In Kansas, the law requires that every driver carry automobile insurance. If you are stopped by law enforcement, you must be able to prove that you have insurance, so you should always carry proof of your insurance with you. If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face a fine between $300 and $1,000 as well as up to six months in jail. If you commit a second offense, your fine will increase to between $800 and $2,500 and you will have your license suspended.
Like most states in the United States, Kansas requires that you carry insurance that will cover a minimum amount of damage resulting from a car accident, even if you are not the driver who was at fault for the accident. The law requiring this is called the “Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act.” This law sets out the types of insurance that you are required to have and the minimum amount of each type of insurance that is required.
What Does the “Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act” Require?
Kansas law requires anyone who owns, operates, maintains, or uses a motor vehicle to have three forms of insurance:
- Liability Coverage (body and property)
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No-Fault)
- Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage
What Is Liability Insurance Coverage?
Liability insurance covers any damage that you may cause to another person or their property in an accident. It includes bodily injury and property damage.
- Bodily injury coverage. If you or your family member are at fault for a car accident, bodily injury liability insurance will pay for the other party’s:
- Hospital bills
- Medical expenses
- Medical procedures
- Funeral costs
- Settlement costs and legal fees
- Property coverage. If you or your family member are at fault for a car accident, property liability insurance will cover the damage to the other party’s:
- Vehicle repair
- Vehicle replacement
- Cash value of personal property
- Legal expenses
What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP or No-Fault)?
Because Kansas is one of a minority of states that have “no-fault” car insurance, each driver must carry personal injury protection to cover the cost of their own injuries (and the injuries of covered household members who are driving or are passengers) after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. PIP insurance will cover:
- Medical expenses
- Disability/Lost income
- Required in-home services
- Funeral and burial expenses
If you have injuries that exceed the PIP and qualify as “serious injuries,” you may then assert a claim to hold the at-fault party liable for the amount needed to cover those injuries. “Serious injury” could include:
- Permanent disfigurement
- Fractured bones (weight-bearing)
- Compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone
- Permanent injury
- Permanent loss of body function
What Is Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage?
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is part of your own insurance coverage that protects you or your family members if you are in an accident with someone who was at fault but has no car insurance or not enough insurance to cover your medical and rehabilitation costs exceeding the limits of your PIP coverage. It also covers:
- Injuries sustained in a hit-and-run
- Injuries sustained while on a bicycle
- Injuries sustained as a pedestrian
- Funeral expenses
How Much Coverage of Each Type of Insurance Is Required in Kansas?
The minimum amount of liability, PIP, and uninsured/underinsured coverage you must carry in Kansas is as follows:
- Liability Coverage
- $25,000/person for bodily injury
- $50,000/accident for bodily injury
- $25,000/accident for property damage
- Personal Injury Protection
- $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
- Survivor Benefits: Disability/loss of income up to $900/month for one year
- In-home services up to $25/day for one year
Are There Other Forms of Insurance That Are Optional?
Although Kansas requires that drivers have more insurance than is required in some other states, the insurance that is required in Kansas is not necessarily enough to cover the cost of many accidents. As in other states, Kansas offers optional car insurance that provides greater coverage. These might include:
- Comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage pays for physical damage to your car that does not occur from an accident with another vehicle, such as:
- Weather damage
- Damages from a collision with animals on the road
- Collision. As its name suggests, collision insurance pays for physical damage to your vehicle resulting from collisions with other vehicles or stationary objects.
Why You Should Carry the Mandated Minimum for Car Insurance in Kansas
No one is happy to pay car insurance premiums—until you get into an accident and depend on coverage for your damages. If you “do your homework,” you can find the right coverage with discounts and lower premiums.
Having the required amount of coverage ensures that you are financially protected whenever you have a collision. It also ensures that if you are stopped by police or in an accident for which police are called, you will not be violating any laws for which you could be fined or jailed.
If you or a household member whom you insure are in any kind of accident—either with another vehicle or a stationary object, and no matter who is at fault—contact the attorneys at Foster Wallace. We will assist you with any insurance issues you may have, either with your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, we will see that you are compensated fully for your damages.
Have You Been Injured in a Kansas City Motor Vehicle Accident?
If you've been hurt in a Kansas City motor vehicle accident you need to speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.