Representative Graves proposes bill to make staged collisions a federal crime and reduce auto insurance rates

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (WAFB) – US Congressman Garret Graves is proposing a bill that would reduce insurance rates for Louisiana drivers by making it a federal crime to organize a vehicle collision and fraudulently claim financial damages.

A federal investigation has uncovered a huge staging network of car accidents in New Orleans. From November 2021, 40 people have been charged, 29 have resulted in convictions to date, for intentionally causing more than 100 wrecks. A staged accident alone resulted in a settlement of $ 4.7 million.

“Louisiana drivers pay some of the highest insurance rates in America. This is unacceptable and the solutions do not require rocket science. Our bill will prevent criminal networks from further increasing the cost of driving and doing business in Louisiana, ”said Graves.

Drivers like Daniel Freedman have said his auto insurance bill has been a thorn in the side for years.

“It’s about $ 100 a month. What goes through my mind is it’s just a lot of money, ”Freedman said.

“We have a lot of people for whom this is a landmark deal,” Graves said.

Graves also said the high rates could literally drive business away. He said many truck drivers are considering leaving Louisiana and relocating their businesses to other states just to cut costs.

“I had a guy who had his trucks in Texas who said the insurance company would give him a 60% rate reduction if he signed a ‘Louisiana exemption’ which meant he wouldn’t couldn’t drive the trucks in Louisiana, ”Graves said. “It’s more than the cost of insurance. It really has bigger impacts on us, and we want to make sure we fix that because the criminals shouldn’t be dictating these types of costs to us and undermining Louisiana’s competitiveness. ”

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