The average person doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about their motor vehicle insurance policy until something happens. Maybe they proceed through a four-way stop, only to have someone else run a stop sign and crash into them. Maybe a distracted driver makes a left-hand turn in sideswipes their vehicle when they had the right of way.
Suddenly, knowing what insurance will cover becomes very important. If this is your first time experiencing a serious car crash or handling an insurance claim in Louisiana, you might not know what to expect. Learning a little bit more about how insurance works can help you as you move through the claims process.
Most policies protect from liability, not financial losses
Louisiana only requires insurance that protects drivers from liability or the risk of someone making a financial claim against them if they cause a crash. Drivers need to have $25,000 worth of property damage coverage, $15,000 of coverage for one injured person and $30,000 of coverage for two or more injured people to legally operate a vehicle on Louisiana roads.
It is possible for people to purchase additional coverage that will protect them from their own losses in a crash. Additional protections could include uninsured or underinsured driver coverage and extra medical coverage in case you or your passengers get hurt in your vehicle.
Insurance companies want to limit what they pay on big claims
The more serious the accident is, the more expensive the property damage and injuries it produces will be. Unfortunately, the profit motive for insurance companies all but ensures they will take any steps necessary to reduce how much they pay out on a claim.
Some companies engage in bad faith insurance practices where they deny reasonable claims or offer settlements so low that they barely put a dent in the cost someone incurred because of a crash. Additionally, insurance companies may request that someone filing a claim make a recorded statement and may try to get them to admit partial fault or make statements that they can twist in a way to limit their own liability.
Handling insurance negotiations on your own can put you at a disadvantage and leave you vulnerable to underhanded tactics. Having someone in your corner who understands the obligations of the insurance company and your rights as a victim in an accident can help you secure a better outcome during a major insurance claim.