Louisiana Car Insurance Requirements
In the Bayou State it is mandatory to purchase minimum liability car insurance if you plan to register a vehicle for use on public roads. Car insurance is the only means of satisfying the state’s financial responsibility laws regarding automobile use. Fortunately, minimum liability is relatively cheap car insurance.
The term “minimum liability” can be defined in two parts:
- minimum — this the smallest amount of money your insurance company has to make available in the event of an accident
- liability — indicates the insurance money is paid to victims you injure, or property damage, as a result of your own negligence
From these definitions it’s easy to see minimum liability insurance doesn’t pay to repair or replace your vehicle or cover your own medical bills. If you want that sort of coverage you’ll need collision and comprehensive insurance on your car as well as a health plan for your medical bills.
The minimum amounts liability every policy must cover are:
- $15,000 for bodily injuries or death – a single victim
- $30,000 for bodily injuries or deaths – more than one victim
- $25,000 for property damage
Electronic Reporting in Louisiana
Louisiana utilizes an electronic reporting system to keep track of car insurance data. Whenever you purchase a new policy, renew an existing one, cancel a policy, or allow one to lapse your insurance company is required to enter that information into a central database.
Should your car insurance be canceled or allowed to lapse the state’s computer system will immediately make that known. You’ll be sent a notice in the mail informing you of the suspension of your registration and a flag placed on your license. You have 10 days to provide proper proof of insurance before you begin facing penalties. Those penalties start at $50 and go up from there.
Being Caught without Insurance
Louisiana drivers should receive documentation from their carriers proving they have car insurance in place. Drivers are required to carry that documentation in their vehicles and produce it during traffic stop or accident investigation. If you’re caught driving without insurance you will, at the very least, receive a citation.
At his discretion a police officer can also seize your plates and have your car impounded. In such a case there will be additional fees imposed. To get registration and car back you’ll need to provide proper proof of insurance and pay all of your penalties and fees. If you’ve been convicted of driving without insurance multiple times you may be subject to license and registration suspension for a predetermined amount of time.