What Are the State Minimum Auto and Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Louisiana?
If you want to operate your motor vehicle in Louisiana legally, you must purchase the state’s minimum liability insurance coverage. Pursuant to LA Rev Stat § 32:866 (2016), drivers in Louisiana are required to carry the following liability coverages:
- $15,000 for injury to a person;
- $30,000 for injury to all persons; and,
- $25,000 for damage to personal property.
Liability insurance protects victims in Louisiana. It pays the victims of car accidents for their damages when the driver is at fault for the accident. The key to receiving compensation in an injury claim is to prove that the driver is at fault because Louisiana is a “fault” state.
Because you must prove fault to receive compensation, we urge you to contact a Louisiana car accident attorney. An attorney understands the elements of negligence and the evidence needed to prove fault. While you focus on getting better, our attorneys work to get you the compensation you deserve for your losses and injuries.
Louisiana’s No Pay No Play Law
Louisiana lawmakers wanted to encourage all drivers to purchase the minimum coverage required by law. They decided to punish uninsured drivers with the No Pay No Play law. Under this law, if you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, and you are uninsured, the amount of compensation you can receive is limited.
An uninsured driver cannot recover the first $15,000 in bodily injury damages nor the first $25,000 in property damages. Therefore, if the other driver carries minimum insurance, an uninsured driver may bear the entire financial burden for an accident that is not his fault.
Is Louisiana a Fault State?
Some states are what we call “no fault” states meaning that they require drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance or Medical Benefits insurance. These types of insurance pay the insured benefits regardless of who caused the accident. For instance, if another driver causes an accident, you would file a claim against your PIP coverage first. The laws vary from state to state regarding when a driver can file a lawsuit for damages that exceed the no-fault insurance coverage. Louisiana is a “fault” state. You must prove that the other driver caused the accident to recover compensation from that driver’s insurance company. If you cannot prove that the other driver was negligent and at fault, you cannot recover funds from that driver’s insurance company. If you have chosen to carry optional coverage, such as Medical Payments, you may recover some funds but not as much as you would by filing a claim against the other driver.
Optional Insurance Coverage
There are several optional coverages that you may want to consider in addition to the required liability insurance in Louisiana:
- Medical Payments — Pays medical expenses for a limited time up to the policy limits regardless of who caused the accident.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage — Pays if an uninsured driver injures you. Uninsured coverage may also apply in hit-and-run crashes.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage — Pays the difference between your actual damages and the other driver’s insurance coverage up to your policy limits. This type of coverage is very important given the state’s low minimum requirements. Many victims suffer at more than $15,000 in damages.
- Comprehensive Coverage — If you have a lien on your vehicle, the lender will likely require comprehensive coverage and collision coverage. Comprehensive insurance pays for damages to your vehicle from vandalism, flood, falling objects, fire, or another casualty.
- Collision Coverage — Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle if you are in an accident that is your fault.
You can find more information about insurance coverage by reading the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance. We suggest you discuss your insurance coverage with your insurance agent to determine the best coverage for you and your family based on your needs and your budget. If you can afford to carry higher limits, we strongly urge you to consider this option to protect yourself and your family from uninsured and underinsured drivers.