BATON ROUGE — The state Senate voted 29-8 Monday to pass a bill proponents say could lower car insurance rates by limiting damage lawsuits by people injured in wrecks.
The bill by Sen. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, would change aspects of Louisiana’s tort laws that Republican lawmakers and business lobbyists say make it too easy to file lawsuits after car crashes.
All Houma-Thibodaux senators voted in favor of Senate Bill 418. They are Bret Allain, R-Franklin; Mike Fesi; R-Houma; Ed Price, D-Gonzales; and Gary Smith, D-Norco.
The bill now heads to a House committee.
Louisiana drivers pay the second-highest car insurance costs in the nation, after Michigan.
The average American pays about $1,470 a year to insure a vehicle, but motorists who live in Louisiana pay $2,338, according a study last year by The Zebra, an auto-insurance-comparison website. Terrebonne Parish residents pay a yearly average of $2,268 for auto insurance, and Lafourche drivers pay $2,266.
Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon said the bill would reduce insurance rates by at least 10%, and rates could be reduced by as much as 25% in some cases.
Some Democrats said the bill should mandate a minimum reduction…
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