State’s auto insurance rates much too high

Louisiana has the second highest auto insurance rates in the country, and it seems clear that isn’t going to get much better until drivers become more safety conscious and purchase more insurance coverage. The average premium in the state in 2017 was $1,921, much higher than the $1,318 national average. Only Michigan was higher at $2,394.

Premium increases are not as large this year as they have been, but average rates are still going up. By midyear, the state’s auto market had seen a 2.1 increase in rates, which is about half the size of last year’s increase. However, State Farm, the state’s largest auto insurer, has reduced rates for more than a million drivers this year by a combined 4.7 percent.

The state Department of Insurance has set up a task force made up of legislators and insurance industry people to make recommendations on how to lower premiums. However, Jim Donelon, state insurance commissioner, has listed four reasons why the task force has a difficult assignment.

Donelon said premiums have gone up because of an increase in distracted driving, more traffic on the state’s highways, the higher cost of repairs and the high number of court suits filed after accidents. In addition, 14 percent of Louisiana drivers don’t have auto insurance and 40 percent carry only the minimum level of coverage.

Both of those factors result in people who do have adequate coverage subsidizing the costs of accidents involving drivers who don’t have enough insurance coverage.Insure.com notes that Louisiana had the highest auto insurance rates in the country in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

Donelon said, “High auto insurance rates have plagued Louisiana families for years, and while we’ve come up with some Band Aids, we haven’t seen any silver bullet solutions. I’m hopeful that recommendations made by this task force will be successful where previous efforts have failed.”

State Rep. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, chairman of the task force, told The Advocate, “We owe it to Louisiana citizens to try to make insurance in this state affordable.”

That is a mighty tall order, considering the poor track record of so many Louisiana motorists. However, tougher requirements for those learning to drive and tougher penalties for driving violations would be steps in the right direction.

””auto insurance graphic

Local News

Partnership allows for free mental health counseling

Local News

Governor ends mask mandate, except at some schools

Local News

Cold front to push through area Wednesday

Crime

Stolen handgun found during house fire investigation

Crime

10/26: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Crime

Man arrested a 21st time — this time for living in apartment complex’s attic

Local News

Leesville celebrates first female police chief

Local Business News

Community Foundation hires master planning firm

Local Business News

Port of LC seeks reimbursement for hurricane repairs

Local News

Jim Gazzolo column: Cowboys show they can be the bully

Local News

Liz Williams: Desire to help comes from ‘missional heart’

National News

Biden, Manchin and Schumer huddle, but still no budget deal

Local News

Photo Gallery: Trinity Baptist Dodgeball Tournament

Local News

Craig Marks: Past hardships just something God had me go through

Local News

SW La. school lunch menus Oct. 25-29

Crime

10/23: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Trinity Baptist drawing younger generation with dodgeball tournament

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Where do we go from here?

Local News

Deaf student welding his way to success

Business News

Louisiana float to appear in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Local News

Jeff Davis School Board approves one-time pay supplement

Crime

15-minute deliberation before Vernon man convicted of recruiting prostitutes

Crime

Kinder man convicted in double homicide

Crime

10/22: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list