Kentucky Car Insurance
If you want to learn about Kentucky auto insurance, we’ve got all the information you’ll need right here. Keep reading for information on required coverage, penalties for driving uninsured, important coverage decisions, details about personal injury protection, and more.
Mandatory insurance law
Kentucky is a “no-fault” state that requires all drivers to have insurance. You’ll have to show proof of insurance when you:
- Get into an accident
- Are stopped by police
- Register your vehicle
Minimum Kentucky coverage requirements
Kentucky law has certain standards for car insurance policies. Those standards require every policy to provide liability and personal injury protection coverage. The following table breaks down the requirements.
|Required coverage types||Minimum amount of coverage|
|Bodily injury liability||$25,000 for each person’s injuries in an accident|
|$50,000 total for all injuries in an accident|
|Property damage liability||$10,000 total per accident|
|Personal injury protection (PIP)||$10,000 per accident|
When someone driving your car causes an accident, it pays for victims’ medical and repair bills. However, it only pays up to a certain amount. Minimum policies include $50,000 worth of coverage for medical bills and $10,000 for property damages. If you get the minimum amount of liability insurance, you may see it referred to as 25/50/10 coverage. You can buy more than the minimums to be better protected.
Remember, liability doesn’t cover the driver’s medical bills or car repairs. It only covers those expenses for victims after an accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
When someone insured by your policy is injured in an accident, PIP coverage helps pay their medical bills. It does so no matter who caused the accident. Minimum policies have only $10,000 worth of coverage, but you have the option of buying more.
Your PIP coverage also covers non-household members who are in your car at the time of the accident if they lack PIP coverage on their own personal car policy.
PIP includes the following:
- Medical benefits: Pays for medical services including x-rays, ambulance, and funeral-related expenses.
- Lost wages: Pays for missed time at your job if you need time to recover from injuries. There is a limit of $200 per week.
When you buy PIP coverage in Kentucky, you give up some of your rights to file a lawsuit after a traffic accident. According to officials, you won’t be able to sue for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses unless any of the following conditions apply:
- Medical expenses from the accident are over $1,000
- The accident results in a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death
You can decline personal injury protection in writing if you don’t want it on your policy.
Penalties for driving uninsured
If you break the law and don’t buy coverage, it could cost you. You could get stuck having to pay other people’s medical and repair bills if someone crashes your car. On top of that, you could have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines and fees. You could also have your license and registration suspended.
|Number of Offenses||Fine||License & Registration Suspension|
|1st||$500 - $1,000||6-month license suspension & Suspension of registration & license plates for 1 year (or until proof of coverage is presented)|
|2nd & subsequent (within 5 years)||$1,000 - $2,5000||1-year license suspension & Suspension of registration & license plates for 1 year (or until proof of coverage is presented)|
Kentucky insurance verification
Kentucky verifies auto insurance policies to make sure all drivers are covered. If you’re flagged as being uninsured in the system, you will receive a warning letter. You then have 30 days to provide proof of coverage. After that, officials may cancel your vehicle registration.
Electronic proof of insurance
In Kentucky, a copy of your insurance ID card displayed on a smartphone or tablet works as valid proof of insurance. Many major insurers will provide you with an electronic proof of insurance card, which the industry calls an “e-card.”
The electronic proof law went into effect in 2013.
For the electronic document to be valid proof of insurance, it should clearly state all of the following:
- Name of the insurer
- Insurance policy number
- Policy period
- Name and address of each insured driver
- Policy limits
- Make and model of each covered vehicle
In addition to liability and personal injury protection, there are optional coverages you can add. They’ll raise the cost of your insurance, but they’ll also provide greater protection. The following are the most widely available coverage add-ons in the state.
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Some examples of this type of damage are vandalism, hail damage, and theft. In 2011, almost 7 out of every 10 drivers bought this coverage in Kentucky, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
In Kentucky, insurers must waive the comprehensive deductible if the claim is for glass repair or replacement, according to the state’s Consumer Guide to Auto Insurance.
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured vehicle after an accident. In 2011, 3 out of every 5 drivers in Kentucky bought this coverage, according to data from the NAIC.
Uninsured/underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) bodily injury
It pays your medical bills and the medical bills of your family and passengers after an accident. It does so when the driver who caused the accident either:
- Doesn’t have insurance or fled the scene of the accident
- Has insurance, but not enough to cover all your medical bills
Stacking: Kentucky law allows drivers to increase their UM/UIM coverage through stacking. Stacking provides extra protection, but it may also increase your premium.
You may be able to stack coverage if you have multiple cars on your policy or are insured through multiple policies. Stacking basically lets you combine the coverage from all those cars or policies when you file a large claim.
Stacking options differ from insurer to insurer. So check with your agent or company to find out your options.
Protection from drivers without insurance
Statewide, about 18% of drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Research Council.
If someone crashes into you, you have almost a 1-in-5 chance that he or she doesn’t have insurance. That means they won’t be able to pay for your damages after an accident.
If someone who injures you in an accident doesn’t have insurance, you may need to rely on your own policy. But not all people have the coverage they need. Personal injury protection will pay for your medical bills in this situation, but only up to the policy limits.
Uninsured motorist (UM) bodily injury will help pay for your medical bills in this situation, and collision will pay for your car repairs.
How claims work in Kentucky
Kentucky uses a “no-fault” system for car insurance claims. That means your own PIP insurance will pay for your medical bills after a crash, regardless of who caused it. But if someone wrecks your car, their liability insurance should pay for the repairs.
In some cases, the other driver won’t be 100% responsible for the crash. Your actions could have contributed to the accident, and you could be partially responsible. This makes things a little more complicated.
If you’re partially responsible, it changes how much you can get from the other driver’s insurer. Kentucky uses “pure comparative fault” to determine payment. That means the amount you get for your bills will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you’re 20% responsible for a crash, the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay 100% of your bills. Instead, it pays only 80%, since you were 20% responsible. So in this example, if you have $10,000 in bills from a crash, the other driver’s insurer has to pay only $8,000.
So what if the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay your bills? You rely on coverage in your own policy.
Kentucky auto insurance rates
Kentucky car insurance premiums are lower than average. The average cost of a policy in the state was 4.3% lower than the 2011 national average, according to data from the NAIC.
If you drive safely, infrequently, or both, you may want to look into a usage-based discount program. These programs use a device you install in your car to track how far it’s driven and/or if it’s driven safely. Depending on how you drive, you could potentially get a discount of up to 30%.
The following major insurers offer usage-based discounts in The Bluegrass State:
- Progressive: Snapshot
- Allstate: Drivewise
Kentucky car insurance companies
Kentucky Automobile Insurance Plan
If you’ve had a hard time finding a car insurer who will cover you (usually because of marks on your driving record), you can still turn to the Kentucky Automobile Insurance Plan. The Plan is the car insurer of last resort for the state’s high-risk drivers.
Know before you buy
The Kentucky Department of Insurance offers drivers a lot of ways to research as they shop.
The department posts its “market conduct exams” online. Those exams detail companies that regulators look at for violations.
If you’re buying from a small insurance company or agent you’ve never heard of before, you may want to make sure it’s licensed to do business in your state. If you buy a policy from an unlicensed agent or company, your coverage may be worthless.
Have you already filed a claim, only to find there’s a delay with your payout? Or is there another complaint you want regulatory officials to know about? You can submit a complaint online and regulators will follow up with you problem.
Did You Know?
PIP is included in all policies by default in Kentucky, but you can reject it if you want. If you do, though, you may have less coverage for medical benefits and lost wages.