Do You Have the Right Car Insurance?

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When buying car or motorcycle insurance, you have to know what coverage you need and what is required by state laws. To help make buying insurance easier, we’ve compiled some information on required and optional coverage for cars and motorcycles.

Car Insurance Requirements in Louisiana

In Louisiana, everyone who drives a car is required to have insurance. By law, every driver must carry bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage. The only exception is for vehicles used in parades.

Bodily injury liability coverage, also known as bodily injury insurance, pays for medical bills and funeral expenses for someone hurt in an accident you cause. This coverage does not cover your injuries. The minimum requirement for bodily injury coverage is $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident.

Property damage liability coverage comes into effect when you are partially at-fault for an accident that damages someone else’s property. Property includes things like vehicles, houses or fences. The minimum requirement for property damage liability coverage is $25,000.

Though you’re not required to carry it, Louisiana law says your insurance provider must offer uninsured motorist coverage (UMBI) with every policy. Though you can reject this coverage, it’s good to have as it covers your damages if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Optional Car Insurance Coverages in Louisiana

There are other insurance coverages you might want to carry. These can protect your financial interests and give you some peace of mind. Some coverages to consider are:

  • Medical payments coverage. This option covers medical and funeral expenses for you or any passenger in your vehicle, regardless of who caused the accident.
  • Collision coverage. Carrying collision insurance means your car repairs or replacements are covered by the insurance company after you pay your deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage. This coverage pays for damages to your car caused by things like theft, fires, floods, vandalism, explosions, weather, or falling objects (trees, hail, etc.)
  • Towing and labor coverage. This helps if you have your car towed for any reason. It usually requires the driver to pay a minimal amount each time the service is used. This may also be called roadside assistance.
  • Rental reimbursement coverage. If your car is totaled or needs repairs after an accident, this coverage will either cover or reduce the cost of a rental car.

The coverage you purchase really depends on your needs. For instance, if your car has a tendency to break down, you may want towing or rental coverage. If your car is on the list of the most stolen vehicles in Louisiana, you may want comprehensive coverage to protect against theft. Shop around and review different coverage limits to figure out what’s best for you and your family.

Penalties for Not Carrying Car Insurance

All drivers are required to carry proof of insurance in their vehicle, such as:

  • An insurance card
  • A mobile version of your insurance card
  • A declaration letter from your insurance company
  • Your actual insurance policy

If you are caught driving without proof of insurance, the police may take your license plates and issue a Temporary Vehicle Use Authorization. That gives you three days to use your car and provide proof of insurance to your local motor vehicle office.

If you don’t carry Louisiana’s minimum insurance coverages, you could be subject to additional penalties, such as:

  • Loss of registration
  • Impoundment
  • Loss of license plates
  • License suspension
  • Fines

Two-Wheeled Vehicle Insurance Requirements in Louisiana

To drive a two-wheeled vehicle in Louisiana, you have to purchase insurance and show the motor vehicle office you hold the minimum coverages.

Before we discuss the coverages required, it’s important to understand which two-wheeled vehicles need to be covered. In Louisiana, a two-wheeled vehicle requires coverage if it is a:

  • Motorcycle that has an engine capacity of at least 50cc, more than 1.5 brake horsepower, or the ability to travel 25 mph or faster.
  • Moped that has an engine capacity of less than 50cc, less than 1.5 brake horsepower, or doesn’t travel faster than 25 mph.

Scooters don’t require insurance or registration as long as their specifications are less than a moped and they’re not driven on public roads.

If your vehicle is classified as a motorcycle or moped, you must carry the same minimum coverages as a car would:

  • Bodily injury coverage: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
  • Property damage coverage: $25,000

Optional Two-Wheeled Vehicle Insurance Coverages in Louisiana

Just like a car, motorcyclists and moped drivers can purchase additional coverages like:

  • Medical payment coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Roadside assistance

Custom parts and equipment coverage is insurance that applies only to motorcycles. This covers bikes with modifications, aftermarket parts, or custom paint jobs. Some bikes that can be considered custom are:

  • Choppers
  • Trackers
  • Bobbers
  • Non-factory trikes
  • Hybrids
  • Kit bikes or custom built bikes without VIN numbers

Custom parts and equipment coverage, or additional parts and equipment coverage, has a deductible that must be paid before the insurance company begins coverage. Most major insurance companies sell this coverage starting at $1,000. But that can vary, so shop around for the best plan for your custom bike.

Penalties for Not Carrying Two-Wheeled Vehicle Insurance

People driving two-wheeled vehicle must carry proof of insurance in the form of:

  • An insurance card
  • An insurance binder
  • A declaration letter from your insurance company
  • Your actual insurance policy
  • A written statement on the insurance company’s letterhead that contains your vehicle info and your insurance agent’s signature

Without proof of insurance, a police officer can:

  • Impound your two-wheeled vehicle
  • Give a violation/ticket
  • Confiscate your license plates
  • Confiscate your license
  • Issue fines
  • Suspend your registration

Car and Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Whether you purchase minimum coverages or every coverage you can, there’s no guarantee that others will do the same. In Louisiana, 13.9 percent of drivers are uninsured. If you’re in an accident with one of them, you could be facing serious financial losses.

The attorneys at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson have years of experience helping victims of car crashes and motorcycle accidents. We’re standing by to evaluate your claim and let you know what your case could be worth. All you have to do is contact us at 800-836-3702.

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