Kansas Auto Insurance Information
Auto insurance. Kansas.
What is Auto Insurance?
When you buy an auto insurance policy, you are actually buying several individual coverages. Each coverage protects you against different types of losses. A brief description of the six basic coverages is provided here.
Kansas law mandates that every automobile insurance policy sold in the state must have these minimum coverages:
- Bodily Injury Liability pays for the other person’s medical expenses, rehabilitation, funeral costs, and other covered costs, if you or your family are at fault in an auto accident. It also pays for settlement of lawsuits and your legal expenses.
- Property Damage Liability pays when you or your family members damage other property in an accident. It pays for repair, replacement, or cash value of the other owner’s property. It also pays for your legal expenses.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No-fault) pays for medical expenses, rehabilitation, funeral expenses, lost wages, and in-home assistance for you and your passengers injured in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Passengers who own their own cars collect under their policy.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection pays you or your passengers for medical, rehabilitation, and funeral costs. It also pays settlements of lawsuits resulting from an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run motorist. You and your family are covered as pedestrians or when riding your bike.
- Collision (not required) pays for the repair of your car in a collision or rollover.
- Comprehensive (not required) pays for damage to your auto resulting from windstorm, fire, hail, etc.
Generally speaking, two factors govern what you pay for auto insurance: Underwriting and Rating.
- Liability coverage
$25,000/person for bodily injury
$50,000/accident for bodily injury
$10,000/accident for property damage
- Personal injury protection (PIP or No Fault)
Minimum amount required by law:
Survivor Benefits: Disability/loss of income up to $900/month for one year
- $4,500/person for medical expenses
- $900/month for one year for disability/loss of income
- $25/day for in-home services
- $2,000 for funeral, burial or cremation expense
- $4,500 for rehabilitation expense
In-home services up to $25/day for one year
Underwriting is when an insurance company considers your application for auto coverage, it will take into account a number of different factors about you and your driving habits. Just because you apply with a certain company does not mean you will be provided coverage by that company. If approved for coverage, some of the factors that will influence your premiums are: driving record, where you live, your car make and model, how much you drive, gender, age, and prior insurance coverage.
After completing the underwriting, the insurance company will place you in one of the three basic categories of drivers listed below. Each company adopts its own rating system for deciding whether to insure a person. Those with the lowest risk factors (least likely to have a claim) will receive the lowest rates.
Preferred — This category is intended for drivers that companies consider to be the best risks, which usually means the safest drivers. These drivers usually have clean driving records over the past three to five years. They are given the lowest rates.
Standard — This category is intended for moderate risk drivers. The rates are higher than the preferred rates. These drivers are usually driving family-type cars and have a reasonably clean driving record.
Non-Standard — This category is intended for drivers that companies consider to be high risk. Usually drivers in this category have the highest rates. These drivers may include under age 25 drivers with less driving experience, drivers with tickets or accidents, drivers with a poor premium payment history, and drivers with a reckless or drunk-driving history.
Tips For Lowering Your Premium
For parents of teen-aged drivers: If your teenagers don’t own cars, name them on your policy as occasional operators of your least expensive cars. They may be named as an occasional driver if they don’t drive to and from school or work. If they do own cars, cover them under your policy. This would also qualify you for a multi-car discount. It is important that you report actual driving habits to the company. It’s not uncommon to have juveniles automatically assigned to your most expensive car.
- Shop around and compare prices.
- Maintain a good driving record.
- Take the highest deductible you can afford on collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Before buying a vehicle, determine cost of insuring it. For example: A new 2000 GEO Metro retailing at approximately $9,000 costs as much to insure as a car retailing at $20,000.
- On cars with market value less than $1,000, consider carrying only liability coverage.
- Pay your premium well in advance of due date. No grace period applies to automobile insurance.
- Review your policy periodically and update coverage accordingly.
Check into discounts for a driver’s education course or good academic record. If the young driver goes to school more than 100 miles away—without a car—another discount may apply.
Young singles on their own: Avoid high performance or “turbo cars.” A turbo engine can add more than 10 percent to your premium.
Older people: Take a defensive-driving course that’s approved by the State Board of Education or National Safety Council. You may earn a 5 to 15 percent discount off your premium.
Ask About Discounts
Ask your agent or company if you are eligible for any discounts. Here are some discounts you should ask about:
- Two or more cars on a policy
- Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course (companies required by law to offer this discount)
- Driver Education Courses
- Good student drivers under age 25
- Mature driver (between 50 and 65 years of age)
- Airbags, anti-lock braking system, and other safety equipment
- Anti-theft devices
- Low mileage
- Clean driving record
- Accident free record
- Auto/home insurance on same policy or with same company
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