From Shreveport to Alexandria, Lake Charles to Lafayette, Louisiana has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from Baton Rouge down to the Delta. Louisiana’s roads are used by about 2.9 million licensed drivers, who each travel an average of 10,000 miles a year. Along the way, Louisiana’s drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every day, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Bayou State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Louisiana’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Louisiana state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under Louisiana’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Louisiana drivers is:
$15,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$30,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
Medical payment coverage can be rejected if you prefer not to purchase it. Louisiana does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Louisiana Auto Insurance
Louisiana law requires that you carry proof of Louisiana auto insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in your car being impounded, your license plates removed and a yellow sticker being attached to your rear windshield. You have 3 days to provide proof of insurance. If you fail to do so and are stopped again, your car will be impounded immediately until you can provide proof of insurance and pay all fines, which can range from $75 to over $700.
In addition, if you fail to carry insurance and are in a collision with another driver who is insured, Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law prevents you from collecting the first $25,000 in property damage and $15,000 in personal injury even if the other driver was at fault.
Louisiana Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Louisiana Department of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Louisiana also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Louisiana Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Louisiana Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Louisiana. The following laws have recently been enacted in Louisiana and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Louisiana bans texting for all drivers and bans the use of all cell phones (hand-held or hands-free) for drivers under 18.
Under Louisiana’s Move-Over laws, if you see an emergency vehicle or a car with its emergency lights flashing stopped on the side of the road, you are required to move to the farthest lane and slow down to a safe speed. If you cannot change lanes, you must slow to a safe speed as you pass.