Updated on 06.20.16

Car Insurance in Louisiana

Daniel Cobb

Twenty minutes of shopping saved me more than $100.

Louisiana is known for an outrageously high number of vehicular lawsuits, which is one of the biggest reasons that residents pay well over the national average for car insurance. Residents don’t have to take overly high premiums sitting down though. I was able to find $100 in savings just by shopping around — and you might be able to find even more.

Getting a bunch of competitive quotes in Louisiana turned out to not be as easy as I thought it would be, as many highly regarded insurance companies in the Southeast Region choose not to do business in Louisiana (the list of false starts for me includes Nationwide, Alfa Insurance, and Auto-Owners Insurance). However, when I discovered which companies did serve the area, I quickly found that Allstate would be the cheapest option for me coming in over $100 dollars cheaper than other options at $618 a year. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Allstate will be the best car insurance provider for you as well.

Every insurance company uses a different process to determine your risk. That’s why it’s best to get as many quotes as possible. Even though the factors used to determine risk are usually the same (factors like age, marital status, location, and driving record), each company views those factors differently. For example, one company may determine that age plays a bigger part in your overall risk than location or marital status, while another insurer may decide that age is less important than your driving record. What this means is that no one company is going to offer incredibly cheap car insurance policies to everyone. You’ll need to get a quote and figure it out for yourself.

Normally the quote process isn’t too painful — many times it takes just five minutes or less for each quote as long as you have your basic information handy. You will need to have easy access to your personal information (address, type of residence, if you rent or own), some information about your car (the VIN number is best, and if that’s not available your make, model, and year will be necessary), and your driving record.

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Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Louisiana

Once I discovered which insurers do business in Louisiana (which took some trial and error), I chose the companies with exemplary financial and service ratings and got my quotes.

Insurer My quote
Allstate $618
GEICO $650
Progressive $706
State Farm $732

The last thing anyone wants is to get in an accident and find out their provider has lackluster customer service and a shaky financial foundation. Knowing this, I chose the insurance companies I would get quotes from based on their customer satisfaction ratings and their financial solvency. I used J.D. Power’s research to filter insurers in the southeast region by their customer satisfaction ratings (J.D. Power is a worldwide leader in customer satisfaction surveys). I then cross-checked them with A.M. Best’s financial solvency ratings to make sure I would be able to depend on them to fulfill their financial responsibilities to me.

Allstate was my cheapest option at $618, with GEICO coming in a close second at $650. Progressive and State Farm both came in over $700 at $706 and $732 respectively. Overall, I would personally recommend Allstate because of the smooth experience I had while applying for the quote; not to mention it was also the cheapest for me. As I pointed out before, customer service should always be one of the defining factor when choosing the best car insurance policy for you and your family. And since there weren’t hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on the line, choosing Allstate over the rest was an even easier decision.

It’s worth noting that Progressive’s quote appeared to be cheaper initially as it didn’t state what range of time the price covered — they gave me a $366 quote, which at first seemed more than awesome. But, it was actually only for 6 months of coverage, not the whole year. It came across as a sneaky attempt to make the rate seem more reasonable than it actually was. Be sure to keep that in mind when you’re comparing quotes.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

If you are a loyal customer like I am, you hope that your loyalty is rewarded. Unfortunately, this may not actually be the case. Many insurance companies aren’t just determining your premium by your common factors contributing to your overall risk alone; now many are using what is known as “price optimization” to slowly increase your rates. Insurers use some fancy algorithms to analyze a ton of your personal data including online shopping habits, the length of time you have been with your insurance company, and even your social media footprint. Those algorithms determine whether you would be more likely to simply pay increase in your premium, or if you would take your business elsewhere. This all boils down to an attempt to maximize their profits at your expense without losing your business.

The best thing you can do to protect yourself from price optimization is to shop for a new policy every few years, or whenever you start to notice gradual increases. This will let insurers know that you are serious about not overpaying for your insurance, and they will do whatever they can to keep you as a customer.

Many states have taken steps to specifically address and ban price optimization, unfortunately Louisiana is not one of them, despite attempts from consumer organizations to bring attention to this issue. In fact, the Consumer Federation of America sent a letter to Louisiana’s Insurance Commissioner urging him to address what they say is “unfairly, discriminatory rates.” They specifically cite filings made by Allstate in several states including Louisiana which would indicate that they are practicing price optimization. However, this is not a practice only utilized by one or two companies. Earnix estimates that over 45 percent of large companies use price optimization in determining their customer’s rates — that’s why it’s so important that you protect yourself by shopping around for insurance quotes every several years.

Louisiana’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Louisiana Law requires that a resident driver purchase liability insurance that covers the medical expenses of one person up to $15,000 with a limit of $30,000 for everyone involved. Also, you are required to purchase insurance that covers other’s vehicles or property in the amount of $25,000. (Many insurers refer to these limits as $15,000/$30,000/$25,000 or 15/30/25.)

The Best Car Insurance is Not Just Cheap Car Insurance

Many drivers want the absolute cheapest coverage that they can legally purchase. This is especially true here in Louisiana because of how expensive insurance premiums tend to be. However, this might not actually be in your best interest. Here’s a couple reasons why:

  • On average, drivers have accidents every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of permanently injuring someone in an accident is at least $79,400, but that’s only for one person. If more than one person is involved the cost could dramatically increase.

If I were to purchase Louisiana’s minimum amount of insurance ($15,000/$30,000/$25,000) from Allstate, I would be paying $618 a year. If I were to bump that coverage up to something a little more robust ($100,000/$300,000/$50,000) I would be paying around $880 a year — that’s only a little over $250 more a year.

While that may seem like a big jump to you, consider some simple math. If you were to pay $250 more a year for the average 18 years between serious accidents, you would be paying roughly $4,500 more over that period of time. But consider if you were to get in an accident with only the minimum coverage. If there were multiple serious injuries involved the cost could easily be in the $150,000 range. With your insurance provide only covering $30,000 of that, you could be sued for over $100,000. Had you invested the $4,500 over the last 18 years, your costs would be completely covered. As you can see, it’s often very wise to invest a little more money in purchasing liability insurance that covers more than the state required minimum.

Additionally, collision and comprehensive can be a good investment if you own an expensive car. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is also worth considering. In a state with very expensive insurance, many may choose to drive without the proper insurance. You wouldn’t want to find this out the hard way by having to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault.

What happens if I’m caught without insurance?

The State of Louisiana lists several steep penalties for those caught without the proper insurance. To start with, offenders will be fined between $75 and $100 for the first conviction, $100 to $250 for the second, and up to $700 for subsequent offenses. Motorists who are stopped and fail to produce proof of adequate insurance may also have their license plate seized by the police officer. The officer will put a yellow sticker on the rear window of the vehicle that was stopped.

After three days, if the driver hasn’t provided proof of insurance to the DMV, their vehicle may be impounded by any police officers who happen to stop them. According to the law known as “No Pay, No Play,” the any uninsured drivers are prohibited from collecting the first $25,000 in property damages and $15,000 in personal injury expenses — regardless of who is at fault.

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Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

As a driver in Louisiana, you are going to want to take advantage of every discount you possibly can. While there are many factors that you can’t control, there are several things you can do to cut yourself a break. Defensive driving courses are a great place to start. You can also usually take advantage of programs from your insurance companies that install a device to monitor your driving habits, and rewarding your with discounts if you turn out to be a responsible driver. Check out the list below for even more ideas.

Nine Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates


Why are Louisiana’s rates so high?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Louisiana $202
New Orleans $223
Kenner $178
Baton Rouge $174
Lafayette $158
Lake Charles $155
Monroe $154
Shreveport $151
Bossier City $140
Source Quadrant

Louisiana ranks 10th in the nation in 2015 for car insurance rates according to data from Quadrant. One of the major reasons for this, as outlined by Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, is what he calls “ambulance chasers.” He believes rates are higher because Louisiana residents are more likely to sue after an accident. Donelon says that lawyers take urge drivers to sue after even the most minor of collisions which may turn into financial windfalls for them. This raises the overall operating costs of insurance companies in Louisiana. Ultimately, however, the consumer pays for it in their increasingly high premiums. The Insurance Commissioner urges tort reform to combat the overly litigious culture in Louisiana.

Other factors may include poor roads, and in my experience, a lack of competition among insurers. Less competition always means higher prices for the consumer. Many insurers refuse to do business in Louisiana, likely scared off by the high risk of getting sued. The concentration of the state’s residents in densely packed population centers is also another likely candidate to explain the state’s high premiums. New Orleans alone houses a quarter of the state’s population.

What if I’m not a full-time resident?

Any person who is employed in Louisiana and is driving a vehicle in that state must acquire insurance and register their car in the state within 30 days. The exception to that rule is non-resident military personnel and their spouses as long as their vehicles are registered and licensed in another state. Additionally, they must have filed a form of financial responsibility with the state.

The Bottom Line

Because of the high cost of insurance in the State of Louisiana, it’s definitely worth it to do everything you can to lower the cost of your premium. However, in your attempts to save as much as possible, don’t skimp on coverage as it may cost you in the long run. Shopping for a new policy every couple of years is a great place to start, as well as looking into any available discounts from your insurance company.

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