Lower auto insurance rates could be in the future for Louisianans.
Currently, The Advocate reported, Louisiana has the second-highest auto insurance rates in the country, with average premiums of $1,921 in 2017. (The national average, meanwhile, is $1,318.) As a result of these high costs, 14 percent of Louisiana drivers don’t carry auto insurance, and roughly 40 percent carry only the minimum amount of coverage.
Although State Farm and Louisiana Farm Bureau have recently asked for rate decreases and a lower rate increase than in 2017, respectively, a new legislative task force also seeks to find long-term answers. On Aug. 21, Insurance Journal reported, the Louisiana High Auto Rates Task Force held its first meeting. Following the Legislature’s passing of House Concurrent Resolution 47 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 55 during the 2018 regular session, Insurance Commissioner James Donelon formed the task force to address the issue. The task force will look into the state’s high auto insurance rates and develop a slate of recommendations for the Legislature to implement in order to lower them.
“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,” Donelon said in a press release from the Louisiana Department of Insurance. “I’m hopeful that recommendations made by this task force will be successful where previous efforts have failed.”
The task force includes industry, legislative, and community leaders, including:
- Rep. Kirk Talbott, chairman
- Sen. John Smith, vice chairman
- Sen. Wesley Bishop
- Rich Piazza, Louisiana Department of Insurance
- Representatives from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, American Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana, Louisiana Association for Justice, and Louisiana Motor Transport Association
Task force members have said they are going to be examining a number of factors to determine why Louisiana has such high rates as well as how they can create an environment where rates will be lower. Factors include road conditions, distracted driving, impaired driving, and the state’s tort environment.
The goal is to have recommendations ready by the time the state Legislature goes back into session in April 2019.