Posted in Our Blog on April 25, 2019
Driving comes with a degree of risk anywhere in the country. Even the most experienced and safest driver cannot predict the actions of others on the road, and every state has different laws pertaining to liability for accidents and minimum requirements for auto insurance coverage. If you live in Louisiana or plan to move to Louisiana in the near future, it is essential to know your auto insurance obligations in the event of an auto accident.
Louisiana operates under a fault-based system for handling car accidents. When an accident occurs, an injured driver must determine who caused the accident and act accordingly. An at-fault driver is liable for any and all damages resulting from the accident if the accident occurred due to negligence. Sometimes, liability is unclear at first and an investigation determines who is liable for an accident. An insurance company will need to verify a claim for a car accident before it will issue any type of settlement to a claimant, and a driver may pursue additional legal action if the at-fault driver’s auto insurance coverage does not fully cover the damages in an accident.
When a driver suffers injuries and economic losses due to a negligent driver, he or she can file an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy to secure compensation for those damages. Every Louisiana driver must purchase auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum requirements for liability coverage.
A minimum policy is likely the cheapest auto insurance policy a driver can have in Louisiana, but it is essential to remember that a minimum policy will not cover the policyholder’s own damages unless he or she purchased collision coverage or some other type of personal injury protection in addition to the state’s minimum coverage requirements.
It is very wise to explore the additional coverage options available with a minimum policy. Adding one or two optional coverage types could afford you a greater deal of protection after an accident in exchange for a slightly higher premium rate. Every driver must find a good balance of coverage and affordability.
One type of coverage all drivers should consider is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This type of auto insurance applies when an at-fault driver does not have auto insurance, does not have enough auto insurance, or when the at-fault driver cannot afford to pay for the injured driver’s damages.
Every driver must purchase auto insurance in Louisiana and carry some type of proof of insurance in his or her insured vehicle. Failure to obtain an adequate insurance policy could lead to fines of $500 to $1,000, loss of driving privileges, revocation of vehicle registration, and impoundment of the driver’s vehicle.
Driving without insurance is also a problem even if another driver causes an accident. An uninsured driver that suffers injuries and economic losses will face Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” law, prohibiting the driver from obtaining compensation and holding the driver responsible for the first $25,000 in property damage and the first $15,000 in personal injuries.
It is never worth the risk to drive without insurance in Louisiana. Even a minimum policy is better than nothing, but a driver who purchases minimum coverage should acknowledge the risks of sticking to this type of policy and strongly consider adding additional coverage as soon as it is financially feasible.