind, however, that while it is easy to go with the cheapest car insurance quote, it may not be the best idea.
You will have to consider several other factors. Including how much coverage you will get with that plan and other side benefits of that plan as well.
You also have to remember that there will be other factors which will determine how high your Louisiana car insurance quote is. People who drive less will be able to get a cheaper Louisiana car insurance quote. The reason why this is so, is quite obvious; the less time you spend on the road, the less chances you have of getting into an accident.
There are a good number of ways you can go about looking for a quote. The best way to do this is through the Internet. This will also be more convenient as you can do it in the comfort of your home and will not need to do any traveling at all.
One kind of insurance that is becoming quite popular is buying instant Louisiana auto insurance online. It is much less complicated and everything is done at a much faster pace. While it may not be the cheapest deal you can get, it certainly is the fastest and possibly the most convenient. Just keep in mind not all drivers will qualify for a policy bought this way.
Whenever looking for Louisiana insurance online, be sure to compare all the different quotes that you can as well as the different advantages and disadvantages that come with each plan. There are several different car insurance plans available and finding the one that is most suitable for you is simply a matter of patience.
Insurance Guides For Louisiana’s Cities
2010 Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance