Louisiana drivers are paying the second highest auto-insurance rates

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Studies show that Louisiana is the second most expensive state for auto insurance in the nation.

The states with the highest auto insurance rates are Michigan, Louisiana, and Kentucky.

Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon named some of the major causes for the rate increase.

"That goes back to problems that we've had with claims to litigation ratio," Donelon said.

When it comes to auto accidents, Louisiana is an at-fault state.

What that means is, in most accidents, injured motorists have a choice whether to file a claim with an insurance company or file a lawsuit in court to seek damages.

While there are a number of underlying issues, some local insurance agents said that the high rates are caused by the solicitation of personal injury lawyers.

“The advertisement is a problem, it does send a message to people that this can be a windfall opportunity," Donelon explained.

However, Attorney Brian Caubarreaux, a personal injury lawyer, said he disagrees with the notion that his industry is behind the high cost.

“What advertisement does do, it separates which lawyers do what," Caubarreaux explained. “Lawyers are not pushing litigation, the insurance companies are built for profits, they have to make money, the higher they can make the rate, the higher the profit can be.”

Although there were a number of different opinions on this matter, Jim Donelon believes change is coming.

Over the last nine months, Commissioner Donelon granted to State Farm approval for three rate decreases for coverage on private passenger vehicles. The total impact of the rate changes taken together is -7.7 percent.

More than one million policyholders in Louisiana will see a decrease of -3.2 percent which will take effect in April 2019.