Louisiana has some of the highest yearly insurance rates in the country. But don’t worry—it’s entirely possible to find low cost car insurance in Louisiana. Once you understand the basic state requirements for insured vehicles, and become familiar with various factors that affect premiums, purchasing car insurance will feel not only doable, but easy.

It’s important to understand your state’s minimum coverage requirements, and the average insurance cost, so you can budget with accuracy and confidence. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to find the right insurance for you.

What is Minimum Liability Coverage?

Louisiana law requires all drivers to have minimum liability coverage. Essentially, minimum liability insurance covers costs from bodily injury or property damage in the event of an auto accident. Liability insurance covers costs incurred by the driver at fault in a particular incident.

Louisiana state minimum car insurance policies include:

  • $15,000 for bodily injuries per person

  • $30,000 for bodily injuries per accident

  • $25,000 for property damage

Insurance obtained at a minimum rate covers injuries and damages up to the amount listed.

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles requires insurance in order to complete Louisiana car registration. If you don’t have insurance you won’t be able to register your vehicle. Plan ahead and purchase your insurance before you go to the OMV for registration.

Why is Car Insurance in Louisiana so Expensive?

You might feel like you spend more than your out-of-state friends do on car insurance—and you wouldn’t be wrong. According to WalletHub, Louisiana ranks 48 out of 50 for the highest national insurance rates. Average Louisiana car insurance rates are up to 50% higher than the national mean.

  • The average insured driver pays roughly $1,150 annually for minimum coverage.

  • For full coverage drivers pay approximately $2,549 annually.

Before you hit the brakes, remember that rates are influenced by a large variety of factors. In addition to the costs of minimum liability coverage, factors like frequent lawsuits, road maintenance, and demographics also influence premiums.

Here are just three reasons why insurance in Louisiana is so expensive:

#1 Lawsuits in Louisiana and Insurance Costs

Lawsuits from traffic related incidents are common in Louisiana. Superior Honda cites Louisiana as the most litigious state when it comes to auto-related incidents:

“Auto-related lawsuits drive up premiums in Louisiana because insurance companies know they will be more likely to pay out claims—so they pass those costs onto drivers through higher premiums.”

According to WalletHub, state lawyers in Louisiana are more likely to encourage clients to file lawsuits “for even minor car accidents.” Insurance providers compensate by increasing premiums for drivers.

#2 Extreme Weather

Once hurricane season hits, insurance companies are often overwhelmed with claims. Damage due to flooding, fallen trees, and washed-out roads is common after a big storm. Particularly in recent years, Louisiana has weathered difficult tropical storm seasons, and insurance providers have raised premiums accordingly.

#3 Demographic Factors

Some factors that influence insurance rates are beyond your control. Certain age ranges or zip codes will automatically raise your premium. That being said, it is possible to improve your insurance rate by driving safely and improving your driving skills. Just because you live in the middle of the city, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay more.

Demographic factors that influence insurance premiums include:

  • Age – WalletHub reports that sixteen-year-olds can expect to pay up to $11,797 annually, while drivers in their twenties pay an average of $2,851 annually. The logic for insurance providers? The more experience you have behind the wheel, the less chance you have of getting into an auto accident and filing an expensive claim, so the lower your insurance premium will be.

  • Location  Urban areas with a higher density of drivers—and therefore accidents—tend to have higher premiums than rural areas.

  • Finances – Providers appreciate financial responsibility. Drivers with excellent credit scores are more likely to have low premiums.

  • Driving Record – If you have a history of safe driving and haven’t filed claims in the past, you’re likely to have lower insurance rates.

Of course, it’s advisable to be proactive about lowering your insurance rates. Students with good grades have a lower insurance rate, as well as drivers who update the safety features of their vehicles. Enrolling in a defensive driving class demonstrates conscientious and responsible driving. Above all, it’s important to follow traffic laws and maintain a good driving record.

How to Find the Cheapest Car Insurance in Louisiana

Despite the expense of Louisiana’s required auto insurance coverage, many drivers prefer to upgrade from the minimum required policy to a more comprehensive plan. Comprehensive plans protect you from car accident costs beyond the minimum limit and provide coverage for incidents like weather or theft.

Understand Your Upgrade Options

With so many options and providers, it’s important to narrow down your priorities.

Here are a few common insurance upgrades for a Louisiana resident to consider:

  • Comprehensive Plan – Covers damages to your car unrelated to a collision. Essentially, this plan covers any damages from weather, natural disasters, or theft.

  • Collision Coverage – Covers damages to your vehicle due to an accident no matter who is at fault.

  • UIM Coverage Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in a car accident with another driver who doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover costs.

  • Medical Covers medical costs for a set period of time after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. This may include ongoing treatments and rehabilitation.

  • Towing and Labor – If your car is out of commission, this will cover towing costs.

Some insurance plans are commonly cancelled or amended after you’ve been in possession of the vehicle for a few years. Older cars in particular lose value and insurance might end up costing more than what the car’s worth. Speak to your insurance provider directly to determine which plans make the most sense for the make and model of your vehicle.

Research Different Providers

Louisiana car insurance rates vary depending on your provider, location, and type of coverage. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, thoroughly research providers and compare price points for different types of insurance coverage before you commit to a plan.

According to a study done by U.S. News, the most affordable car insurance company in Louisiana is USAA. They compared annual costs for the ten most prominent car insurance companies to gain a comprehensive view of varying factors that influence insurance rates. In the search for the best car insurance rates in Louisiana, U.S. News took into account mileage, age, and credit score among other factors.

They found the cheapest average prices across the board were as follows:

  • USAA – $1,439

  • State Farm – $2,059

  • Geico – $2,295

  • Progressive – $2,363

  • Allstate – $2,802

Additionally, U.S. News looked at the most affordable insurance companies based on certain demographic factors. For example, they found that the most affordable insurance for young female drivers was State Farm, while the most affordable insurance for young male drivers was Geico. In contrast, the most affordable insurance for senior male drivers was State Farm, and the most affordable for senior female drivers was Progressive.

It’s also essential to understand discounts and special offers specific to each company. Look into the pros and cons of Geico vs Progressive or State Farm vs Allstate. Once you understand the unique packages each company has to offer, you’ll rule out companies that don’t work for you.

Comparing Companies the Easy Way with OnlineAutoInsurance

Still feeling a little lost? Getting recommendations from friends but have trouble sorting through rates and requirements? Services like OnlineAutoInsurance make your search for the perfect plan easy! OnlineAutoInsurance is a free online service specializing in comparing insurance rates.

OAI streamlines the insurance process from start to finish. In addition to filtering results by specific provider, their online tool filters results by state and by zip code. Compare prices across major providers to find the best deals for your location. If you’re looking for a specific type of car insurance coverage, simply compare insurance costs by company instead.

If you need additional help, OAI has a team of live agents ready to assist you with any questions or quandaries regarding your insurance choice. Sometimes a chat with an agent is the best way to find the right insurance for you and your family.

There’s no doubt that searching for the right car insurance can feel daunting. But armed with the right knowledge and with the help of OAI, you’ll be ready to buy your new policy in no time.

Sources:

Louisiana Department of Insurance. Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance. https://www.ldi.la.gov/docs/default-source/documents/publicaffairs/consumerpublications/auto-insurance-guide.pdf

Superior Honda. Why is Car Insurance So Expensive in Louisiana? https://www.superiorhonda.net/blogs/2373/car-maintenance/why-is-car-insurance-so-expensive-in-louisiana/

U.S. News. Best Cheap Car Insurance in Louisiana in 2020. https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/car-insurance/cheap-car-insurance-in-louisiana

WalletHub. Why Is Louisiana Car Insurance So Expensive? https://wallethub.com/answers/ci/why-is-car-insurance-in-louisiana-so-expensive-2140709630/

WalletHub. How much is Car Insurance in Louisiana per Month? https://wallethub.com/answers/ci/average-car-insurance-cost-louisiana-2140703275/