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Kentucky Car Insurance Basics

There are certain types of auto insurance that Kentucky state law requires for all motorists driving in the state. It's important that drivers are aware of these requirement and that they ensure their automobile insurance policy meets them. While insurance companies need to keep track of this information, too, it is individual motorists who will be prosecuted if they are found to be out of compliance with these laws.

Kentucky Auto Insurance Laws

Kentucky is a "no fault" state. This means that motorists can choose to be covered by their own insurance whether or not another driver is at fault in an accident. When a Kentucky driver makes this choice, he or she also chooses to forfeit the right to receive money from another driver's auto insurance company in case of an accident. Though the insurance companies themselves may settle later, a driver under no fault coverage will not be involved in this process.

KY offers the no fault system because they have discovered that it leads to quicker payment of medical and car repair or replacement bills after an accident, and also that it results in fewer lawsuits. This means that drivers and passengers can get back to their normal lives as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, Kentucky also gives drivers the option of declining to participate in the no fault system. This leaves them under the tort system, where the insurance company of the party who caused the accident will pay to cover medical bills and auto repair or replacement.

Kentucky Auto Insurance Requirements

Because Kentucky does offer the no fault option, all drivers must have liability insurance. This coverage pays if you are at fault in an accident and the other driver declines to participate in the no fault system. Liability coverage will only cover the medical bills or damages of people other than you who are affected by the accident.

Liability insurance comes in two types for Kentucky drivers. The first of these is property damage liability insurance. As its name indicates, this coverage will pay to repair or replace any property damaged in an accident where you are at fault. Normally, the property in question is another automobile, though it will also cover loss or damage to property in the car at the time of the accident, structures damaged as a result of the crash, and anything else that needs to be fixed or replaced.

In Kentucky, drivers must carry at least $10,000 of property damage coverage, though many drivers carry up to five times this amount. Since the cost of replacing many vehicles is over $10,000, it makes sense to have more than this amount of property damage liability coverage if you can afford it.

The second type of liability insurance in KY is bodily injury liability coverage. This insurance pays to cover any medical bills and/or funeral expenses for other people injured or killed in an accident you cause. In certain circumstances, it will also pay to replace lost wages or cover in-home health care for someone with an ongoing serious injury.

Kentucky drivers must carry at least $25,000 of coverage for any one person injured in an accident, and at least $50,000 as a per-accident total. Again, many drivers carry much higher amounts of this type of insurance as ongoing medical expenses can exceed these amounts by four, five, or even ten times. If you do not have enough insurance to cover the medical expenses of someone injured in an accident you caused, you can be held personally responsible for the balance, so it's important to carry enough insurance in cases like these.

Finally, Kentucky requires all drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. This is the insurance that pays your medical bills if you choose to be covered by the no fault laws. State law requires that you carry at least $10,000 worth of PIP coverage. This is usually enough to get your medical treatment started, though if you're hoping your PIP coverage will take care of all your medical bills in case of an accident, you will want to have more coverage than this.

Though not required by law, comprehensive and collision coverage and be required by contract. If you are leasing a car or have a loan on your vehicle, check your contract to see if you must purchase these types of coverage. Kentucky will honor these contracts, so you need to do the same. Otherwise, you will be out of contract and your vehicle can be repossessed or insurance purchased for you.

At this point, you should feel confident either purchasing new automobile insurance in Kentucky or checking your current policy to make sure it meets the state's requirements. If you have any further questions, your vehicle insurance company is a good resource for helping you answer questions about auto insurance in Kentucky.

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