Louisiana governor vetoes boost for minimum liability coverage

| 7/25/2007

Citing concerns that it could lead to more uninsured drivers on Louisiana roads, Gov. Kathleen Blanco has vetoed legislation that would have required drivers to carry more liability insurance.

In a letter explaining her veto, Blanco said more than 1.5 million of the state’s 3.7 million registered vehicles in the state carry only the minimum coverage. She said the bill – SB223 – would impose a 20-percent insurance increase on them, possibly leading some to drop their insurance coverage altogether.

Blanco said the bill “does nothing positive to address the chronic problem of the very large number of owners who do not consistently carry even the minimum liability coverage already required by law.” She said the bill likely would “make this problem even worse.”

State law now requires automobile policyholders to have at least $10,000 for the property damage of others. They also are required to carry $20,000 coverage for injury or death to more than one person in any one wreck and $10,000 coverage for injury or death to one person.

Sponsored by Sen. Mike Michot, R-Lafayette, the bill would have increased the minimum requirements to $25,000 for the property damage of others, $50,000 for everyone killed or injured and up to $25,000 for each person injured. Motorists would have been given six months to purchase more insurance to avoid penalties.

Supporters said the current insurance requirements no longer are adequate to cover damages. They were set more than 20 years ago.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Louisiana in 2007, click here.