Although driving is something that many people take for granted, the truth is that it's a right and not a privilege. Every state has specific laws and regulations in place regarding operating motor vehicles, and Louisiana is no exception. As with most other states, drivers must have valid liability auto insurance to be on the road in Louisiana. Finding the right policy doesn't have to be difficult, but it's not something that should be taken lightly either. Understanding the car insurance requirements of the Pelican State is very helpful, but additional research should be done as well.
Drivers who understand the importance of having excellent coverage have an easier time finding the best policies. One way to gain a better understanding is by learning more about who drives in the state of Louisiana. People often turn a blind eye to the fact that they are sharing the road with millions of other people. Even the safest drivers end up in accidents from time to time because some things are beyond drivers' control. By understanding this, drivers are more likely to look carefully for the right policies.
Who Drives in Louisiana?
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of Louisiana was 4,601,893 in 2012. Of course, all of those people aren't legally able to drive. Many of them are far too young, and many of them are unable to drive for various reasons. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were 3,186,227 legally licensed drivers in Louisiana in November 2012, so 69.2 percent of the state's population drives. Male drivers totaled 1,539,671, which is equal to 48.32 percent of all licensed drivers. Female drivers totaled 1,646,556, which is equal to 51.68 percent of all licensed drivers.
It would be unfair for insurance companies to take gender into consideration while calculating insurance premiums, so they don't. However, age weighs heavily on the way in which they calculate rates. Younger drivers are less experienced and riskier to insure, so they pay higher premiums. In Louisiana in November 2012, 141,666 people, or 4.5 percent of all licensed drivers, were aged 19 or below. There are plenty of older, experienced drivers in the state as well. Drivers between the ages of 50 and 54 totaled 306,996, which equals 9.6 percent of all licensed drivers.
Car Insurance Requirements in Louisiana
Looking for auto insurance in Louisiana without being aware of the legal requirements is a big mistake. Auto insurance providers are aware of the requirements, but it's ultimately up to drivers to ensure that they have the right coverage. As with the vast majority of other states, Louisiana requires drivers to be able to show proof of financial responsibility, which means they must be able to show that they can handle their financial obligations in the event of an accident. In some states, there are several ways to do so. In Louisiana, however, there's only one: liability car insurance.
In order to drive legally in Louisiana, a driver must have the right car insurance coverage. Any old policy won't do. Policies must meet certain criteria. The basic car insurance requirements in the state of Louisiana are:
- At least $15,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage for one accident
- At least $25,000 in property damage coverage
These limits are just the bare minimum of what a driver should purchase. It never hurts to buy more extensive coverage.
In Louisiana, all insurance providers must report drivers' coverage statuses to the Office of Motor Vehicles. Lapses and other problems result in penalties. A person's driver's license will be flagged, and his or her registration may be suspended. If that happens, a driver must show proof of insurance within 10 days. The first 11 to 30 days without coverage will result in a fine of $50. The next 31 to 90 days will result in a fine of $125. Going without insurance for 91 or more days will result in a fine of at least $225. Avoiding these problems is easy. Drivers can start by collecting auto insurance quotes for Louisiana.