Car insurance rates will increase in 2010

Jun 28th, 2008 | By Hot News Reporter | Category: Insurance Today

Legislation requiring increased motor vehicle insurance coverage is a reality with last week’s passage of House Bill 1312.

The legislative action will mean increased costs for motorists whose coverage is less than the new minimum level of auto insurance.

State Sen. Troy Hebert, D-Jeanerette, voted for the bill but said this is a horrible time for the House and Senate to increase insurance limits in the midst of all the other rising costs residents are incurring.

“I did not think this was a good time, but I knew the bill was going to pass,” Hebert said. “It had a lot of support, and insurance companies have strong lobbyists. The last thing we want to do is raise rates to a point where people can’t afford to have any insurance at all. That would create a much bigger problem then we have now.”

Hebert said he did what he could to make the transition easier on his constituents

“The original bill had the increases going into effect at the end of this year,” he said. “It was my amendment that postponed it until 2010 and made them compromise on the coverage.”

The original bill called for an increase from current minimums of 10/20/10 to 25/50/25. Lawmakers negotiated a compromise for the minimums to be set at 15/30/25. The new minimums mean that an insurance company will pay up to $15,000 for injury or death to any person involved in an accident, $30,000 for all persons injured or killed in an accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.

The new minimums will cost the average motorist approximately $100 more per six-month period, said personal lines manager Michelle Collet, with Dorsey Insurance Agency in New Iberia.

“The 10/20/10 coverage is just not covering anyone’s bills anymore,” she said. “If you have an accident, you have to sue someone individually to be able to cover your damages.”

Affiliated with the local insurance industry for more than 25 years, Sid Mixon said at least 50 percent of the vehicles on the highway are worth more than what the current minimums would cover. “Everybody is conscious of this, especially with gas and food prices and this will be another burden,” Mixon said. “But I really believe it is long overdo.”

Hebert said he believes it was important to strike a balance between increasing the limits and increasing the costs.

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