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Everyone who drives needs auto insurance; Louisiana, like most states, requires it by law. When it’s time to start looking around and getting auto insurance quotes, Louisiana’s requirements are important to understand. Having a good knowledge of Louisiana car insurance regulations helps you to make the right decisions.

Louisiana Auto Insurance Requirements

Getting into a car accident is never a fun experience. Getting into one without the proper insurance can be financially disastrous, not to mention getting you into some legal trouble, too. Let’s look over just what is required, as well as what can happen if you decide not to follow the rules.

Liability Insurance

Everybody makes mistakes. When those mistakes happen behind the wheel, they can lead to traffic accidents. When that happens, the person at fault is required to cover the costs of repairing the other drivers’ vehicles, as well as the medical expenses of anyone injured in the accident. Very few of us have the money lying around to cover these expenses in all but the most minor of accidents, so liability insurance is needed. It’s so important that the state of Louisiana has made a minimum amount of liability coverage mandatory. The minimums are:

  • Bodily Injury – at least $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident
  • Property damage – at least $25,000 per accident

While it’s important to have at least this minimum coverage, having only the minimum car insurance Louisiana requires might not give you the protection you need, so keep in mind that you can always purchase more. Insurance companies in Louisiana are required to include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as part of your policy; you are allowed to reject this coverage in writing, though keeping it is usually a good idea. Increasing the limits of your liability coverage might also be a smart decision, depending on your situation. If your car is a fairly recent model, comprehensive and collision coverage will help you repair or replace your vehicle if something happens to it – although not required by law, if your vehicle is financed the lender will require it.

Driving Without Insurance

It’s never a good idea to drive without proper insurance coverage, and Louisiana insurance regulations impose some steep penalties if you do. If you’re in an accident without the required insurance, you won’t be able to recover damages from the others involved in the accident, even if they are at fault. Beyond that, here is what you face if you’re caught driving without insurance:

First Offense

  • Up to $100 fine
  • License plates removed and confiscated
  • Suspension of your registration
  • Vehicle impounded
  • $50 reinstatement fee + $10 reinstatement administration fee
  • Storage fees for impounded vehicle
  • 3 days to provide proof of insurance, otherwise SR-22 may be required

While there is no jail time, the cost and inconvenience should be enough to deter you from being without insurance. If you do make this mistake, though, you will not get your vehicle and license plates back until you provide proof of insurance. If you happen to miss the 3-day window, you’ll have to ask your insurance company to file an SR-22 as proof that you have coverage and will keep it for a specified period of time. This is a form that the state requires from high-risk drivers such as those convicted of a DUI, in addition to those caught driving without insurance.

Second Offense

If you do it again, here’s what to expect:

  • Up to $250 fine
  • License plates removed and confiscated
  • Suspension of your registration
  • Vehicle impounded
  • $150 reinstatement fee + $10 reinstatement administration fee
  • Storage fees for impounded vehicle
  • 3 days to provide proof of insurance, otherwise SR-22 may be required

As with the first offense, you don’t get your car and plates back until you can provide proof of insurance.

Third and All Subsequent Offenses

If you get caught a third time, you can expect the most severe penalties:

  • Up to $700 fine
  • License plates removed and confiscated
  • Suspension of your registration
  • Vehicle impounded
  • $500 reinstatement fee + $10 reinstatement administration fee
  • Storage fees for impounded vehicle
  • 3 days to provide proof of insurance, otherwise SR-22 may be required

Once more, your car and license plates won’t be returned until proof of insurance is provided.

With this information, you’re ready to start shopping and get a few car insurance quotes. Louisiana is unfortunately one of the higher-cost states for insurance, but if you shop around you should be able to find relatively cheap car insurance in Louisiana. That said, when it comes to cheap auto insurance, Louisiana residents would be wise to place that lower on the priority list; more important is a company that pays its claims quickly with relatively little hassle.

Getting Louisiana car insurance is simple. USAgencies can provide a wide assortment of car insurance quotes from the top insurance carriers in the nation. Give us a call at 800-420-3712 or get a free car insurance quote online by entering your information in the form at the top of the page to get protected, drive legally, and save money.

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