Each state has minimum insurance requirements for drivers operating a vehicle registered within that state. The types of coverage and minimum coverage amounts vary from state to state; however, all states require drivers to carry liability insurance to protect others in the event of an accident.
Minimum Insurance Coverage Required by Louisiana Law
In order to legally operate a motor vehicle in the state of Louisiana, you must have the following coverage:
Liability coverage pays others for property damage and bodily injury resulting from an accident that is your fault. The insurance company will pay up to the policy limits if it is determined you were at fault.. The minimum liability coverage you are required to purchase is 15/30/25. Under this coverage, the insurance company pays up to $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person, and $25,000 for property damage. The insurance company is only obligated to pay up to the amount of coverage you purchase; any amount due that exceeds your liability policy limit must be paid from you personally, i.e.: out of your pocket.
You may choose to purchase coverage in amounts higher than these minimum limits but you are not required to do so by law. It is smart to carry as much insurance as you can afford in order to protect your wealth in the event of a serious accident.
Optional Insurance Coverage Available
Your insurance agent will discuss several types of insurance coverage that are optional. You are not required by state law to purchase these types of insurance coverage; however, you may want to consider them to protect yourself from liability.
In the event of an accident, medical payments insurance, or med pay, pays for medical expenses incurred by anyone occupying your vehicle up to the policy limit. Unlike uninsured motorist coverage, it does not pay for things such as pain and suffering, but the good thing about medical payments insurance is that it will pay you or your occupants regardless if the accident was caused by your own fault. It is a form of “no fault” insurance.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM) coverage pays you in the event that you are in an accident caused by another driver who does not have insurance or who has insurance but not enough to fully compensate you. In Louisiana you automatically have uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage when you purchase liability insurance. By purchasing liability insurance, you automatically receive the same policy limits of UM. You can however, reject or reduce uninsured motorist coverage by completing and signing a special form.Because many drivers operate vehicles without insurance or with very little insurance, you should always carry as much uninsured motorist insurance you can afford.
Other types of optional coverages include:
- Collision Coverage – Pays for property damage to your vehicle in the event of a collision. Like med pay, this is another form of “no fault” insurance. It will pay to fix your vehicle even if the collision was your own fault.
- Comprehensive Coverage – Pays for property damage to your vehicle in the event there is no collision, but it is damaged by some other means, such asweather, theft, or other covered losses.
- Rental and Towing Coverage – This type of coverage pays for the cost of towing your vehicle if it breaks down and renting a car after an accident.
Your insurance company may offer other types of coverage. You should meet with an insurance agent to discuss the various types of insurance coverage available to make a decision based on your needs and financial ability.
Have You Been Injured in an Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident, the insurance company may be trying to settle with you. It is not in your best interest to discuss the accident with an insurance company until you have met with an experienced personal injury attorney.