Louisiana is well known for being one of the most expensive states to own a car, due in large part to inflated insurance rates created by the promise of potentially large settlements from even minor fender benders.
A new bill is being proposed that may help to limit these often frivolous lawsuits resulting from car accidents, thus leading to lower auto insurance rates. According to TheAdvocate, House Bill 372 is being proposed as a measure to decrease costs for insurance companies in Louisiana.
Among the bill’s requirements would be that the insurance companies carry out a review of costs, decreasing premiums as costs decrease, in addition to giving plaintiffs a longer period of time to file lawsuits, which in turn would allow negotiations to be carried out longer and potentially lead to more settlements than lawsuits.
The Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute's (LFEI) executive director commented on the dire need for such reform.
“Louisiana's broken legal system is literally increasing the cost of living here – the impact of our jackpot justice climate is estimated at $4,000 per household,” Marie Centanni told Louisiana Record. “That hits families and businesses large and small, and for one of the poorest states in the nation, we just can't afford to wait.”
Centanni added that the long-overdue bill brings hope to a broken system.
“This legal reform bill is a monumental opportunity to fix what's broken,” she said. ”The most profoundly felt cost comes with the high price of auto insurance. Louisiana ranks second in the nation, far ahead of our neighboring states.”
The reason and the solution, Centanni said, are both easy to understand.
“What's driving up our rates? Why are we so different? It's simple," she said. "Our laws are different. We can change that, and we can do it now.”