Louisiana Auto Insurance

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Louisiana State FlagKnown as the “Bayou State” and still fresh in the nation’s minds following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana is one of the most diverse states anywhere in the country. Many are drawn to New Orleans, which has been almost fully repaired following the hurricane and is getting back to its roots as the “Big Easy”, drawing in tourists for festivals such as Mardi Gras. Let’s take a look at Louisiana’s auto insurance situation, including laws and other things that drivers should know before purchasing their insurance policies.

Louisiana Auto Insurance Laws And Minimum Requirements

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When legislators in Louisiana put together the state’s auto insurance laws, they chose to stick with the standard “tort” system in use in most other states around the country. Under this system, when an accident occurs one of the drivers will be deemed to be the driver “at fault” for causing the accident. This driver’s insurance company will then be responsible for paying out claims for injuries and damages, and this driver will be the one who is targeted with any lawsuits that result from the accident itself.Louisiana Map

State law requires that all drivers purchase auto insurance to be allowed to legally drive their automobiles on the state’s roads. There are two main policies that drivers are required to purchase; all of the other policies offered by auto insurance companies are optional.

The first policy required is known as Bodily Injury Liability insurance. This policy pays out claims for medical treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages and the like for injuries stemming from an accident where you are the party at fault. For instance, if you rear-ended a car stopped at a traffic light, causing the driver ahead to get whiplash, their injury claims would be made against this policy and your insurance company would pay out to the maximum of your coverage. The minimum required coverage in Louisiana is $15,000 per person, per accident and $30,000 for all parties per accident. These amounts are somewhat low, so it’s recommended that drivers in Louisiana consider bumping this up with supplemental coverage if it can be afforded.

The second policy legally required in Louisiana is Property Damage Liability insurance. This is the insurance that pays out claims to those who suffer vehicle, property and other damage as the result of an accident where you are the party at fault for causing it. For instance, if you swerve to avoid a child in the street and veer in to the other lane and hit a car, the costs of making repairs to the car you’ve hit will be claimed against your Property Damage Liability insurance. The minimum required coverage in Louisiana is $25,000.

Louisiana Car Insurance Rates

Insurance rates for drivers in Louisiana have always been a bit higher than those in most other states, and this trend has continued into 2011. The current statewide average cost for a year’s worth of car insurance is $1784, which is higher than the national average of $1430. Those who live in major cities in Louisiana, however, tend to have it much worse. For those residing in Baton Rouge, you’re looking at about $2150 to insure the average automobile for a year, and drivers in New Orleans can expect an average bill of $2262, which is close to $200 per month. With premiums this high, it’s important to really shop around throughout the various insurance companies available, and grill them to find out any discounts that you might qualify for.

Louisiana Driving Statistics

The news is positive for Louisiana’s drivers when it comes to crash rates, as they have continued to trend downward since peaking earlier in the decade. In 2009, there were 155,100 total vehicle crashes reported, with 824 fatalities resulting from these accidents. Both of these figures were decreases from 2008, which saw 157,200 crashes and 915 fatalities. These decreases come as the state saw an increase of nearly 1% in the total number of vehicle miles traveled, which means that although Louisiana’s drivers are taking to the roads more often, they are becoming better, safer drivers. If this trend should continue, it will help decrease the statewide average cost of auto insurance.

Auto theft figures throughout the state continue to decline as well. In 2009 there were 11,717 reported instances of vehicle theft, which was a decrease of almost 2,000 vehicles from the 2008 numbers. Since the decade began, auto theft rates in Louisiana are down over forty percent, wiping out the minor increases that were seen in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. As Louisiana’s car owners continue to protect their vehicles with anti-theft devices, and law enforcement initiatives become more and more efficient at getting criminals off of the streets, these numbers will drop even further.

We’ve built a tool for those who live in Louisiana to help sort through the available auto insurance companies and policies on the market today. To find the best prices for Louisiana auto insurance, scroll up to the top of this page and enter in your ZIP code. We’ll help you find the best deals possible, anywhere in Louisiana!

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