La. Residents May Soon Have More Reason to Get Proof of Coverage

The consequences for Louisianians who are caught driving without auto insurance may increase if a bill that would remove a prohibition on impounding uninsured cars gets the approval from the full state senate and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Approval of the proposal has already been given by the house in an 80-6 vote at the end of May.

Under current law, police officers are supposed to impound the vehicles driven by motorists who are found to be driving without proof of car insurance. But, according to the Times-Picayune, a separate state statute actually prohibits them from doing so.

uninsured car getting towedThe separate statute says that cars should not be impounded if the driver does not present an “imminent danger to the public.”

The bill, authored by Rep. Major Thibaut, would repeal that statute and allow for the impoundment of uninsured vehicles.

According to the most recent report from the Insurance Research Council, an estimated 13 percent of motorists in Louisiana did not have a basic policy for their cars in 2009.

Residents of the state already have a number of reasons to stay covered, in addition to the fact that they may be obligated to pay out of pocket for damages that they cause in an auto accident. Drivers without coverage are subject to fines and have limited recovery rights under the state’s “no pay, no play” law.

Under that law, drivers who get into a serious accident while uninsured are prohibited from collecting compensation the first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 of bodily injury damages, according to the Louisiana Department of Insurance. That law applies regardless of fault.

The proposal still needs approval from the senate and the governor to become law.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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