Louisiana is the most expensive State in America for car insurance, but this is not – as many people believe – due to Louisiana car insurance companies trying to recover the billions they paid in claims due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. There is a far more complicated reason.
In Louisiana, only claims for road traffic accident compensation above $50,000 are heard by a jury, and there are a lot of Louisiana auto insurance claims settled at $49,000 in front of an elected judge catering to public opinion rather than being guided by the law. This, claims Louisiana car insurance companies, makes seeking a claim against an at-fault driver far more lucrative for the plaintiffs, and the insurance companies have to pick up the tab. A cost they pass on to vehicle drivers in higher car insurance rates.
As Louisiana has traditionally had a higher rate of bodily injury per capita than most States, and experiences 50 per cent more road traffic fatalities per capita than the national average, car drivers in Louisiana are also involved in more traffic-related lawsuits than most other States.
Louisiana Car Insurance Requirements
The high insurance rates exist despite very low limits on liability and no compulsion to take any form of personal injury protection or Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Protection. The minimum liability limits increased in January 2010 and now stand at:-
$15,000 for injury/death to one person
$30,000 for injury death to more than one person
$25,000 for damage to property
Louisiana Auto Insurance Laws
There are no alternative means of proving financial responsibility to car insurance in Louisiana and auto insurance companies in Louisiana have to provide information about your liability coverage to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV). This information not only advises the OMV what level of liability you have, but also when you amend or cancel your Louisiana car insurance – an action which results in a flag being placed on your car registration.
If you are unable to provide proof of car insurance in Louisiana when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer, OMV employee or any other public authority, your car will be impounded and you only get three days in which to prove you were insured before having to go through the car registration process again. If you are stopped for a traffic violation such as driving under the influence, you could face a $1,000 fine, six months in jail and have your license suspended for up to a year – after which time you will also need to carry proof of SR22 insurance for a further three years. If you thought “regular” auto insurance was expensive, wait until you see how much it would cost for SR22 car insurance in Louisiana.
Recommended Louisiana Car Insurance Coverage
With such low liability limits on car insurance in Louisiana, it is recommended that coverage is increased to at least $50,000/$100,000 on the basis that if you are responsible for an accident, you are likely to be facing an injury compensation settlement of $49,000 and your insurance company will only pay the first $15,000/$30,000 – after which you are liable for the rest!
Furthermore, because of the high cost of auto insurance in Louisiana, it is estimated by the Insurance Research Council that one-in-eight of drivers on Louisiana´s roads are uninsured. This statistic might encourage you to consider Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Protection or opt for a fully comprehensive Louisiana car insurance policy to protect you from the theft of your vehicle and any future devastating extremes of weather.
Cheap Louisiana Car Insurance Quotes
While finding “cheap” Louisiana car insurance quotes in the most expensive State in America for auto insurance may be difficult, it is not impossible. By making safety and security improvements to your car, taking defensive driving courses and using public transport to commute to work, you can make significant savings on your Louisiana car insurance. Drivers who use their cars very little, and engage in safe driving practices should also consider Pay-as-you-Drive car insurance in Louisiana which, it is claimed, can save you up to 25 per cent on Louisiana auto insurance rates.
The best way in which to find cheap Louisiana car insurance rates is to shop around using the car insurance comparison tool at the top of the page. Simply enter your zip code and answer a few of the questions which appear on the page to receive a range of quotes from leading car insurance companies in Louisiana. Thereafter, ask them if you qualify for further discounts if you feel that you have a good car insurance rating.
Louisiana Car Insurance Ratings
Your car insurance rating is based on many factors which, combined together, indicate to Louisiana car insurance companies the level of risk they are taking by insuring you. These factors are based on historical evidence about where you live, how responsible you are (statistically) likely to be, the make, model and year of your car and how much use you are going to make of it. Your age, gender and marital status also influences your Louisiana auto insurance quote, as does your credit rating – which the car insurance companies in Louisiana are entitled to see before offering you a car insurance policy.
The major factors affecting Louisiana car insurance ratings are:-
- Where You Live – The first piece of information auto insurance companies in Louisiana will ask you to provide is your zip code. Although the prospect of having your car stolen if you live outside of New Orleans (see below) is pretty remote, living in an urban area with a low volume of traffic is going to be more beneficial that living in an urban area.
- Your Age and Gender – Young drivers do not get as heavily penalized in Louisiana as in some other States because the percentage of road traffic accidents caused by the 20-24 age group is relatively low (just 10 per cent in 2008). However, as 86.21 per cent of serious road traffic accidents were caused by males, expect to pay more for your car insurance in Louisiana if you are a boy than if you are a girl.
- Credit Rating – Louisiana auto insurance companies like to see that you are responsible with your money. It implies (statistically) that you are also responsible on the roads and, if you pay your bills on time, you will get preferential car insurance rates in Louisiana. You may also get a discount if you pay one year´s car insurance in advance – so a credit card in good standing can be of double benefit to you!
- Driving History – By maintaining a good driving history you will benefit from discounted car insurance rates in Louisiana. If you are found liable in a road traffic accident, your car insurance premiums will increase dramatically because of the reasons outlined at the top of the page. Safe driving and the avoidance of traffic violations is of paramount importance if you want to save money on car insurance in Louisiana.
Most Stolen Vehicles in Louisiana
As well as introducing safety and security features to your car, you should also be aware of what vehicles are targeted by car thieves in Louisiana. Each year the National Insurance Crime Bureau publishes a list of the most commonly stolen vehicles by State. This list for Louisiana in 2010 was as follows:-
- Ford F150 Pick-Up
- Dodge Ram
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Camry
- Chevrolet Impala
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Explorer
- Ford F250 Pick-Up
- Ford Taurus
Where You Car May Get Stolen in Louisiana
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) also publishes a list of the 360 metropolitan districts in America which experience the most car theft per capita. New Orleans heads the list for the State of Louisiana and is thirty-second nationally as the city in which your car is most likely to be stolen. Seven other districts made it into the NICB car theft table – their national position is shown in brackets:-
- New Orleans (32)
- Baton Rouge (114)
- Monroe (117)
- Lafayette (118)
- Lake Charles (121)
- Shreveport (141)
- Alexandria (146)
- Bayou Cane (182)
Typical Louisiana Car Insurance Rates
Considering that the annual car insurance policy in America cost just $1,440, typical Louisiana car insurance rates are considerably higher. The list below shows the average cost of Louisiana car insurance in selected towns throughout the State. Your individual Louisiana car insurance quote will vary according to your personal circumstances, but these figures may provide a useful guide for you.
Car insurance in Shreveport – $1,900
Car insurance in Bossier City – $1,928
Car insurance in Lake Charles – $2,017
Car insurance in Monroe – $2,030
Car insurance in Lafayette – $2,070
Car insurance in Baton Rouge – $2,148
Car insurance in Kenner – $2,199
Car insurance in Metairie – $2,257
Car insurance in New Orleans – $2,262
Car insurance in Alexandria – $2,289
Louisiana Car Insurance Companies
Compared to other States, there are not a lot of car insurance companies in Louisiana. However, between those who conduct business in the State, there is a lot of competition and often you can get discounts on Louisiana auto insurance simply by asking for them. The directory below shows most of the Louisiana auto insurance companies, and those which are underlined we have reviewed in the pane to the right of the page.
|America First||Great Northern||Safe Auto|
|American Home Assurance||Hartford||Safeway|
|American International||Horace Mann||Sentinel|
|American National||Illinois National||Shelter|
|American Reliable||Imperial Fire & Casualty||Southern Farm Bureau Casualty|
|American Southern Home||Liberty Mutual||Southern Insurance Company|
|American Western Home||Louisiana Farm Bureau Casualty||of Virginia|
|AMICA Mutual||Louisiana Farm Bureau Mutual||Southern United Fire|
|ANPAC||Lyndon Property||State Farm|
|Auto Club Family||Markel||Travco|
|California Casualty||Massachusetts Bay||Travelers|
|Charter Oak Fire||Metropolitan||Trinity|
|Commerce & Industry||Milwaukee||Twin City Fire|
|Direct||National Automotive Insurance||Unitrin|
|Economy||National General||Universal Casualty|
|Farmers||National Union Fire||USAgencies|
|Federal||New Hampshire Indemnity||Voyager|
|Firemans Fund||Permanent General|
Making sure you get the best deal can save you a lot of money on your car insurance in Louisiana and the b”est way to get the best deal” is by using the car insurance comparison tool at the top of the page. Remember that Louisiana car insurance companies want you to select them, so before accepting a Louisiana auto insurance quote, ring up a couple of other car insurance companies, tell them what you have been offered and ask them to beat that quote. If they seriously want your business, they will do just that!