Louisiana legislators recently met with unforeseen pushback in their efforts to bring relief to residents who for a long time have been burdened with some of the highest auto-insurance rates in the U.S.
Sponsored by Rep. Kirk Talbot (R-River Ridge), House Bill 372 aimed to reduce auto-insurance rates through a number of changes that included prohibiting lawsuits against insurance companies. But the bill failed in Senate committee 4-1 after passing the House with a strong majority of 69-30 the week before, according to Kalb.com.
Marie Centanni, executive director of the Louisiana Free Enterprise Institute (LFEI), commented on the bill’s failure to pass and the long-term impact this decision will have on the state and its residents.
“This is only the start of what's growing into a massive grassroots movement demanding legal reform,” Centanni said. “Families and small business across the state are bearing the cost of our legal climate to the tune of $4,000 per household.”
LFEI Executive Director Marie Centanni
Opponents of HB 372 argue that it would limit crash victims' accessibility to the courts, while supporters of the bill say it would have allowed for more jury trials and, therefore, fostered a greater sense of justice in cases of vehicle accidents.
“The session may end with no relief, and legislators may go home, but their constituents will still be paying the second highest car-insurance rates in the country,” Centanni said.
According to Kalb.com, Louisiana is currently one of the most expensive states for auto-insurance policy holders in the nation, with rates averaging $192 per month.