Financial responsibility is an important part of being a vehicle owner because drivers need to be able to pay for other people’s damages that they are responsible for. In Louisiana, motorists are required to meet minimum insurance requirements before they can legally operate a motor vehicle, but sometimes uninsured motorists choose to drive regardless. Starting on Aug. 1, however, uninsured drivers in Louisiana will face greater consequences if they are caught behind the wheel without insurance.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal recently signed HB 1053 into law allowing state authorities to impound the car of a motorist caught driving uninsured after the first offense. This bill was designed to repeal a previous law that prevented law enforcement officers from towing a vehicle unless it presented an imminent danger to the public.
In addition to the new penalty that take effect in August, drivers in the Pelican State who are convicted of operating a motor vehicle without car insurance face fines ranging from $75 to $100 for first-time offenders, $100 to $250 for a second conviction, and up to $700 for any subsequent conviction, according to state regulators. This is in addition to the cost of having a vehicle towed and impounded, which can easily cost motorists a considerable amount of money.
Louisiana’s ‘No Pay, Play’ Law
If an uninsured motorist is involved in an accident, they are also at the mercy of Louisiana’s “No Pay, No Play” policy. With these restrictions in place, drivers who do not invest in vehicle coverage will be unable to collect the first $25,000 in property damages and the first $15,000 in crash-related medical bills regardless of who is responsible for the accident. Because of these limitations, getting in an accident without proper protection could have significant financial repercussions, even if the motorist in question is not responsible for the collision.
An Estimated 1 in 7 Louisianans Are Uninsured
These reason why these restrictions and consequences are in place is to discourage motorists from driving uninsured. By creating harsher penalties, Gov. Jindal hopes to decrease the estimated 13 percent of motorists who drive without car insurance. The potential repercussions of operating a motor vehicle without first purchasing a policy outweigh the cost of maintaining a plan.
Residents of the Pelican State can easily search for a cost-effective policy by gathering multiple auto insurance quotes online and choosing an affordable plan. Making the effort to shop around and legally meeting Louisiana coverage requirements can help residents stay financially protected while behind the wheel and help drivers avoid the escalating consequences that come from driving while uninsured.