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Louisiana Car Insurance Coverage

Louisiana auto insurance coverage is required for all state drivers. Whether you own a luxury car or an old beater, you need to be insured to get registered and out on the road legally. Liability insurance is a necessity for all LA motorists. Beyond the legal aspect of coverage, it is a great investment because it protects you from potentially crippling financial expenses following at fault accidents. Having a great insurance plan in place can come in handy when you need it, but not having insurance can bring its own set of consequences, both financially and otherwise. On top of liability insurance that all of us have to have, we also can choose from among an assortment of optional areas of coverage. These plans add value to your Louisiana car insurance policy and protect you in many different ways. As motorists in the state, it's good to know not only the lay, but also all of your other options so you can come up with the Louisiana auto insurance coverage that's right for you.

Mandatory LA Auto Insurance Requirements

The state of Louisiana requires auto insurance for all of its motorists. That means no matter whom you are or what kind of vehicle you drive, you need to be insured if you want to avoid possible punitive consequences. Liability insurance is mandatory. Louisiana uses the three part split form for auto liability. The three parts are single victim bodily injury, multiple victim bodily injury, and property damage liability. The first two parts also pay out for funeral expenses in the event of death. All of these limits are paid out on a per accident basis.

State drivers actually do not have to carry very high minimum limits for their liability policies in Louisiana as compared to many other states. Single and multiple victim bodily injury limits are $15,000 and $30,000, respectively. Property damage liability must be in the amount of $25,000 or more [1]. Because these limits are so low, drivers are encouraged to consider higher limits. Many cars are worth much more than $25,000, for example, and many bodily injury liability cases far exceed the $15,000 or $30,000 minimum guidelines for coverage. As a general rule, it is advisable to carry as much liability insurance as you can afford. It may be even more important than collision or comprehensive insurance because being protected gives you a safeguard against wage garnishment or asset seizure than can potentially follow a major claim judgment in civil court.

Consequences of Insurance Lapses

Even though auto insurance is the law in Louisiana, there are some drivers who for one reason or another still choose to skirt the law and drive uninsured. Some reasons may be strictly economic, while others are not. Whatever the reason may be for going uninsured or letting your policy lapse, there are some punitive consequences that tend to overshadow the short term financial gains you could see by letting your policy lapse. Those who fail to provide proof of insurance after a traffic stop or an accident may have their cars impounded or their license plates removed. They only get a three day window to show proof of insurance and must pay towing and reinstatement fees. In addition, uninsured drivers involved in accidents are prevented from collecting the first $10,000 in property damage and the first $10,000 in bodily injury damage in an accident regardless of who caused the accident. These provisions are part of the state's "No Pay, No Play" law.

Optional Auto Coverage in Louisiana

Compliance to auto insurance law, then, is extremely important in LA because the long term loss potential far outweighs the short term gain financially. While you are putting together your Louisiana auto insurance coverage, take the time to also consider the optional areas of coverage that are available. Collision and comprehensive are required for anyone who finances or leases a vehicle, to protect both your investment and that of the lien holder until the lien is satisfied.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection are available in several forms. Bodily injury coverage is available to protect the covered driver and other vehicle occupants in an accident with someone whose insurance is nonexistent or inadequate. Economic only uninsured/underinsured coverage modifies this policy by restricting drivers from seeking pain and suffering damages. Property damage provisions are also available to protect you from property loss in these circumstances, but are only available if you don't carry collision insurance.

Other endorsements like towing coverage are also available. Louisiana drivers are encouraged to contact any qualified provider to find out more about the specific requirements and options they might choose from, as well as to get pricing information. Louisiana auto insurance coverage is an important financial investment.

[1] Retrieved 2010-04-03.


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