Louisiana Car Insurance
Louisiana is lovely, but car insurance in Louisiana can be ugly. New Orleans drivers pay rates that are among the highest in the country, and even the cheapest areas such as Baton Rouge pay dearly compared with their neighbors across the Arkansas border. We’ve got every ZIP code in Louisiana mapped out below, along with the range of state car insurance rates we got from sampling six major national insurance companies.
Louisiana car insurance requirements
What you need to know about car insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana has relatively low minimum requirements of $15,000 per person ($30,000 per auto accident) for bodily injury liability insurance, but that doesn’t help keep the price of a car insurance policy down. In Louisiana, there’s no such thing as cheap car insurance. Louisiana is known for overly generous claim settlements, which experts say cause the high car insurance premiums. The state insurance commissioner says that the New Orleans metro area is the worst culprit, with insurance settlements 40 percent higher than the statewide average.
Comprehensive insurance recommended for natural disasters: Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tropical storms and tornadoes, also cause havoc and claims. A total loss is a more common occurrence in Louisiana than in other states. Collision coverage does not cover damage resulting from a natural event; if you want your car covered, you’ll need comprehensive coverage.
Cheaper uninsured motorist option: Optional uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are offered together, but any insurance company in Louisiana should offer drivers the option of uninsured motorist economic-only coverage. For a lower premium, this coverage will only cover the cost of medical bills from any personal injury caused by uninsured drivers. It doesn’t include compensation for other items, such as pain and suffering.
No pay, no play law: Besides having your car’s license plates removed, vehicle impounded, and being fined for driving without automobile insurance, Louisiana also limits your ability to sue if you were driving uninsured and in a car accident. The state’s no pay no play law prohibits uninsured motorists from collecting for the first $15,000 in bodily injuries and first $25,000 in property damage, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
Must be 18 to own a car: In Louisiana, minors cannot own a car, even if it is donated or gifted to them. An adult must sign the title documentation. Most insurance companies in Louisiana will also require an adult to sign insurance documents for a minor to obtain an auto insurance policy.
DWI penalties: A first offense of driving while intoxicated in Louisiana can initially cost you $4500 in court costs, fines, lawyer fees and insurance costs, and will stay on your driving record for 10 years. Your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days on first offense and 1 year on a second offense. If you get your license reinstated after a DWI, you may need an SR-22 form to prove financial responsibility.
Requirements for vehicles over 20,000 pounds: Vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight or gross combined weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, typically commercial motor vehicles, are required to have higher liability coverage limits, per Louisiana law. The weight of the vehicle and their required car insurance coverages are as follows:
Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 20,001 to 50,000 pounds must have insurance coverage of at least 25/50/25 or a single combined limit of no less than $75,000.
Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight over 50,001 pounds must have insurance coverage of at least 100/300/25 or a combined single limit of $300,000.
Electronic proof of insurance is accepted here: Drivers can use a traditional paper insurance card or electronic insurance data to provide proof of auto liability insurance.