Importance Of Having Motor Vehicle Insurance In Louisiana
How Common Are Uninsured Or Underinsured Drivers In Louisiana?
Uninsured or underinsured drivers are very common in Louisiana. The law only requires that you carry $15,000 of liability insurance. If you do not opt to purchase more, when you get into a wreck and if it’s your fault, you only have $15,000 in coverage available to the person that you injured. This does not go very far after an ambulance ride, an emergency room examination with diagnostic films, and follow-ups with appropriate specialists. The liability requirement of $15,000 evaporates very quickly.
Does Louisiana Have A Minimum Auto Insurance Requirement For Drivers?
Louisiana does have a minimum auto insurance requirement for drivers. But, it’s very minimal. It’s only $15,000.
Is Louisiana A Fault Or No-Fault State When It Comes To Motor Vehicle Wrecks? How Could That Impact Someone’s Personal Injury Case If They Don’t Have Any Insurance?
Louisiana is absolutely a fault state. That means that the fault of the parties involved is evaluated and allocated based on the conduct of each of the parties. For example, if you are sitting at a red light and another car rear-ends you, the rear-ending vehicle is 100% at-fault. The victim didn’t do anything; they’re 0% at fault. However, if you take another example where one vehicle is proceeding through a green light in a 35-mile an hour zone but is actually going 45-miles an hour, and another vehicle approaches the intersection and is directed by a red signal light to stop, but doesn’t stop if a collision ensues, both people are at fault. However, the judge or jury would have to allocate fault. The judge or jury could determine that even though the person with the green light was speeding, the accident would have never occurred without the other vehicle running the red light. Accordingly, the jury may award the speeder 20% fault, while awarding the person running the red light 80% fault.
The fault allocation always has to add up to 100%; it can vary depending upon the facts of the case and the particular jury that’s hearing the case. But, the net effect of the fault allocation is that it bears directly on your ability to recover your damages. For example, if your hospital bill or emergency room visit is $1,000, but you are 50% at-fault for the accident, you can only collect 50% of your hospital bill or $500. If you had very serious injuries that were worth a million dollars, and you are 50% at-fault, you would only be able to collect $500,000. Therefore, the fault determination is very important in establishing the amount of damages you’re able to recover.
I’m At-Fault For A Motor Vehicle Accident That Occurred In Louisiana, I Don’t Have Insurance. What Is Going To Happen?
If you are at-fault for a motor vehicle accident in Louisiana and don’t have insurance, you can still be held responsible for the damages. You can be sued, and whatever damages that were caused by you can be recovered by the opposing claimant. It’s very wise to have insurance to protect yourself in case you make a mistake and cause injury to another person. Another consequence of not having insurance in connection with an accident is that you will probably be fined. There is a good possibility you could end up with a suspended license as a result of not carrying insurance. Additionally, there is another problem with not carrying insurance in Louisiana and that is what’s called the No Pay, No Play law. The No Pay, No Play law essentially states that if you are not carrying car insurance and become involved in an accident, even if it’s the other person’s fault, you will be prohibited from collecting your first $15,000 in damages. For example, if the other person is completely at-fault for the accident, but you have no car insurance at the time of the accident, and you have a $20,000 hospital bill, the insurance company does not have to pay your first $15,000 of the bill. Therefore, it’s advisable to protect yourself and others, to always carry insurance.
Why Is Insurance So Expensive In Louisiana?
The high cost of insurance in Louisiana is a subject that is the source of a lot of debate, depending upon whose version of the data you want to believe. Insurance industry advocates will opine that it’s because the tort system in Louisiana needs to be reformed. By reform, they usually are proposing changes in the law that eliminate civil remedies for injured claimants. For instance, proposing very low threshold limits required to request a jury trial. Insurance companies almost always ask for jury trials because these trials take longer to get set on a trial docket. They are more cumbersome and expensive for the claimants to participate in, which causes delays in recovering.
If you speak to claimant rights advocates, they will tell you that the reason insurance rates in Louisiana are higher is because of the rating system that is used by the insurance companies. They will say that the rating system penalizes people in urban areas, and penalizes people based on their credit scores and other factors that don’t necessarily have anything to do with their driving skills or carefulness.
How Much Auto Insurance Do I Really Need To Protect Myself?
You should purchase as much insurance as you can afford. It is particularly important to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This is the coverage that protects you and pays your damages in the event that someone else causes an accident that has little to no insurance. I recommend at least $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage or more if you can afford it. It’s also wise to purchase medical payments coverage, which specifically pays the costs of medical bills. These two coverages are not required or mandated by Louisiana law, but those are the coverages that protect you in the event of an accident caused by someone else who is underinsured.
Does The Type Of Vehicle That I Drive Affect My Car Insurance Rates?
The type of vehicle you drive will affect your car insurance rate. The more expensive your vehicle, the higher your rate is going to be. Also, your rate could depend upon whether you have a truck, SUV, economy car, or sports car with a large engine. These are factors insurance companies sometimes look at to determine how they’re going to rate you. Another factor that affects your car insurance rate is the age of the driver.
What Does My Car Insurance Actually Cover?
If you only purchase the minimum mandated coverage required under Louisiana law, your car insurance will only cover personal injury and property damage to the opposing vehicle that you damaged through your fault. It does not cover repairs to your own vehicle, damage to your property, the contents of your vehicle, your medical bills, your loss of income, or your injuries. Those coverages need to be purchased in addition to the minimum liability coverage mandated by Louisiana law.
What Are Some Things That People Might Be Surprised That Car Insurance Does Not Cover?
A lot of people think that if they have “Full Coverage,” their car is going to be repaired in an accident. But, if you purchased the minimum liability insurance required under the law, you don’t have coverage for the damage caused to your car, and so, your car can’t be repaired. If you don’t have collision insurance, your car is not getting repaired, unless you pay for it. Also, there’s another coverage called comprehensive insurance that has to be additionally purchased. Comprehensive covers non-vehicle accidents, such as a tree falling on your car, hail, flooding, vandalism, and things of that nature. If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, that property damage isn’t going to be covered. Your medical bills are not going to be covered unless you specifically pay an extra premium for medical payments coverage. And, of course, your injuries and disability won’t be covered unless you have uninsured motorist coverage.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Other Drivers Of My Vehicle?
Your car insurance covers other drivers as long as you have given permission to that driver to use your vehicle. However, some insurance companies write policies that specifically identify what’s called excluded drivers. These are drivers that are specifically named as not being insured under your policy. If you lend your car to an excluded driver, there could be no coverage in the event of an accident involving that driver.
What Is GAP Insurance And Does This Apply In Louisiana?
GAP insurance is otherwise known as Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance. It’s usually taken out to protect against the total loss of your vehicle wherein the value of your vehicle is less than what you still owe on it to the finance company. For example, if you get involved in a car accident that results in a total loss and you still owe $10,000, but the value of the vehicle is only $7,000 at the time of loss, GAP insurance would step in to bridge the amount owed. In this scenario, the insurance company would only pay the value of the car, which is $7,000, and leave you owing $3,000 to the finance company. GAP insurance would fill in that gap, and pay off the balance of the loan so that the $3,000 is not owed.
Does Most Car Insurance Cover Rental Cars That I’m Driving?
Most policies will cover you if you rent another car. But, before making that assumption, you should check your policy carefully and confirm with your insurance agent that it will indeed transfer full coverage to the rental car.
As A Rideshare Driver, Do I Need A Special Kind Of Insurance That Will Cover Myself And My Passengers?
If you are a rideshare driver, you will need a special kind of insurance to cover yourself and your passengers. Most insurance policies that are issued for automobiles have exclusions that state that no coverage will be afforded if the vehicle is rented or leased out for commercial purposes. Since many policies have that clause in them, it is important to purchase a separate insurance policy that covers those activities while you are utilizing your vehicle as a rideshare vehicle.
Should I Have Any Sort Of Car Insurance Even If I Don’t Own A Car?
Even if you do not own a vehicle, it is recommended that you have insurance. Some insurance companies will issue what’s called non-owned vehicle protection for people who occasionally drive cars and want to be protected. Not every company issues it. You should check to see exactly what coverage will be afforded under such policies, but they do exist. If you find yourself occasionally borrowing cars from people, it’s probably advisable to get this insurance.
Do I Need A Different Type Of Insurance Based On The Type Of Vehicle I Have? Let’s Say, For A Commercial Vehicle?
It’s always advisable to have as much insurance as you can afford to protect you in collisions. Sometimes, the insurance rates will vary depending upon not only what type of vehicle you have, but what you use it for. It’s imperative that you inform the insurance company prior to purchasing the insurance exactly what type of vehicle you are purchasing, who is going to be driving it, and what you are going to be using it for. That way, they can adequately understand the risk they’re undertaking, correctly value the premium charge, and most importantly, cover you for any accidents that may occur.
If Our Children Go Away To College, But Return For Visits During Holidays And Use Our Vehicles, Should We Keep Them On Our Policies?
If you have college-aged children who often visit during holidays, it is a good idea to keep them on your insurance policies. It’s almost inevitable that when children return home for the holidays, they utilize one or more of the available vehicles. This is a situation that needs to be made very clear with your insurance agent. You want to make sure that your children are covered whenever they use any of your vehicles. Therefore, make sure they’re not excluded drivers under the policy.
If I’m Driving Someone Else’s Car And Get In An Accident, Whose Insurance Do I Use?
Under Louisiana law, all insurance would be available in connection with an accident. However, the insurance on the vehicle that was involved in a crash is primary, and the insurance that you personally had would be secondary.
What Is Personal Injury Protection? Is It Required Or Offered In Louisiana?
Personal injury protection is a coverage that is purchased to pay for medical expenses that could occur as a result of an accident. It’s often offered in no-fault states. Louisiana is not a no-fault state, and PIP insurance is not normally written in Louisiana.
What Is The Recommended Coverage Option For Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
My recommendation for personal injury protection insurance and all coverages is to buy as much as you can afford.
Does Personal Injury Coverage Cover Injuries For The Other Party Involved?
Personal injury coverage does not provide coverage to parties in another vehicle that were involved in a crash. However, it may afford coverage for passengers in your car.
How Much Might PIP Insurance Actually Cost Me?
Personal injury protection will depend on the insurance company, and how they rate you and your vehicle.
The Other Driver Was At-Fault For The Motor Vehicle Wreck In Louisiana, Which Caused My Injuries. I Don’t Have Insurance. What Happens Next?
Even if the other party is at fault, if you do not have insurance, you will be penalized under the No-pay, No-play provisions or statutes in Louisiana. These statutes require that even if the other person is at-fault, you cannot collect the first $15,000 in damages. For example, if you had a car worth $70,000, and the person that hit you had a $100,000 policy, instead of being able to collect $70,000 for your totally destroyed vehicle, you would only be able to collect $55,000. You’d be prohibited from collecting the first $15,000 of your damages as a penalty.
Even If I Wasn’t At-Fault For The Accident That Caused My Injuries, If I Do Not Have Insurance, Could That Impact The Amount Of Damages I Am Able To Recover?
If you don’t have insurance, and you are injured, you will not be able to collect the first $15,000 of damages. That includes pain and suffering, medical bills, and hospital bills.
What Are Some Horror Stories Regarding Drivers Who Were Injured In An Auto Wreck That Didn’t Have Insurance?
It’s not uncommon for very serious injuries to result from automobile accidents, such as fractured spines, brain damage, and death. If the person causing the accident has no insurance, there is very little recourse that can be had in order to recover damages, particularly in light of the ability of the person causing the accident. Bankruptcy could be a viable solution. It’s often the case that a person that does not carry insurance also does not have much in the way of assets. Therefore, eliminating the debt to you through bankruptcy is easily done.
How Easily Could These Types Of Situations Or Horror Stories Be Avoided If Someone Had The Proper Insurance, Regardless Of The Other Driver’s Insurance Status?
You should never depend on the insurance status of the at-fault vehicle. If you continuously maintain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to a high-level, you are always protected in the event of a serious accident. When you think about it, if you are a responsible person, and you drive responsibly, the chance of getting into an accident is minimal. But that’s because you’re being vigilant and not breaking the rules. However, that doesn’t mean that the other drivers on the road are vigilant and obeying the rules. It’s the other driver who is not paying attention and obeying the rules that will end up causing the accident. Therefore, you always need to carry enough insurance to protect yourself from the careless operator.
Is There Anything Else Regarding The Necessities And Importance Of Auto Insurance That Should Be Included? What About Any Sort Of Motorcycle Insurance? Or, Anything Else That You Want To Include?
When you acquire different vehicles like motorcycles, motorhomes, boats, and jet skis, don’t ever assume that these are covered under your homeowner’s policy or automobile policy. Always check with your agent to make sure that these assets are covered. If they are not covered, talk to your agent about including them on separate policies. The same applies to additional riders in your policies if they are not already included.
For more information on Importance Of Having Motor Vehicle Insurance In Louisiana, a free legal evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (504) 332-8188 today.