Does My Louisiana Auto Insurance Cover Theft?
The minimum amount of automobile coverage that is required to legally drive in Louisiana will not cover car theft. Motorists in LA are only required by law to carry property damage and bodily injury liability. This mandatory protection only pays for other people's damages that the insured may be responsible for and not for damage to the policyholder's vehicle. But motorists have the option of including additional protection to a policy to cover a wider variety of damages, including theft.
Adding comprehensive coverage to a Louisiana automobile insurance policy will cover the cost of a stolen vehicle up to the actual cash value of the car, minus any deductible. This added protection also covers a number of other types of losses. A policy with comprehensive covers damage from fire, flooding, vandalism, falling objects, theft, and many other incidents that don't involve an actual collision between two cars.
The average comprehensive premium in Louisiana in 2009 was $212, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. But motorists' individual costs will fluctuate depending on their claim history, where they live, and what type of car they drive.
Auto Insurance and Theft in Louisiana
In the Pelican State there were over 11,700 vehicles reported stolen in 2009. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were over 2,600 reported vehicle thefts in New Orleans alone.
Having a vehicle stolen can be an unnerving experience, but there are actions that motorists can take to help prevent their car from being stolen that may also result in discounted rates.
One of the more common reasons why cars are stolen is human error. Motorists are urged to always lock their doors, close their windows, and keep valuable items out of sight when left in the car. Keeping a vehicle equipped with an alarm system, steering wheel lock, or tire lock can also help keep a car more secure. Although criminals can often bypass these simple security systems, they act as both visual and audible deterrents.
More advanced security devices, such as vehicle immobilizers or tracking systems, can significantly increase the likelihood that a vehicle can be recovered after it's stolen. Installing one of these devices in a vehicle can often qualify a motorist for discount car insurance and lower rates. Taking simple steps to deter car thieves can prevent drivers from becoming victims, and purchasing an adequate amount of coverage can help residents financially recover after a theft.