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New Louisiana auto insurance laws go into effect January 1

Posted On Thu, December 31, 2009

Motorists in Louisiana may be surprised by their auto insurance policies as of January 1, 2010, as new legislation is slated to go into effect that many may not be aware of.

The new laws, which were initially approved back in 2008, will increase the liability minimums that state residents must take out in auto insurance coverage for property damage and bodily harm.

The new laws will require coverage minimums of $15,000 for bodily injuries, $30,000 in bodily injury-per-accident, and a $25,000 property damage, Acadiana ABC television affiliate KATC-TV reported. The former laws had set the minimums at $10,000, $20,000, and $10,000 respectively.

While some motorists may be angered by the change, state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon told the New York Times that he felt the changes were for the best.

"Certainly there are thousands of drivers out there who can ill-afford this additional cost. That's always the case," Donelon said. "I think that's outweighed by the tens of thousands who are left uncompensated by the damage that minimally insured drivers do," Donelon said.

Local insurance agent Katie Huval predicted that the increases would lead to an increase in payments ranging from $15 to $20 per month for most residents with auto insurance plans, KATC reported.

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