We all think we understand how car insurance works . . . until we get into an accident and suddenly the insurance adjuster is speaking gibberish about what’s covered, what’s not, who is at-fault, what you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket, and how the accident will impact your future insurance premiums.
Then, nothing makes any sense and you’re often left feeling confused or unsure that you’re getting what you’re entitled from your policy. For these reasons, understanding your auto insurance policy can make a significant difference when you file a claim after a collision.
We have gone over the top three things you’ll need to know about how car insurance works in the Bayou State so you can better prepare for what you’ll do if you ever find yourself having to deal with an insurer.
What It Means to Live in a “Fault” State
Living in a fault state when referring to auto insurance means that whomever is found to be responsible for causing an accident will need to cover the costs of the person whose vehicle has been damaged and their resulting injuries, if applicable.
The victim will more than likely retain a personal injury attorney in New Orleans to help them get the person who caused the accident to pay, after getting everything they can from the at-fault person’s auto insurer.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in LA
Bare minimum auto insurance is the way most drivers go when purchasing an auto insurance policy, unless their vehicle is leased or financed. In Louisiana, this includes only $25,000 in property damage liability coverage and $15,000 per person, or $30,000 per accident, in bodily injury liability coverage.
However, it’s worth noting that serious accidents frequently cost significantly more than these minimums, so it may be a good idea to purchase higher coverage amounts and include add-ons like rental car coverage, comprehensive, collision, under and uninsured motorist coverage, and gap insurance if you are financing your vehicle.
Shared Fault Could Influence Your Personal Injury Award
Don’t let the insurance company get away with refusing to cover their portion of your expenses if you are partially to blame for causing the accident. Although your compensation will be reduced according to your portion of fault, as per the state’s comparative negligence laws, the insurer is still obligated to cover certain losses up to a certain amount, even if you shared fault in the cause of the auto wreck.