Auto insurance requirements in Kentucky
Like most states, Kentucky requires all drivers to carry car insurance. Furthermore, drivers must carry proof of insurance at all times while driving and must show their insurance ID cards to any law enforcement official who requests them. Below, we’ll take a look at the minimum insurance requirements for drivers in Kentucky as well as some optional add-on coverages that could be beneficial.
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)|
What is personal injury protection (PIP) coverage?
Kentucky is what’s known as a no-fault state. This means that drivers must first go through their own insurance to cover injuries up to the limits of their own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage pays out regardless of who is at fault and covers you and everyone in your vehicle. Should costs for injuries go beyond the PIP limit, the at-fault party’s liability coverage kicks in.
Liability coverage in Kentucky
Liability coverage pays for damage that you cause to others in an automobile accident. This could include bodily injury or property damage sustained by either another driver or their passengers. Liability coverage is split into three distinct parts, including bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage, which are discussed in greater detail below.
What are state-mandated car insurance limits?
The term limits refers to the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay in the event of an accident in which you are at-fault. The state sets its own limits which are the lowest levels of coverage that you can purchase and still be considered a legal driver. Most insurers allow you to increase these limits for a relatively low rate increase.
Liability limits, as discussed above, are often written with three separate numbers: 25/50/25. These are known as split limits and break down as follows:
- Bodily injury per person refers to how much your car insurance will pay for a single person’s injuries that you cause in an accident.
- Bodily injury per accident is the total dollar amount available to cover all of those injured by you in a car accident.
- Property damage is the maximum amount your insurer will cover in the event that you damage another person’s property in an at-fault accident.
It should be noted that Kentucky, like a few other states, allows a single combined limit of $60,000 that can go toward covering any combination of the coverages above.
Do Kentucky’s required minimums provide enough coverage?
The amount of coverage required by Kentucky law is on par with most other states. However, just because you carry the minimum coverage legally required doesn’t mean that you are properly covered. Accidents can be costly, which is why you may want to consider increasing your limits or adding coverage to protect you or your own vehicle.
For example, if you cause a collision in which many people and vehicles are involved, you can expect Kentucky’s liability limits to run out quickly. A single person’s injuries can rapidly exceed the modest $25,000 limit, while the property damage limit doesn’t even cover the cost of most new cars. For these reasons, it’s worth looking into higher limits.
Kentucky’s penalties for driving without proof of insurance
Don’t expect to get out of facing penalties for driving without insurance in Kentucky. State law outlines the following consequences should you decide to forgo insurance coverage:
- Vehicle registration revoked
- Fine between $500 and $1,000
- Up to 90 days in jail
Optional car insurance coverage in Kentucky
While liability and PIP coverages are all that is required by Kentucky law, there are many other great options available to add further protection. Have a look at some of the most commonly available options offered by most insurers:
- Comprehensive: This coverage pays for covered damages sustained by your vehicle that are not in the form of a collision. Included perils include theft and weather damage.
- Collision: As its name suggests, this coverage pays for damages sustained by your vehicle as a result of a collision. Keep in mind that collisions with animals are not covered by collision coverage, but comprehensive.
- Loan/Lease Payoff: For those financing a vehicle, this coverage is important as it will cover the difference between what you still owe on the vehicle and what the vehicle’s actual cash value is.
- Medical Payments: This coverage works in a similar manner to PIP coverage in that it pays for injuries sustained by you or those in your vehicle.
- Rental Car Reimbursement: If your car is rendered undrivable due to a covered loss, this coverage goes toward paying for a rental until your vehicle can be fixed.
- Roadside Assistance: If you find yourself broken down, roadside assistance offers help toward services like tire changes, battery jumps, and towing. Each plan differs, so make sure to see what your insurer offers.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: If an uninsured driver causes an accident in which you are injured, this coverage kicks in to cover your medical expenses. Underinsured coverage applies to drivers who carry insurance but whose limits are not high enough to cover the costs of your injuries.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage: Similar to the coverage above, this form of insurance protects your property against drivers who are unable to pay for damages that they cause.
- Additional Personal Injury Protection: If the $10,000 limit required by the state doesn’t seem sufficient, you have the option to increase your PIP coverage.
- Guest Personal Injury Protection: If every person in your household rejects PIP limits on their right to sue and be sued, you must carry what’s known as Guest PIP coverage to cover your passengers.
Why adhering to Kentucky’s car insurance requirements is important
Having the appropriate levels of car insurance coverage is essential if you want to stay on the right side of the law. It’s also important for protecting you and your assets. Keep this in mind when searching for a new policy, as adding coverage or increasing limits could be a great investment. The Zebra is a great way to find car insurance quotes from a number of top providers, allowing you to find an affordable policy that addresses your needs.