Louisiana Car Insurance Guide

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Whether you know it as “Sportsman’s Paradise,” or the “Pelican State,” Louisiana provides drivers with beautiful views all across the state. But before you take off driving along the bayou to see a stunning sunset, you'll need to make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage. What are the minimum insurance requirements? Would adding supplemental options be in your best interest?

We created this guide to help you navigate auto insurance in Louisiana to help you find answers to these questions and more. Keep scrolling to see the state's liability requirements, learn what factors affect your insurance rate, and see what happens if you let your coverage lapse.

Personal Auto Insurance

Even if you believe you're the safest driver in your state, nobody is guaranteed to avoid an accident. While you should always take precautions and drive defensively, you should also make sure you have an appropriate personal auto insurance policy, a contract between you and your insurance company, for when accidents do occur. You hold up your end of the deal by paying a premium (whether that's monthly or upfront), and your insurance company agrees, in accordance with the policy terms, to protect you financially when you're in a wreck. The cost of a crash can add up quickly when you factor in damaged vehicles, property damage, and injuries to any drivers and passengers, so having the right policy is crucial.

In Louisiana, you're required to have liability coverage (bodily injury liability and property damage liability) on any vehicle(s) you own.

Louisiana Driving Laws

Before you get behind the wheel, are you sure you know the latest rules of the road? As a licensed driver, you have to be prepared to keep learning because Louisiana's laws might change at any moment.

For instance, the state is seeing a big push for more restrictive legislation regarding cell phone use while driving. While hand-held devices are currently prohibited in certain situations for certain-aged drivers, a new bill would make hand-held cell phone use illegal across the board. To make sure you stay current on the best driving practices and are aware of any new legislation, make sure to watch the news and refer to the Louisiana OMV Handbook.

Louisiana Minimum Insurance Requirements

Louisiana law requires drivers to carry liability coverage on any car they own. In the event you're legally responsible for an accident, your insurance company will then pay for property damages and injuries. Here are Louisiana's minimum coverage requirements:

If you're looking to add additional protection, or if your auto loan requires it, you could consider adding comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and uninsured motorist coverage. These additional options will likely make your premium more expensive, but they will provide a bigger financial safety net.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Louisiana

If you're caught driving without insurance in Louisiana, you could be subject to serious consequences. The Department of Insurance's consumer guide states that you can be fined “$500 to $1,000 for knowingly operating a vehicle without insurance, being involved in an accident without insurance and committing fraud by falsely claiming to have insurance.”

Vehicle owners without insurance may also see their car impounded, the revocation of their registration, or suspension of license plates. If you are in a traffic collision while you're failing to meet insurance requirements, your license and registration could be suspended for 180 days.

Louisiana is also a “No Pay, No Play” state. This means an uninsured driver is not allowed to collect damages from an insured driver's insurance company, no matter who caused the crash. In other words, driving without insurance can come back to haunt you, even if you’re driving carefully.

Penalties for Driving Without a License in Louisiana

What can happen to you if you’re driving without a license in Louisiana? Let's take a look at some different situations laid out by DrivingLaws.org.

What if I just forgot my license at home?

If you don't have your license in your possession when you';re asked to produce it, you can face a fine or jail time. Even if you can prove you were licensed to drive at a later date to avoid the most serious consequences, it's better to never be in the situation. According to DrivingLaws.org, you can use a digital image of your license as proof. You should always carry your physical license, but a backup plan definitely doesn’t hurt.

What if I don't have a license?

If you're operating a vehicle without a valid license, you could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

What if I operate a vehicle while my license is suspended or revoked?

This can result in serious consequences. If your license has been suspended or revoked and you're caught behind the wheel, you face an additional year of suspension or revocation, serious fines, and possible jail time.

Auto Insurance Terms & Definitions to Learn

When you start to evaluate different insurance policies, we don't want confusing terms to make your decision more complicated and stressful than it should be. Take a look at our glossary of terms to familiarize yourself with insurance lingo, and be sure to check out the specific terms listed below.

SR-22 Insurance in Louisiana

One of the more confusing terms when it comes to auto insurance is “SR-22 Insurance.” This is not actually a type of insurance coverage, but rather a form provided by an insurance company that “high-risk drivers” are required to keep on file with the Office of Motor Vehicles.

If you've been convicted on a DUI/DWI charge, let your insurance coverage lapse, or committed a serious driving violation like a hit-and-run, you may be required to maintain an SR-22 certificate of financial responsibility for a certain number of years to prove you';re carrying at least the proper amount of liability coverage.

High Risk Auto Insurance

Most individuals do not have a perfect driving record, and after a certain number of violations or a serious enough violation, drivers can be considered a major risk to insure. While some companies try to steer clear of these individuals, other insurance companies offer non-standard insurance (another name for high risk auto insurance) to provide financial protection for these drivers.

At Direct Auto, we're proud to offer non-standard coverage. We believe your driving history shouldn't define you forever, and we work hard to find quality, affordable coverage for every driver, regardless of their past.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Louisiana

You've done your legal duty by purchasing auto insurance that meets state requirements. But has every other driver? Sadly, according to the Insurance Journal, approximately 13% of Louisiana drivers are uninsured. If you’re involved in a wreck caused by an uninsured driver, your liability coverage will not protect you or reimburse you. This is where uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UMBI) comes into play.

This type of coverage will cover you and your passengers' medical bills if you're in a crash with someone who doesn’t meet insurance requirements or if the driver can’t be identified (hit and run). By law, your policy will include UMBI at the same limits as your bodily injury liability coverage, but you have the right to reject that coverage entirely as long as you do so in writing on the state approved form.

Factors that Determine Insurance Rates

Have you been wondering how insurance rates are calculated? If so, you're not alone! They're actually a result of a number of different factors, including:

  • The types of coverage you choose and your coverage limits
  • What kind of vehicle you drive
  • Your driving history
  • Your credit history
  • The amount you drive the places you drive

Even if a few of these factors aren't working in your favor, that doesn't mean you can't find affordable coverage. Direct Auto offers different payment options and a number of discounts to help you out.

Motorcycle Insurance in Louisiana

Wondering what type of coverage you need to be street-legal on your motorcycle? Well, the liability requirements are the same for a bike as they are for other vehicles.

Remember, these are just the minimum amounts required, and just in case of a severe accident, you might want to consider additional coverage.

More Information

Do you still have a question or two about finding the right coverage in Louisiana? Direct Auto is happy to help! Give us a call or visit one of our convenient locations.

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