Dial Dalfred: Car insurance rates in Louisiana

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – If you’re new to the Bayou State from just about anywhere in the U.S., you’ve probably noticed your car insurance rates have gone up significantly.

It’s actually been that way for decades, frustrating the Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance and his staff because of the inability to lower rates for Louisiana residents.

But what causes rates in Louisiana to be so high compared to the national average?

Jim Donelon, Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance explains: “It is the inordinate claims to litigation rate in Louisiana.”

Meaning as a state Louisiana is more litigious than any other state by three times our proportionate share;

40% of Louisiana drivers with minimal policies and 13% uninsured doesn’t help matters either.

“When they are the victim of even a minor accident and they see every night those TV ads one after another promoting contact a lawyer, ‘I did this for that claimant or I got this amount for someone else.’ When claims end up in litigation, that drives auto insurance rates upward”, Donelon says.

As for the 13% of uninsured drivers, local insurance agent Matthew Sias  Jr. says the low penalties play a factor in non-coverage.

A hundred bucks on the first offense, $250 on the second, and a max of $700 for the third.

“Being that the penalty is so low they are basically saying, instead of paying $500 a month I’ll go ahead and take the penalty whenever something happens”, Sias says.

When getting insured, shop around and compare rates.

The make and model of your vehicle can play a role.

Plus, taking on more risks has lowered rates in the past.

While you’re shopping around, search for discounts.

Something as simple as having a car alarm or being a member of certain social clubs can lead to lower premiums.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community, or you have questions that need answers, Dial Dalfred at 262-0868.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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