New task force aims to lower auto insurance rates

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(WVUE) -

The Department of Insurance has formed a new task force to lower auto insurance premiums.

“I’m retired and I’m on a fixed income and it takes a lot of my income just to pay insurance,” Roxalyn Ford said.

Many drivers say car insurance is too high, and it’s been like that for as long as they can remember.

“Car insurance is extremely high here in Louisiana. For the ratio to what we receive in pay, it’s too high. Compared to New York, California,” Shirley Campbell said. 

That’s why local representatives formed a task force to tackle high insurance rates

“Many individuals contact our office trying to figure out an actual way to do that. If we can reduce the cost of auto insurance, I think we can increase the number of individuals who would actually have it. Most people don’t choose to drive without auto insurance. Usually it’s a decision motivated by finances,” Dist. 4 Senator Wesley Bishop said.

“What we would like to determine is what are the factors that have put us at the highest rankings, and what can we do to change that and to create an environment where we can lower auto insurance,” River Ridge Representative Kirk Talbot said.

Talbot said they’ll be looking at a number of factors.

“First, we’re going to look at the conditions of the roads. Then we will look at distracted driving, texting, talking on the phone, does that play a role? Third would be impaired driving, which would be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or opioids, and then fourth we need to look at our tort environment in Louisiana,” Talbot said.

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While some past driving reforms have failed, Talbot is still optimistic this task force will bring change.

“We’ve seen bills like the ones I mentioned earlier, the seat belt bill, distracted driving, we’ve seen things in the tort system all fail, but I think if we can educate legislators better on what these things would do if we passed them and how it would make a positive change and dispel the myth. Maybe it’s not the tort system, maybe it’s something else. But if it’s not, let’s move on to something else and find out what that is,” Talbot said.

Bishop and Talbot hope they can come up with a plan by the time they go back into session in April.

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