Insurance Commissioner explains high car insurance rates in LA

Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 7:31pm

     Ask any Louisianan about car insurance rates, and it's likely they'll all say the same thing. They're high.

But when it comes to why, people aren't quite sure. That is the case for Susan Taylor of Shreveport. "I've never really investigated why, I just know it is high. I have relatives that live in Texas and they don't pay that kind of insurance, so I'm not sure what it is, and that could be looked into."

Some, like Jarrett Lofton, are taking a guess."I think specifically for males the car insurance rate is quite high, and I know it's going to be like that considering that you know, we are more accident prone, but they are getting kind of high."

However, according to the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, James Donelon, Louisiana's high average rate doesn't really correlate to the number of accidents. Instead it's the number of auto claims that end in litigation.

And while the state average is the 2nd highest in the country, that's because the rates in the New Orleans metro area are so high. According to Donelon, "the cost of auto insurance in Orleans Parish is 40% higher than the statewide average. In St. Bernard, right next door, is 30% higher. Jefferson, 15, Plaquemine, 13. Caddo, East Baton Rouge, they're within 5% of the state wide average."

Even so, with a quarter of the state living in the New Orleans area, the average is extremely high.

According to Donelon, Louisiana’s uninsured and underinsured driver rates are on par with other states, so that doesn’t really factor into the state ranking of car insurance rates.  Even Louisiana roads don’t play much of a factor when it comes to insurance rates.

So how can people driving in northwest Louisiana get the best rates? According to Donelon, shop. "We have a very competitive auto insurance marketplace statewide, so that consumers really have a lot of options, and should shop around because there's significant savings by doing that."


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