Lawmakers aim to lower Louisiana’s car insurance rates during legislative session

Updated: Jan. 28, 2020 at 5:32 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers will again try to lower your car insurance rates during the 2020 legislative session.

At least six of the nearly 60 bills that have so far been drafted aim to reduce rates by either adding incentive to reach court settlements after an accident or restricting how insurance companies calculate their rates.

Louisianans pay roughly $2300 each year to cover their cars, second only to Michigan.

One bill mirrors a plan last year that would have essentially made it more difficult to sue by putting more car accident cases in front of juries. The Omnibus Premium Reduction Act would have also extended the amount of time a victim has to sue after a wreck, potentially allowing for further negotiations that could lead to settlements.

The idea, republican lawmakers who backed the ‘tort reform’ bill said, was to limit lawsuits, which could save insurance companies money that might eventually trickle down to consumers. But the insurance companies could not guarantee the bill would lower rates, and the measure died in a Senate committee dominated by Gov. John Bel Edwards’ allies.

Louisiana enters the 2020 year with the most conservative legislature its ever had, meaning momentum for that measure may be stronger.

Another set of proposals comes from one of the omnibus bill’s biggest critics, Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria. Luneau has filed several measures that would prevent insurance companies from calculating insurance rates based on credit score, gender over the age of 25, whether a person has been widowed, or whether a person has been deployed in the military for at least six months.

The legislative session begins in March and more insurance bills could follow.

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