SB 382 and HB 700 by Sen. Hewitt and Rep. McFarland, respectively, would make common-sense legal changes to help lower Louisiana’s high insurance costs are set to be heard by the Senate Judiciary A Committee - take action to ask your Senators to vote in support of this reform!
These bills authorize a judge to decide if evidence of seat belt usage should be introduced in civil trials related to injuries from motor vehicle accidents, repealing the “gag rule” that currently bans this evidence from courtrooms.
Removing the seat belt gag rule will allow judges and juries to consider apportioning the risk and cost of not wearing a seat belt to those individuals that take that risk, not the insurance-paying public at large.
Louisiana’s car insurance rates are 2nd highest in the nation at an average annual premium cost of $2,225, compared to the national average of $1,427. The reasons are many, but a major factor are state laws that encourage litigation and “have a dramatic and negative impact on Louisiana’s auto insurance market, and result in decreased competition due to insurer’s unwillingness to compete for business in our state,” according to the Louisiana Property and Casualty Insurance Commission.
We need you to add your voice in support of this smart policy - let the members of the Judiciary A Committee know that it is time for comprehensive reform that will lower car insurance rates.