Last updated on April 26th, 2018
In Kentucky, car insurance is regulated by a series of state laws designed to financially and physically protect motorists. Kentucky is one of many states that require residents to maintain a certain amount of liability coverage on their vehicle though unlike most other states Kentucky also allows residents to choose which policy limits they want to meet. Kentucky offers residents two different options to meet state car insurance requirements, they can either purchase a split limit liability policy with at least $25,000 in single person bodily injury coverage, $50,000 in per accident bodily injury coverage and $10,000 in property damage coverage or residents can opt to purchase a single limit liability policy with a minimum of $60,000 in coverage per accident. In addition to the liability insurance policy they select Kentucky drivers are also required by state law to purchase a no fault personal injury protection policy with a minimum coverage amount of $10,000. The personal injury protection policy will help pay for any injuries to the policy holder or passengers in the policy holder’s vehicle. Because this policy is a non-fault form of coverage it can be used in any accident no matter if the policy holder is at fault or not.
While the state of Kentucky requires only liability and personal injury protection insurance there are other types of coverage that are optional for vehicle owners. One such type of coverage is basic reparation benefits, which is a type of coverage that provides financial benefits to the policy holder for losses caused by injury while operating the insured motor vehicle. The maximum amount of basic reparation benefits coverage that can be purchased is $10,000, which is also the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay, regardless of the number of people involved in an accident. If a Kentucky resident purchases basic reparations benefits as a part of their car insurance policy they will be legally unable to sue a negligent driver that caused an accident unless medical expenses exceed $1,000 or the accident results in a permanent injury, disfigurement or death. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is optional in Kentucky as well though if a policy holder decides to add uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to their insurance policy they must at least purchase the coverage in amounts that match the amount of liability coverage purchased. Although most types of coverage other than liability coverage is optional for Kentucky motorists the rules are a bit different when they are applied to motorcycles. Insurance companies are required to offer basic reparations benefits to motorcycle owners but at the same time they are not required by law to offer them uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In fact, in Kentucky car insurance companies are legally allowed to exclude motorcycle owners from this type of coverage if they wish.
In order to ensure that residents meet the state’s car insurance requirements every time a vehicle is registered in Kentucky, or the registration is renewed, the owner must provide the DMV with proof of insurance. If the registration of a vehicle is up for renewal but the owner cannot provide proof of insurance the vehicle will be allowed to lapse and the process must be restarted, resulting in increased fees and perhaps even higher insurance premiums. Kentucky also monitors the car insurance status of its residents by requiring car insurance companies to submit their active insurance policies every month to a county clerk so that the list of actively insured residents in a country may be double checked against the list of registered vehicles in the county. In addition to requiring proof of insurance at the time of vehicle registration and renewal Kentucky law also ensures that state residents meet mandatory car insurance requirements by penalizing drivers that are caught driving without insurance. If a driver is pulled over and cannot provide proof of insurance to the officer upon request they risk being penalized for driving without insurance even if they actually have an active insurance policy that meets state requirements. Motorist that are found to be driving without insurance will typically be fined no less than $500 and no more than $1,000 for a first offence. First offenders can also be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail if they are unable to pay the fine. Other penalties for driving without auto insurance in the state of Kentucky include the suspension of the driver’s license and vehicle registration. Although this suspension can last as long as a year in most cases it is lifted when the offending driver can provide proof of insurance and pays any reinstatement fees required by the county. In most cases, a driver that is caught driving a vehicle in the state of Kentucky without the necessary insurance coverage will be required to pay more in fines and fees than they would have paid for a car insurance policy.