Car insurance in Kentucky costs, on average, a little more than in other states, with rates that come in above the national average. That does not mean Kentucky drivers are unable to get a great deal on auto insurance; with many excellent companies to choose from shopping around will help Kentuckians find the right mix of price and service.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Kentucky
Kentucky law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance as well as a basic level of no-fault personal injury protection, or PIP. The state minimums for the liability portion of the policy are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury, and $25,000 in property damage coverage. This is fairly average compared to other states with the exception of the property damage coverage, which is actually higher than many other states require.
Alternatively, a Kentucky driver can carry a policy with a combined single limit at a minimum amount of $60,000. This limit will cover you for both injuries and property damage combined.
The legal minimum for PIP is $10,000, and this coverage pays for your medical needs and those of your passengers in an accident regardless of who is found to be at fault.
Like other states, Kentucky does not require you to carry any protection for damage to your own vehicle in an accident where you’re at fault. This coverage may be required though if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle; comprehensive coverage and collision coverage are usually mandated by the terms of your financing agreement. That same agreement may also put caps on the deductibles you can carry on your policy, and in some cases, your lease agreement may require higher liability limits than the legal minimum. Anyone financing or leasing a vehicle should make sure they are aware of the insurance requirements.
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Specifics of Kentucky Auto Insurance
Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, which means that the right to sue is limited after a car accident. This does not mean that car insurance companies will not determine who is at fault or that you can’t be held responsible for an accident in which you are at fault. It simply means that your PIP pays for your medical bills without a determination of fault needed.
Kentucky drivers can still be sued for an accident they have caused under the no-fault system if the injuries meet certain conditions (tort limitations). Medical bills in excess of $1,000, broken bones, permanent injury or disfigurement, or death are all allowable injuries for pursuit of restitution. In that case, it is your liability insurance that will kick in to cover the cost of such injuries, and if you do not have enough coverage you can be held personally responsible for the costs.
Additionally, Kentucky drivers have the right to reject the tort limitations in writing. The choice to have the full right to sue and be sued can be made individually, but it opens up the driver to a higher risk in the event that they are at fault in an accident.
As a result, Kentucky drivers should not rely on PIP and no-fault laws to protect them from financial responsibility in an accident. Carrying a good liability policy is still vital to protecting yourself, and those who choose to reject tort limitations will need this coverage even more (and likely pay more for it).
Since we never recommend a car insurance company that does not meet our standards for customer service, all of our top picks had to come highly recommended. That means they have a solid reputation for taking care of customers from the initial policy purchase through the claims process. We used consumer research and survey sources as well as our own examination of customer complaints and reviews to determine which companies would make our list of the best.
We also compared all of the companies in terms of rates, looking for those that offer the best value in their car insurance programs. Value does not always mean the lowest price, but rather it means the company with the most competitive rates combined with great coverage and a good reputation. All of the companies on our list have good value for the dollar on their car insurance policies.
In order to provide the most widely usable information, we listed companies that offer insurance coverage across the state and to the general public. That means that there are no eligibility requirements for taking out a policy with these companies. Companies like USAA, which is only open to military families, may well have the best value for you if you qualify, but do not make our top picks due to the limited access.
Our Top Picks
These three companies all make the grade for Kentucky drivers, with solid reputations and policies that are a great value for the price.
Farm Bureau insurance companies usually have a good reputation for customer service, and the Kentucky Farm Bureau is no different. They rate well across the board and have a lot of happy customers year after year.
KY Farm Bureau also has some of the better rates in the state, even for young drivers or those with an at-fault accident. As the name implies, they are a great choice for rural Kentuckians since they cater to the needs of farms, but they can also cover you in the city with comprehensive, straightforward policies.
GEICO is known for having some of the lowest car insurance rates nationwide, and they’re also the best bet for low premiums in Kentucky. J.D. Power’s regional ratings placed GEICO in the top three for the area, with solid ratings across the board for all areas of service.
As the second largest car insurance company in the country, GEICO has earned the trust of millions and also has the financial backing to cover their claims. They are a great choice for those that want quick, online service and a simple direct buy insurance experience.
Insurance heavyweight State Farm rounds out the top picks in Kentucky with a strong reputation and the financial footing that comes from being the biggest personal insurer nationwide. They also come with the personal service of an agent, and all at a very competitive rate.
For most drivers, State Farm comes in among the lower-priced option, and their range of bundling discounts can make them even more affordable to those with multiple insurance needs.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Kentucky
Before you start to gather quotes on car insurance, you should know what kind of coverage you need. While the state minimum will get you on the road legally, higher liability limits are a wise choice to protect you financially. As mentioned above, you will also need to know what other requirements you have to meet if you have a loan or lease on the vehicle.
Approaching shopping for car insurance with a solid idea of what you want your policy to look like will help you make sure that when you get quotes they are all for the same type of coverage. A premium may look great until you realize that the company has quoted you a bare-bones policy or very high deductibles; avoid that pitfall by making sure you request only quotes that meet your needs.
Although Kentucky drivers can get great rates from some of the biggest names in car insurance, it is always worth a look at what some of the smaller, local companies can do for you. A trusted independent agent is the best way to easily gather quotes from those companies that fly under the radar in online searches.
The Bottom Line
Kentucky does not have the lowest car insurance rates on average, so shopping around is vital to getting the best deal for you. Since car insurance rates can vary so much from one person to another and one part of the state to another, it is always a good idea to get a lot of quotes before you make a decision – and don’t forget to check each company’s reputation.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.