It may seem a waste to spend money on a vehicle you don’t use, but even if you don’t drive the car you own, you will still need a certain amount of auto insurance.
This is because auto insurance isn’t a “pay-as-you-need-it” type of policy. As long as you pay premiums on auto insurance, you should be covered. But any lapse in those payments can mean a cancelled policy and lack of coverage. Driving a car without insurance is illegal in every U.S. state with varying legal repercussions, from fines to possible jail time in case an accident occurs while you’re driving uninsured. This means that even if you drive the car once a month, you must have car insurance as long as you intend to operate the vehicle at some point.
What Insurance is Required for a Car?
Thankfully, you don’t need full coverage on your vehicle to drive legally. While it is normally recommended, no state requires full coverage for vehicles, especially those that are not used frequently.
Car insurance requirements vary by state. In Louisiana, drivers must carry at least:
- $15,000 in bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 in bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 in property damage liability
- $1,000 in medical payments coverage
- $15,000/$30,000 in uninsured motorist liability per person/per accident
Medical payments and uninsured motorist liability can be rejected in writing when you sign up for an auto insurance policy.
What Does Liability Car Insurance Cover?
On its own, liability insurance will not cover damages to your car or any injuries you or your passengers may sustain after an accident. Instead, liability insurance is designed to provide compensation for bodily injury and property damage you may cause someone else while driving the insured vehicle. If you accidentally back into someone’s vehicle, for example, liability insurance can help pay for the damages. It also pays for medical bills of the victim and offers protection in case a victim sues.
Many states, such as Louisiana, are fault states when it comes to car insurance. This means that the driver who is determined to have caused the accident will be held responsible for paying most (if not all) of the damages involved. This is why you must carry liability insurance if there is any chance you will be driving, as liability helps pay for an accident when you can’t.
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