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The majority of states in America require drivers to maintain minimum amounts of insurance. The state of Louisiana is no exception.

If you live in Lafayette and own your own vehicle, you need to meet the legal requirements for car insurance. However, many drivers find it difficult to afford the insurance that is required or that they need.

If you are searching for affordable car insurance, enter your zip code above to compare rates from top companies in Lafayette today!

If you are one of these drivers, the good news is that there are steps you can take to decrease your auto insurance premium. One of these steps is using an online car insurance price comparison tool. These tools provide you with a quick and easy platform to compare car insurance companies, policies, and premiums.

Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in Louisiana

All Louisiana drivers are required to carry certain amounts and certain types of insurance on every vehicle that they own.

This includes drivers in Lafayette. Compulsory insurance is put in place to protect each driver on the road from legal and financial ruin in the event of an accident.

Liability is the minimum required insurance coverage in Lousiana. Property liability covers damages you might do to other people's vehicles or other real property.

Bodily injury liability will pay for injuries to other people caused by you and for funeral expenses if necessary. If you are a driver in Lousiana the following coverage is legally mandated:

  • $15,000 for the injury or death of a single person
  • $30,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

It is important for Lousiana drivers to know that although liability auto insurance is a legal requirement and a very important part of driving, it does not cover damages to your own vehicle. If you want coverage for your vehicle, you will need to purchase collision and/or comprehensive coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Lousiana

As of 2012, nearly 14 percent of drivers in Lousiana did not have insurance. This puts millions of drivers on the road in Lousiana at risk each year.

In this state, each insurance policy must include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage unless it is waived in writing by the policyholder. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your damages in the event that you are in an accident with another driver who does not have auto insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage can also be used if you are in a hit-and-run accident, hit as a pedestrian, or hit as a bicyclist.

Underinsured motorist coverage will help pay for damages that the offending driver's insurance will not pay for because it exceeds the limits of their policy.

For instance, if you are hit by another driver who causes $10,000 worth of damage to your vehicle, yet they only have $7,000 in coverage, your underinsured motorist policy will pick up the tab for the extra $3,000.

Medical Payments Coverage

Although not a required auto insurance for Lafayette or other Lousiana residents, medical coverage, also known as personal injury protection or PIP for short, is important.

This type of coverage will pay for your injuries, funeral expenses, lost wages, and in some cases for necessary household help due to you being incapacitated in an accident. Coverage for medical payments is available to you if you have elected it on your policy, no matter who is at fault for the accident.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Comprehensive and collision car insurance are not legally mandated in the state of Louisiana.

Although some drivers may choose to only carry liability coverage, this option should be considered carefully. If you do not elect these coverages and something happens to your vehicle, you may not have any reimbursement or recourse.

If you lease your vehicle or are still making payments on your car loan, you are more than likely contractually required to maintain comprehensive and collision coverage.

These coverage types provide protection for your own vehicle, whereas liability provides protection for other vehicles you may damage. You should check with your leasing company or bank to be sure you are maintaining their requirements for auto insurance on your vehicle.

For comprehensive and collision coverage, you will be able to select your deductible amount.

Usually, this ranges from $250-$1000. A higher deductible usually means lower premium payments. However, it is important to keep in mind that even though a lower premium may be lucrative, you will need to be able to pay the deductible if your car is damaged in an accident in order to have it repaired.

Collison coverage provides protection for damages sustain in an auto accident, a rollover, or if you hit another object such as a building or a tree. Comprehensive coverage is in place for other situations including:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Flooding
  • Hitting an animal such as wildlife
  • Hail, wind, or other weather events
  • Natural disasters such as a hurricane or a tornado

Consequences of Not Having Car Insurance in Lousiana

Choosing not to abide by the car insurance laws in Lousiana can be costly.

If you are stopped by an officer of the law or in an auto accident, you will be required to show proof of car insurance. If you are caught driving without auto insurance, you could face some or all of the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $500
  • Suspension of registration
  • Revocation of license plates
  • Reinstatement fees
  • Impoundment and having to pay the related fees

In addition, if you cause property damage or bodily injury to another party, you could be sued for the other party's damages in civil court. Victims in Lousiana have one year to file suit for property and bodily injury damages.

This means that if the other party wins their case, you could be on the hook for paying their bills related to the accident.

If you refuse to pay, your wages could be garnished, your assets seized, or liens could be placed on your property. However, this mess can all be avoided by carrying at least the required amounts of car insurance in Lousiana.

Lousiana: At-Fault State

When it comes to car insurance and car accidents, Lousiana is an at-fault state.

This means that the driver who is legally found to be responsible for the accident is liable for the damages, both property and bodily injury. Victims of car accidents in this state have several options including:

  • filing a claim with their own auto insurance carrier
  • filing a claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company, or
  • filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court

In contrast, people who live in no-fault car insurance states must use up all their own car insurance policy limits before attempting to get compensation from the other driver or their car insurance company.

This applies no matter who is at fault. In these states, the options for victims in an accident are limited and may be restricted based on the types of property or physical damage that were incurred because of the auto accident.

Louisiana Comparative Fault Rules

Louisiana is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that you can seek to recover monetary compensation from other at-fault parties in your accident, no matter what percentage of fault was yours.

However, the degree to which you are found to be at fault will decrease the amount you could potentially recover.

Since there is no objective rule for which to allocate fault, the assignment of liability comes down to a claims adjustor, or in some cases a judge or a jury.

For example, if you are going 10 mph over the speed limit and are hit by a vehicle attempting to turn when they should be yielding to you, it may be determined that you are 10 percent at fault for speeding.

The other party is then assigned the other 90 percent of the fault. If your claim is for $10,000, you will be owed $9,000, or 90 percent of the total claim due to your determined liability.

If you live in Lafayette or anywhere else in the state of Lousiana, it is your responsibility as a driver to carry the required amounts of car insurance. This protects you and other drivers from many different legal and financial ramifications.

In fact, it is wise to carry additional coverages if you can afford to in order to protect yourself from a variety of different circumstances on and off of the road.

You can stretch your hard-earned dollar further by using an auto insurance online price comparison tool. These types of tools are a simple and easy way to ensure that you are paying the best possible price for your car insurance coverage. Try one today to find out how much you can save.

Use the comparison tool at the bottom of this page and start saving on auto insurance today!

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