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Officials detail plans to address Louisiana's high insurance rates

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BATON ROUGE - It's no secret our home state has some of the highest car insurance rates in the country, the second-highest in fact, with drivers spending about $2,600 per year. 

Monday at the Press Club, Commissioner Jim Donelon addressed how he plans on lowering those rates. 

"I am really optimistic that within two years, we would see significant rate relief in the auto insurance market," Donelon said. 

Donelon says he supports a group of five bills on the docket this legislative session that he is optimistic will pass and bring relief to Louisiana drivers. 

The bills will address the threshold for being entitled to a jury in a car accident lawsuit. Right now, Louisiana has the highest requirement of $50,000. Anything less is usually settled out of court. 

"It results in the insurers doing business in our state, handing out $15,000 checks like cotton candy to get rid of lawsuits rather than pay the cost of defense and end up before an elected judge with a lawyer from his back yard handling the case on behalf of a constituent who votes for him," he said. 

Many Republican lawmakers believe a major source of that inflation is the amount of car wreck litigation and settling with lawyers.

Tort reform, in essence, could help lower car insurance rates by changing laws to reduce the number of lawsuits.

The 2020 legislative session begins March 9.

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