You may not be thinking about a car crash injury when you get an insurance quote or pay your bill, but the coverage that you select may have a significant impact on your ability to recover damages in a car accident and may protect you financially if you cause a crash that hurts someone else.
What Kind of Car Insurance Is Required in Kentucky?
Kentucky drivers have a choice when it comes to car insurance. However, the choice must be made when insurance is purchased and not when an accident occurs.
If you have a Kentucky driver’s license, you can choose whether to carry auto insurance that offers traditional tort coverage or no-fault coverage. If you choose no-fault coverage, then your insurance company may be responsible for paying your accident damages regardless of who was at fault for the accident. However, you may not be able to recover for pain and suffering unless your medical bills exceed $1,000 or you suffer permanent injury or disfigurement. Alternatively, you can purchase traditional liability insurance that would make the at-fault driver, or his insurance company, responsible for paying your damages.
How Much Car Insurance Is Required in Kentucky?
Kentucky, like almost every other state, requires car insurance for every vehicle that is registered with the state.
In Kentucky, the minimum insurance coverage limits are:
- $25,000 in individual bodily injury coverage.
- $50,000 total bodily injury coverage for all victims in the accident.
- $10,000 in property damage coverage.
Alternatively, you may choose to have a single-limit plan that covers liability up to $60,000.
The minimum coverage includes person injury protection (PIP) of at least $10,000 per person for medical expenses, lost income, and other out of pocket costs.
These are the minimum limits you are required to carry. However, it is usually a good idea for drivers to buy insurance above the minimum, to make sure that they have sufficient coverage for the high medical bills and other costs that could follow a serious crash.
Other Insurance Coverage to Consider
While bodily injury and property damage insurance coverage are required by law, there are other types of insurance coverage that you could decide to include in your insurance policy and that could help you if an accident were to occur. These types of optional but important coverage include:
- GAP insurance. This is important if you are still making payments on your car. If your car gets totaled in a crash then you may still owe more than the car’s current value. GAP insurance will protect you from that financial loss.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This will protect you if you are hurt by a driver who does not have car insurance or who does not have enough car insurance to cover all of your damages.
- Emergency roadside assistance. This covers the costs of towing your vehicle from the accident scene.
- Rental reimbursement coverage. This covers the cost of a rental vehicle while your vehicle is being fixed.
- Comprehensive coverage. This covers damage to your car that was not the result of a crash or collision. It could, for example, cover your costs if your car is damaged in a fire or natural disaster, or if it is vandalized or stolen.
Is a Higher Deductible Right for You?
Generally, a higher deductible means that your insurance premiums will be lower. However, before you agree to a higher deductible it is important to consider whether or not you will have the money to pay that deductible in case of an accident. If you will not be able to come up with the amount of the deductible should you need to file a claim, you should choose an insurance policy with a lower deductible. Also, if you drive a lot then you may be more likely to have an accident and file a claim, so you should have a policy with a lower deductible.
If you choose the high-deductible option, then it is important to make sure that you have the money to pay the deductible should you need to submit a claim, or to pay for damages if you do not file a claim.
If liability is unclear at the time of the accident then you might need to file a claim with your own insurance company even if you believe that the other driver was at fault. In this case, you will have to pay your deductible. If your insurance company subsequently pursues subrogation against the other driver’s insurance policy, and it recovers what it paid for your claim, then it is obligated to refund your deductible.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
A high deductible plan or purchasing less coverage may not be the best options for you. Yet, you would like to keep your car insurance bill as reasonable as possible. There are some other ways to do that without compromising on your insurance coverage.
Specifically, you can:
- Get quotes from different insurance companies. Prices may vary.
- Ask about discounts or savings that may be available for you.
- Group your home and auto insurance policies together.
- Maintain a clean, accident-free driving record.
- Keep a high credit score.
- Know how much you really drive. There may be discounts for fewer miles driven.
Additionally, things such as your home address, your occupation, your age, and the type of car that you drive can impact your insurance rates.
Car insurance is required by law, but it isn’t all the same and it can be very confusing. Please share this article with your friends or on social media so that more Kentucky drivers have access to the information that they need to make car insurance decisions that could impact others on the road, and please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need to deal with an insurance company after a crash.