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Louisiana Auto Insurance Requirements
by Doug Cohen

It has been reported that some of us spend a quarter of our income each year on insurance. So you can see, it's important to shop around to be sure we're getting the best deal we can on auto insurance. But before you do, be sure to know what is needed, and what is optional.

What is the Mandatory Auto Insurance Law?

Louisiana law requires resident drivers throughout Louisiana State, whether in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport, LaFayette, Lake Charles, or somewhere in between, to have an auto insurance liability policy with at least the minimum required limits.

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What are those minimum required limits in the Pelican State?

Louisiana law requires you to carry the following car insurance coverage and limits:

Liability Coverage (mandatory):
$10,000 per person, for bodily injury,
$20,000 per accident, for bodily injury, and
$10,000 per accident, for damage to anotherís property, usually their car.

Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (optional):
Covers you if your car is hit by a driver who has no insurance or too little insurance to pay for the full amount of your injuries. Any bodily injury you or an occupant of your auto suffers due to an accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver is covered by this limit. Hit-and-run drivers may be classified as uninsured motorists if there is a disinterested witness to the accident. You may also choose to purchase uninsured motorist economic-only coverage in Louisiana. This coverage is the same as uninsured motorist coverage except that it only covers the actual costs of injuries to you and the occupants of your car. Pain and suffering are not included under this coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage (optional):
Covers repairs to your auto if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. A $250 deductible usually applies under this coverage in Louisiana, and your recovery is limited to $10,000 or the actual cash value of the vehicle, whichever is less. If your policy includes collision insurance, this coverage is not available.

Medical Payments (optional):
Pays for medical expenses for a designated period of time following the accident, up to your policyís dollar limits and it includes funeral expenses. Payments are made regardless of who is to blame for the accident. Medical payments covers you, your family members and other passengers in your car.

Comprehensive (optional):
Covers physical damage to your auto that results from non-collision damage, subject usually to a deductible.

Collision (optional):
Covers damage to your car that results from a collision with another car or object, subject usually to a deductible.

Proof of Insurance

If youíre stopped by a Louisiana law enforcement officer, you must present a Louisiana Evidence of Insurance card showing that the car is insured. Your Louisiana car insurance company must provide you with this card when they issue or renew your car insurance liability policy, or any time you request it. If you purchase your insurance here from InstantCarInsurance.com or Ensurance.com you can also print your ID cards instantly online, anytime of day, and for free.

What if I don't have proper coverage?

Louisiana law requires that all registered car owners carry liability insurance. Those who are driving without insurance are subject to penalties such as fines, limited recovery of damages, and impoundment of the uninsured vehicle.

Motorists who fail to provide proof of insurance can have their cars immediately impounded or have their license plates removed and a yellow sticker affixed to the back windshield of the car. The motorist is then given three days to provide proof of insurance to the Office of Motor Vehicles. After three days, if the motorist is stopped again, the officer can impound his or her automobile until proof of insurance is given and all towing and reinstatement fees are paid. The fines range from $75 to $100 on the first conviction, $100 to $250 on the second conviction and up to $700 on each conviction after that.

The Louisiana law known as "No Pay, No Play" prohibits uninsured motorists from collecting the first $10,000 in property damages and the first $10,000 in personal injuries regardless of who causes the accident. This law also includes a provision that may allow you to waive your right to make a legal claim for pain and suffering if you buy economic-only uninsured motorist coverage.

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance Rates in Louisiana?

It is very important to comparison shop for the best coverage in Louisiana at the lowest rates. Let's face it, Louisiana auto insurance is not cheap! But there are many online resources that provide free quotes from licensed Louisiana insurance companies approved by the Louisiana DMV. If you think you may be paying too much for auto insurance, Louisiana residents can save time and money by comparing car insurance quotes quickly and anonymously between all the top name auto insurance carriers simply by logging on right here at InstantCarInsurance.com.

Just remember, the State of Louisiana requires minimum car insurance limits of 10/20/10 for each car that carries a valid Louisiana auto registration. Keep this in mind when shopping for basic coverage and evaluate it against auto insurance quotes with higher coverage limits for a little more money. Cheap car insurance is not always the best car insurance and the Louisiana Department of Insurance, along with InstantCarInsurance.com, warn against buying the cheapest car insurance you find.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance (DOI) also recommends doing the following:

  • Shop around for the policy that is right for you.
  • Do not buy the first policy you hear about.
  • Get quotes from several companies before you sign an application and pay a premium.
  • Be aware of insurance scam artists and unauthorized insurance operations.
  • Buy only from authorized insurance companies and producers. Etc. Etc.

One last tip, and we concur with everything the Louisiana DOI says:

Shop and shop often! Why? Most people don't realize that insurance companies change rates continuously and typically repost new rates twice monthly. Thus we recommend coming back to this site and re-rating your cars on the 1st and the 16th of each month just to be sure you are still getting the best deal and the rock-bottom cheapest price available on car insurance! And why not? Itís free.

For more information contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance at the following address:

Louisiana Dept. of Insurance
The Poydras Building
1702 N. 3rd Street
(mailing address):
P.O. Box 94214
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9214

Or contact the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles at the following address:

Office of Motor Vehicles
7979 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

(mailing address):
P.O. Box 64886
Baton Rouge, LA 70896

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