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Louisiana, get ready: More auto insurance rate hikes are coming

Everyone who goes to a New Orleans restaurant, Gretna grocer or a Harvey hardware store knows that prices are rising. The price of driving to those places is on the rise, too. Louisiana drivers can expect car insurance rates to continue to climb this year, according to a Times-Picayune report.

Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said a number of factors conspire to drive car insurance rates up, including the low price of gasoline. Because gas is cheap, people can afford to drive more. Increased traffic results in more motor vehicle accidents that result in injuries and sometimes fatalities.

Donelon said that because Louisiana has such a high percentage of drivers with minimum auto insurance coverage, drivers who are injured in car wrecks often have to turn to a personal injury attorney and the courts in order to receive adequate compensation for the damages.

Another factor in rising auto insurance rates, he said, is distracted driving. Unfortunately, more and more car crashes are caused by distracted drivers, and that is pushing those insurance rates up.

Donelon said about 40 percent of Louisiana drivers have the minimum allowable insurance coverage. An additional 15 percent of the drivers on our streets and highways have no coverage whatsoever.

"Together, they constitute the majority of the folks on the roads," Donelon said.

Last year, the Louisiana Department of Insurance approved double-digit rate hikes for several insurers. Some of those increases kicked in last year and some are taking effect in 2018.

If you have been injured by a distracted, impaired or otherwise careless driver, contact a lawyer experienced in personal injury litigation.

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