Every now and then our hired hands in Baton Rouge do something that just amazes me. No, this isn't one of those "how dumb can the legislature and the Governor be" moments. It's more of a "wow, why didn't we have this law in place already" moments.

Yesterday Governor Edwards signed legislation that would end what is known in the insurance industry as the Patriot Penalty. It has to do with automobile insurance and rate increases for that kind of coverage. First, let's get a little background on car insurance.

If you allow your automobile insurance to lapse for six months or more your rates will go up when you reinstate coverage. Now, let's say your job is defending life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yeah, you're a soldier. Sometimes those deployments go longer than six months. It sure seems unfair for a soldier returning home to be forced to pay more for reinstating coverage after being deployed.

Well, thanks to this new law active military and those in military service who need vehicle insurance reinstated because of circumstances caused by their service will not be subject to higher rates. If you're just a regular citizen and allowed your coverage to lapse you will still be subject to the increase.

Now if we can just get the state to stop insurance companies from charging female drivers more because of their gender or widows and widowers more because of the death of spouse we might be on to something.

But I do have to admit, it feels good to say something nice about our elected officials in Baton Rouge. I wonder how such common-sense legislation managed to sneak through without them messing it up?


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