One in eight drivers on U.S. roads is uninsured.
– Insurance Information Institute (III).
Under Louisiana law, you must carry liability coverage on any automobile you own. This coverage pays for property damages or personal injury for which you may be legally responsible, up to your policy’s dollar limits. In Louisiana, each vehicle is required to have 15/30/25 liability limits. Those limits provide payments of $15,000 for bodily injury to one person, $30,000 for bodily injury to more than one person in a single accident, and $25,000 coverage for damage to someone else’s vehicle or other property.
Before 1977, auto liability insurance was not required by law in Louisiana. Many motorist prior to this time, although insured for their liability, were left uncompensated if the at fault motorist was uninsured or underinsured; this created a deficit in protection for insured motorist. In 1962 the first step toward uninsured motorist coverage was made available. This change provided protection for insured motorist if they were in an accident and the at fault motorist was uninsured. Previously if the at fault motorist was uninsured then the insured motorist was responsible for the damages of their property.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance (UM), sometimes referred to as bodily injury insurance, pays for medical expenses, lost wages and pain & suffering due to bodily injury as a result of an accident with a motorist that is uninsured.
UM can also protect you and passengers if the accident involves a hit-and- run driver.
Underinsured Motorist insurance (UIM) is much like UM ,but refers to a motorist that has coverage but not enough to cover all injuries.
It is required by law that your insurance policy includes uninsured motorist coverage in your automobile policy, however you can decline the protection in writing. To learn more about uninsured motorist insurance see Revised Statute (RS) 22:1295.
FAQ Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Can I make a claim against an uninsured/underinsured motorist auto insurance policy if I was not the driver?
Yes, uninsured protection applies to you whether you are the driver, passenger, motorcyclist, or even a pedestrian as long as the at fault motorist is uninsured or underinsured. The protection also applies to your household member that may also drive your car and/or your passengers.
What is the minimum protection coverage for an uninsured/underinsured motorist auto insurance policy? The policy limits, max payout, of an uninsured motorist policy can not be less than the minimum liability limits required by law of $15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident, unless you purchase economic-only coverage or the UM policy is declined in writing. Louisiana is also one of 11 states with a “No Pay, No Play” rule. This limits the compensation an uninsured motorist can recoup from an accident claim even if they are not at fault, as they can not provide the same protection to others.
What is “economic only” and property damage uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist economic-only coverage is an UM option that only covers the actual costs of injuries to those involved in the accident, it does not include pain and suffering are not included under this coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage coverage covers vehicle repairs in an accident with an uninsured driver. A deductible is required under this coverage, and the maximum payout is $25,000 or the actual cash value of the vehicle, whichever is less. You may choose to purchase a property damage policy with a higher payout.
What are the penalties to an uninsured motorist?
In 2014 new legislation was passed with tougher penalties for uninsured motorist. This includes a minimum fine of $75 for being caught in violation of the law requiring insurance, fines of $250 to $1000 for knowingly driving a vehicle without insurance, being involved in an accident without insurance and falsely claiming to have insurance. Uninsured motorist involved in an accident without insurance may have their driver’s’ license suspended and registration revoked for up to 180 days. The previous penalty for this act was 60 days. A driver’s’ license can also be revoked for 12 to 18 months if one is caught falsely claiming to have insurance.