Friday, June 20, 2008

La. lawmakers OK higher car insurance minimums

Many Louisiana drivers may be required to carry more auto insurance under a measure that cleared its last legislative hurdle Thursday.

Louisiana law requires car and truck owners to have at least "10-20-10" motor vehicle liability coverage: $10,000 coverage for damage of other people's property, $20,000 for injury or death to more than one person in an accident and $10,000 for injury or death to one person.

The House of Representatives voted 84-6 Thursday to send a bill to the governor that would raise the minimum mandatory rates, a smaller proposed increase than one vetoed in 2006 by Gov. Kathleen Blanco. Gov. Bobby Jindal's spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers, said the governor has not decided whether to sign the measure by Rep. Erich Ponti, R-Baton Rouge, into law.

Ponti's House Bill 1312 would change the levels to "15-30-25" on Jan. 1, 2010. Motorists who wish to keep the minimum would begin paying higher rates when they renew.

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