Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Louisiana has the second-highest auto insurance rates in the nation, and the legislature is considering legislation supporters claim will reduce those rates. A measure to put a moratorium on highway billboards, where trial lawyers often advertise, was defeated overwhelmingly. A measure designed to expedite jury trials also failed. The major piece of legislation goes up for a vote today:
[The] measure would increase the time that victims of crashes have to file a lawsuit from one year to two; reduce the jury trial threshold from $50,000 to $5,000; take away the ability to sue the insurance company directly; plus allow judges and juries to review claimed medical costs. The bill also includes a provision that if costs go down, the Department of Insurance would push insurance companies to lower their rates.
Even the chief lobbyist for the auto insurance industry is dubious the bill would reduce premiums:
“It’s a misnomer to ever really believe that your rates are going to go down,” testified Kevin Cunningham. “There are so many pressures for it to go up: medical costs continue to go up, the cost of the vehicle continues to go up, the amount of wages that you have to compensate for continues to go up. So maybe what you do is slow the rate of rise.”
KPVI has the story.