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The privilege of vehicle ownership comes with a few expenses that cannot be avoided, including fuel, upkeep, and insurance. While you can’t do much to save on fuel or upkeep expenses, you can take steps to save on your insurance premiums. Several factors determine how much your annual insurance premium cuts into your budget, including the automobile insurance company you select to carry your coverage. Here’s how to find cheap car insurance in New Orleans.
What Are the Types of Automobile Insurance Coverage?
There are four primary coverages to consider when it comes to automobile insurance. Some of these coverages are optional, while others are required by either the state or your lending institution or leasing company. Knowing what each type covers in the event of an accident can help you customize your policy to fit your needs best.
- Liability insurance: This type of insurance is required in most, if not all, states across the United States. It has two components: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. The bodily injury component will cover medical expenses incurred by others when you’re at fault in an accident. The property damage liability will cover any damage to private or public property that you caused in the accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage helps protect you if you’re involved in an accident with a driver who’s at fault but doesn’t have adequate insurance — or any insurance at all. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for your medical expenses if the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage applies when the driver has insurance coverage but their limits are maxed out before all of your bills are paid. For example, if you have $20,000 in medical expenses and the other driver only has $15,000 in bodily injury liability, your insurance would pick up the remaining $5,000.
- Comprehensive insurance coverage: This type of coverage is optional unless your leasing company or lending institution requires it to protect their investment. Comprehensive pays for repair or replacement of your vehicle should it be damaged due to theft, vandalism, or a natural disaster such as hail. With comprehensive insurance, you select a deductible, an out-of-pocket amount you agree to cover should you need to submit a claim. A higher deductible means a lower premium, but you would need to have that deductible amount to repair or replace your vehicle fully should you need to make a claim.
- Collision insurance: This is another optional coverage unless it’s deemed necessary to cover your vehicle against a lien or lease. Collision pays for repairing or replacing your vehicle when you hit another vehicle or object, such as a fence or tree. You’ll also have a deductible for collision insurance coverage that affects your premiums.
Additional insurance coverages include medical payments and personal injury protection. These coverages are required in several states, available in others, and not available in some.
What Is the Minimum Automobile Insurance Coverage in New Orleans?
Minimum insurance requirements are set forth by each individual state, and you must know the bare minimum when taking out automobile insurance to guarantee that you are legally covered. Your insurance agent can help you determine that you have adequate coverage as well. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles has set minimum limits at:
- Bodily injury liability of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident
- Property damage liability of $25,000 per accident
What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Adequate Insurance in New Orleans?
Louisiana requires all drivers to have proof of insurance on them at all times. If you get pulled over and are asked to provide proof of insurance, you can be assessed penalties for the failure to do so. Penalties for driving without adequate insurance coverage in New Orleans are as follows:
- First offense: Fines up to $500, suspension of registration and revocation of plates until proof of insurance is provided, and a reinstatement fee of $50 plus $10
- Second offense: Fines up to $500, suspension of registration and revocation of plates until proof of insurance is provided, and a reinstatement fee of $150 plus $10
- Third offense: Fines up to $500, suspension of registration and revocation of plates until proof of insurance is provided, and a reinstatement fee of $500 plus $10
If you are unable to demonstrate compliance with the requirements in Louisiana, your vehicle may also be impounded and subject to wreckage and storage fees.
Where Can You Find Cheap Car Insurance in New Orleans?
After determining the minimum coverage required, in addition to any other coverage you wish to have to protect you and your assets, it’s time to start researching insurance companies and asking for quotes. Several factors will impact your annual car insurance premium, including your age, driving history, credit score, accident history, type of vehicle, and location. One thing you don’t want to have impact your premium is selecting the wrong insurance company for your coverage.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the average car insurance in Louisiana is $2,086 per year. Cheap car insurance options in New Orleans include:
- Louisiana Farm Bureau: $1,314.43
- USAA: $1,413.88
- State Farm: $2,041.57
- GEICO: $2,444.17
- Progressive: $2,500.99
- Allstate: $2,802.34
As you can see, the difference between the lowest premium and the highest is over $1000, which makes a good case for shopping around for car insurance before signing off on your policy. These comparisons are for the same vehicle, same driver, and same coverage.
If you’re interested in adding full or high coverage, you may find that it only adds a few dollars per year to your premium but adds significant protection to your vehicle. Options for cheap high-coverage car insurance in New Orleans include:
- Louisiana Farm Bureau: $1,501.06
- USAA: $1,610.42
- State Farm: $2,419.57
- GEICO: $2,898.09
- Progressive: $3,074.63
- Allstate: $3,156.71
When you compare minimum to full coverage with Louisiana Farm Bureau, it only adds $200 per year, or less than $20 per month, to protect you and your car against any type of damage.
Whether it’s time to renew your policy or your first time purchasing car insurance, take time to compare quotes from several insurance companies to ensure that you’re getting the best deal available to you. You could save yourself hundreds of dollars with just a couple of phone calls.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.