Louisiana car insurance laws 2022

Learn about Louisiana car insurance laws and requirements so you're informed about how much coverage you need to legally drive.

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Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Louisiana has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country, which is surprising because it also has relatively low insurance requirements. The state minimum required levels of liability insurance in Louisiana are lower than many other states, and don’t offer much financial protection in a serious accident.

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Here’s what you need to know about auto insurance laws and requirements in the Pelican State.

Key takeaways

  • Drivers in Louisiana are required to have a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.

  • Louisiana has a "no pay, no play" law, which means drivers who choose to drive without insurance may be unable to collect insurance payments for an accident where they are not at fault.

  • Louisiana allows drivers to file a claim for the diminished value of their car (which is the lost resale value) from an at-fault driver’s insurance company after an accident.

Auto insurance requirements in Louisiana

Louisiana’s state minimum insurance requirements are higher than some states, but are still relatively low. This means Louisiana drivers who only get the minimum required amount of coverage probably don’t have enough coverage to be protected in an accident.

Here’s how much car insurance is required by law in Louisiana:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage per person: $15,000

  • Bodily injury liability coverage per accident: $30,000

  • Property damage liability coverage: $25,000

Almost every state (including Louisiana) requires drivers to have minimum levels of liability insurance to protect other drivers from suffering financially after an at-fault accident. Liability insurance pays for damage you cause to someone else so that they aren’t left with huge financial expenses that were someone else’s fault.

Liability insurance requirements in Louisiana

Liability coverage is the part of your car insurance policy that pays for damage you cause in an at-fault accident. It’s broken into two parts: bodily injury liability, which covers the other driver’s injuries, and property damage liability, which covers damage you do to their car or other property. 

Drivers in Louisiana are required to have a minimum of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident in bodily injury liability insurance and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. You may see that written out as 15/30/25.

→ Learn more about liability car insurance

Proof of insurance requirements in Louisiana

Louisiana drivers are required to show proof of insurance when getting pulled over, after an accident, and when registering their vehicle. It may sound complex, but proof of insurance is basically just a document that shows you have an active car insurance policy that meets the minimum state requirements.

There are multiple ways to show proof of insurance in Louisiana, including insurance cards, a copy of your policy binder, or a copy of your insurance policy declaration page. Drivers in Louisiana are also allowed to show proof of insurance electronically through their insurance company’s smartphone app.

→ Learn more about showing proof of insurance 

What is Louisiana’s “no pay no play” law?

In addition to their state minimum insurance requirement laws, Louisiana also has a "no pay, no play" law. This means that drivers who choose to drive without insurance may be unable to collect insurance payments for an accident where they are not at fault.

Uninsured drivers in the state will be unable to collect payments for: 

  • The first $25,000 in property damages

  • The first $15,000 in personal injuries

Penalties for driving without car insurance in Louisiana

Louisiana drivers who choose not to purchase car insurance are breaking the law and may be subject to a fine of $500-$1,000. Depending on the situation, they may also have their driver’s license suspended, the car impounded, and/or their vehicle registration revoked. [1]

Uninsured drivers who are in an accident may have their license suspended and their registration revoked for 180 days. Lying about having insurance when you don’t could cause your license to be revoked for 12 to 18 months.

What is the diminished value car insurance law in Louisiana?

When your vehicle is damaged in an accident the resale value decreases, even if the car is repaired to its pre-loss condition. Louisiana allows drivers to recover the diminished value of their car from an at-fault driver’s insurance company after an accident. [2]  

Drivers who want to file a diminished value claim should contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company if they meet the following requirements:

  1. You are not the at-fault driver in the accident 

  2. You have documentation of the damage, including photos and records of repairs.

  3. The statute of limitations for filing a diminished value claim is 1 year in Louisiana, so you must file the claim within one year of the accident. 

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Are the state requirements enough car insurance in Louisiana?

No, Louisiana’s state minimum insurance requirements are often not enough to protect drivers in an accident. While the state minimum coverage would probably cover a fender bender or another small accident, a serious accident could cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, leaving you responsible for paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket in an at fault accident.

Drivers should always purchase as much insurance as they can afford. We recommend liability insurance levels of 100/300/100, which means up to $100,000 per person and up to $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage and up to $100,000 in property damage liability coverage. 

→ Learn more about what’s recommended for car insurance coverage

Optional car insurance coverage in Louisiana

Louisiana state law only requires drivers to purchase bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage, but these coverages aren’t enough to provide sufficient financial protection in the event of an accident. 

Drivers who want or need more insurance should consider adding some (or all) of the following coverages to their policy:

  • Comprehensive coverage: Often sold as part of a full coverage policy, comprehensive insurance pays for damage caused by something other than a collision, like theft, weather damage, or hitting an animal. Drivers who are financing their vehicle may be required by their lender to get comprehensive coverage.

  • Collision coverage: Often sold as part of a full coverage policy, collision insurance pays for damage to your vehicle in a collision, no matter who is at fault. Drivers who are financing their car may be required by their lender to get collision coverage.

  • Medical payments: Sometimes referred to as MedPay, medical payments coverage can help pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers in the event of a car accident, no matter who is at fault. 

  • Roadside assistance: Sometimes referred to as towing and labor cost coverage, roadside assistance insurance can help if your car breaks down. This coverage typically includes changing a flat tire, jumpstarting a dead battery, locksmith services, towing, winching, and bringing you fuel if you run out of gas on the road. While many insurance companies offer this benefit, it is also offered by third party companies like AAA.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your medical expenses if you are hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) driver. This coverage is typically set at the same level as your bodily injury liability coverage, which means the more bodily injury liability coverage you buy, the more uninsured motorist coverage you can purchase.

    Frequently asked questions

    Why is insurance so expensive in Louisiana?

    There are a number of factors that contribute to higher insurance rates in Louisiana, including frequent severe weather, a high percentage of uninsured drivers, and a significant number of car accident-related lawsuits.

    Do you have to have car insurance in the state of Louisiana?

    Yes, Louisiana requires all drivers to purchase a minimum of 15/30/25 in liability coverage, which breaks down to $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.

    Does Louisiana require PIP?

    No, drivers in Louisiana are not required to purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. PIP is required in “no-fault” states, where drivers have to pay for their own injuries after an accident.

    Is Louisiana a no-fault state?

    No, Louisiana is an at-fault state. This means that the driver determined to be at fault for the accident will be responsible for paying the costs associated with the accident. If the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough liability insurance they will still be expected to pay those costs out-of-pocket.