Car Insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana Car Insurance
As a resident of Louisiana, you are required to have car insurance. Those who drive without insurance are not only subject to penalties and fines, but being without insurance will also prevent you from making insurance claims regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
Read below to learn more about car insurance requirements, options, laws, and rates in Louisiana.
Insurance Regulation in Louisiana
Louisiana insurance is regulated by the Louisiana Department of Insurance (DOI).
The DOI’s responsibilities include:
- Reviewing and approving insurance rates.
- Making and enforcing insurance rules.
- Assisting consumers with concerns or complaints.
- Investigating insurance fraud.
If you have an unresolved concern or dispute with your car insurance provider, you can file a complaint form online or request a form by phone:
- Complete the online complaint form.
- Contact the DOI at (800) 259-5300.
Your auto insurance company cannot raise your rates or cancel your policy for filing a complaint.
Required Car Insurance in LA
Louisiana state law requires that all drivers have liability coverage.
Liability insurance pays for damages or injuries that you cause in a car accident, up to the amount of coverage you have.
The minimum liability coverage limits required in Louisiana are:
- $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person.
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident.
- $25,000 of property damage coverage.
Remember, you can always opt to purchase higher coverage limits for greater protection.
Insurance and Vehicle Registration
You must have valid liability insurance in order to register your car or renew your registration.
The LA Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) will verify your car insurance electronically if you:
- Register a car bought from a dealer.
- Renew your registration online.
You must provide proof of insurance if you:
- Register a car bought from a private individual.
- Go to an OMV office to renew your registration.
- Transfer an out of state title.
The OMV accepts the following as proof of insurance:
- An insurance card issued by your auto insurance company.
- A copy of your insurance policy.
- A copy of your policy declaration page.
- A statement from your insurer that MUST:
- Be on your car insurance company’s letterhead.
- Be signed by your insurance agent or a representative of the company.
- Have a complete description of your vehicle.
- Have your vehicle identification number (VIN).
Optional LA Car Insurance
You can buy several additional types of coverage that pay for damage and injury costs not covered by liability insurance:
- Collision coverage: Pays for accident-related repairs to your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage: Pays for repairs to your vehicle from damage caused by other factors, such as theft or severe weather.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage: Pays for expenses you incur in an accident caused by someone with no insurance or too little insurance. Types of UIM are:
- UIM bodily injury coverage to pay for your medical treatment.
- UIM property damage coverage to pay for your vehicle repairs.
- UIM economic-only coverage, which pays only for actual costs of medical treatment.It doesn’t cover pain and suffering.
- Medical payments coverage: Pays for medical expenses, including funeral expenses, for a certain period of time after an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Rental reimbursement coverage: Pays for a rental car after an accident.
- Towing and labor coverage: Pays for towing and some repair costs.
NOTE: If you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender will require you to buy collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Car Insurance Violations & Penalties
The main reasons you might face penalties with regard to insurance are:
- You are unable to provide proof of current insurance.
- Your policy has been canceled.
- There’s been a lapse in your policy.
Proof of Insurance
The Louisiana OMV has several ways to verify your auto insurance:
- Car insurance companies must notify the OMV of canceled or expired car insurance policies.
- You must show proof of insurance if stopped by a police officer or involved in an accident.
Proof of insurance can be shown with:
- An insurance card (or copy) issued by your car insurance company.
- An image of your insurance card on a mobile device.
- The declaration page of your insurance policy.
- The insurance policy itself.
If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, a police officer can either:
- Remove your license plate and give you a Temporary Vehicle Use Authorization, allowing you to operate your car for 3 days to give you time to provide proof of insurance to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
- Impound your vehicle.
Car Insurance Cancelation
Your auto insurance company can cancel your insurance policy within 60 days of purchase.
If your policy is canceled, they must notify you within:
- 10 days, if it’s canceled because you didn’t pay your premium.
- 20 days, if it’s canceled for a traffic violation, accident, or any other reason.
After 60 days, your car insurance policy can be canceled ONLY if:
- You do not pay your insurance premium.
- You make a false claim.
- You or someone in your home gets a driver’s license or vehicle registration suspension.
Again, your insurance company must notify you of any cancelation or nonrenewal:
- Within 10 days if it’s canceled because you didn’t pay your premium.
- Within 30 days by certified mail if it’s canceled for any other reason.
- No later than 20 days prior to expiration if they aren’t renewing your policy.
If your policy is not renewed, you can request the reason in writing and expect a refund of any pre-paid premiums within 30 days.
Reinstating Your Driving Privileges
If your Louisiana car insurance is canceled or has lapsed and you receive a Notice of Violation, you must:
- Acquire minimum liability insurance.
- Take proof of insurance to an OMV office.
- Pay a fine of up to $100 on your first offense, and $250 on a second offense. Subsequent offenses can lead to fines up to $700.
- Pay a reinstatement fee (the fee varies depending on the number of days you drove without insurance.)
If you have car insurance but failed to show proof at the time it was requested, you must take your proof of insurance to an OMV office:
- If you show proof within 3 business days, the insurance violation will be dropped and your license plate and/or vehicle will be released.
- If you show proof after 3 business days, you will have to pay a fine before your license plate and/or vehicle are released.
After an insurance violation, you may also be required to get an SR-22 certification (also known as SR22 insurance or proof of future financial responsibility) from your auto insurance provider.
SR-22 certification is a form provided by your car insurance company to the OMV thatguarantees coverage for a period of time as determined by the LA OMV.
Your insurance company and the OMV will charge you for SR-22 certification.
If you allow your SR-22 to lapse, you will have to pay a $60 fee to the OMV.
SR-22 certification may also be required to have your driver’s license reinstated if it’s been suspended.
“No Pay, No Play” Law
Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law limits the damages uninsured motorists can collect for property damage and/or personal injuries.
Regardless of who is found at-fault, if you were involved in a car accident while you were behind the wheel, you CANNOT collect:
- The first $25,000 of a property damage claim.
- The first $15,000 of a bodily injury claim.
Note to passengers: If you are the passenger in a car driven by an uninsured driver and are injured, you can still collect damages.
However, if you are a passenger in a car you own (and which you do not have insurance on), you are still prevented from collecting the amounts above.
Remember! Anyone can get into an accident at any time. If you don’t have car insurance, the “No Pay, No Play” law could end up costing you much more than if you’d purchased a car insurance policy.
Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Insurance violations and other violations on your driving record can make you a high risk to insure, and you may have a hard time finding car insurance.
If you have shopped around and cannot find an auto insurance provider to cover you, the Louisiana Automobile Insurance Plan (LAIP) allows high-risk drivers to get auto insurance from agents who voluntarily participate in the plan.
NOTE: Insurance through the LAIP can be expensive, so be sure you have contacted as many car insurance providers as possible before seeking LAIP assistance.
The Louisiana DOI investigates reports of insurance fraud.
Common forms of fraud include:
- Filing a false or exaggerated claim.
- Providing false information to an insurance company.
You can report fraud by phone at (800) 259-5300. Your name can be kept confidential if you prefer.
Car Insurance Rates in LA
Many factors affect your Louisiana car insurance rates. Insurers use your driving historyand other details to rate their risk of insuring you, which determines:
- Your insurance premium.
- Any applicable discounts.
In Louisiana, your car insurance premium may be based on a combination of factors, such as your:
- Age and gender: Younger, male drivers usually have the highest premiums.
- Residential area: Residents of major cities usually have higher premiums than those of less populated areas.
- Car’s make and model: More economical cars are typically cheaper to insure than expensive cars.
- Driving record: Tickets or accidents can raise your rates.
- Deductibles: Choosing a higher deductible can reduce your premiums.
Louisiana law allows insurance companies to use your credit in determining your ability to pay insurance premiums.
Auto Insurance Discounts
In addition to these factors, you may qualify for discounts. Louisiana car insurance companies commonly offer discounts for:
- Safety equipment like air bags or car alarms.
- Defensive driving courses or driver’s education courses.
- Good grades.
- Insuring multiple cars or buying multiple policies.
To find the most affordable rates from companies that offer discounts you qualify for, shop around for the best car insurance quotes, ask about available discounts, and drive safely to maintain a good driving record.