Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bill Increases Required Auto Insurance to $25,000

Some Louisiana vehicle owners will have to have more liability insurance coverage if Gov. Kathleen Blanco signs into law a bill the Senate sent her Tuesday. On a 25-12 vote, senators voted to expand the present $10,000 coverage for property damage or a single injury or fatality in an accident to $25,000. The bill also expands the coverage for multiple injuries or deaths in an accident from $20,000 to $50,000.

The current 10/20 compulsory minimum is laughably low and means that we all have to essentially self-insure ourselves against at-fault drivers through uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. The number of uninsured drivers and drivers with only the minimum $10,000 coverage means that UM premiums are much higher than they should be. The irony is that we essentially have to self-insure for accidents, yet because we are not a no-fault state, the coverage is expensive because of the massive cost (read: attorney's fees) of our tort-based system. Increasing the minimum required coverage from 10/20 to 25/50 is an adequate start, and the state should increase enforcement of minimum coverages and impose stiffer penalties for violations.

3 comments:

The German said...

This is a step in the wrong direction. Yes, people will have higher coverage, but less people will buy insurance. Unless Louisiana goes with no-fault or makes carrying insurance voluntary (thereby reducing the huge artificial demand for the product), our rates will continue to be outrageous. No-fault is the way to go, but we will have to drag the lawyers screaming all the way.

Nola Blogger said...

The plaintiff lawyers will never allow Louisiana to become a no-fault state. If we couple increased minimums with proper enforcement and stricter penalties for noncompliance, this can be a positive change. It's the right thing to do. Cleo Fields opposes it, so it must be a good idea.

arizona car insurance, auto, home owner insurance said...

We all feel for those on the lower economic levels. I've been there. But carrying the state minimum or going uninsured is not the correct answer.

If you are going to get behind the wheel of a car you need to carry enough coverage to protect "other" people should you be at fault.

By the way, the cost to increase someone's BI from $15,000 to $25,000 is a small increase in premium. Sure, I understand any increase for some is a huge request. But the increase in premium is going to be small in any event.