What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Kentucky?
To legally drive a car, nearly every state in the United States requires motorists to have some level of car insurance coverage. One of the first questions that arise when looking for car insurance is how much car insurance you need to drive in the state legally. Kentucky requires all drivers to have at least the following insurance coverages:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
- $10,000 personal injury protection per accident
You can increase these insurance limits as desired. For example, assume the average cost of a car damaged in an accident caused by you is more than $25,000. In that case, the minimum property damage limits will be insufficient and you’ll end up paying more out-of-pocket expenses to compensate the other party. Therefore, having extended coverage limits is always encouraged to help you cover these unanticipated expenses.
Instead of these limits, policyholders can meet the requirement by purchasing single limit insurance with a combined limit of $60,000.
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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?
Liability and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage in your car insurance are required by Kentucky law. If you cause an accident, liability coverage compensates for the costs of injuries and property damage to another driver, their passengers and their property. Personal injury protection, or PIP, in your insurance policy covers medical expenses incurred to you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
Drivers in Kentucky are required to have a minimum bodily injury and property damage liability coverage of 25/50/25. This means that your insurance policy must include $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 in total for all injured parties in the accident and $25,000 in property damage coverage per person. In addition, the state also requires that your insurance policy include a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage per accident.
Keep in mind that these values only represent the minimum necessary coverage required. That is, these are by far the maximum compensation your insurance will pay in the event of a claim settlement. You can increase the limits as needed. These basic coverages, however, do not protect your vehicle. You must get collision coverage to protect your car, regardless of who is to blame for the accident.
How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Kentucky?
Your insurance rates in Kentucky can be impacted by various factors, including your age, ZIP code, driving history, credit score, vehicle make and model. Furthermore, rates differ across the many vehicle insurance companies in the state.
Taking average rates into account, USAA offers roughly $369 per year for Kentucky's cheapest auto insurance plan. However, USAA insurance plans are only available to active and veteran military personnel and their families. As a result, State Farm's annual cost of $428 is the cheapest widely available insurance for Kentucky drivers.
These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Kentucky driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.
To find relevant policies, MoneyGeek compared rates for a 40-year-old male driver from Kentucky driving a 2010 Toyota Camry with a clean driving record and a good credit score. The insurance plan considered has state minimum liability limits of 25/50/25 and the requisite PIP limit of $10,000.
If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in Kentucky.
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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Kentucky While Leasing a Car?
You may use a leased car for various reasons, including the opportunity to drive a different car every few years. However, you should be aware that the minimum coverage requirements for leased vehicles may differ from those required by the state. The leasing companies expect you to return the car in the same condition that you received it. As a result, you should maintain enough insurance coverage throughout the term of the lease. Before leasing an automobile in Kentucky, most lessors need you to have full coverage car insurance with a minimum liability limit of 100/300/50. Again, the standards differ depending on the lease company.
If you have already leased a car in Kentucky, contact your leasing company for information on their minimum insurance coverage requirements. Furthermore, if you are new to leasing, you should study their leasing terms, including Kentucky car lease insurance requirements, before selecting a car or leasing company.
Around 13.9% of Kentucky's drivers are considered uninsured drivers. Despite this significantly low rate, MoneyGeek recommends purchasing a full coverage auto insurance policy in the state to protect you from personal injury and vehicle damage if an uninsured driver hits you. A full coverage insurance policy combines liability coverage, collision coverage and comprehensive insurance. If you're not sure how much auto insurance coverage you need in Kentucky, we propose a 50/100/50 liability limit.
Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Kentucky
Kentucky's car insurance laws make it illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle or drive without the state-mandated minimum insurance. Driving without active car insurance that meets the state's minimum coverage requirements might result in fines and/or imprisonment. In addition, repeated offenders or those involved in an accident without valid car insurance in the state may face hefty fines and penalties, including license suspension, revocation of vehicle registration and imprisonment.
If you are driving without insurance in Kentucky, there are two methods for the state to find out. First, you may be pulled over by a police officer and asked to show proof of insurance. If you are caught driving without insurance for the first time and cannot present evidence of insurance, you may face a fine of $500 to $1000 and/or up to 90 years in jail. Until you provide proof of active insurance meeting Kentucky’s minimum car insurance requirements, your driving privileges may remain suspended as well. No car insurance penalties in Kentucky are higher for subsequent offenses. You’ll be charged with hefty fines and more days in jail. In addition, your vehicle registration can remain suspended for between one year or more.
Secondly, an insurance lapse will notify the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, who will then hunt the records to find insurance matching the registered vehicle. If no insurance is found in 30 days, you’ll be notified of the same. If you’re getting into an accident without valid insurance, you’ll have to bear the expenses incurred to you and the other party’s injuries and damages.
If you are found guilty of any traffic infraction while driving without vehicle insurance, the following penalties apply in Kentucky:
- Fine between $500 and $1,000; imprisonment up to ninety days; suspension of driving license and car registration for up to one year for first-time offenders.
- Fine between $1,000 and $2,500; imprisonment of up to six months; suspension of driving license and car registration for one or more years for second and subsequent offenses.
Unlike other US states, an SR-22 isn’t required in Kentucky to reinstate a driver's license. However, you will have to submit proof of insurance and pay the necessary reinstatement fee and court fines.
Following a conviction for driving without insurance in Kentucky, the reinstatement requirements can be as follows:
- First offense: $40 reinstatement fee; court fines; proof of insurance.
- Second offense: $40 reinstatement fee; court fines; proof of insurance; retaking of driving exams if license is suspended for more than one year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Kentucky
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