Updated on 06.20.16

Car Insurance in Kansas

Daniel Cobb

In just 30 minutes of shopping I saved $300.

Kansas is a primarily rural state with a decent amount of competition in the car insurance space. That’s a good thing for residents because the state’s average premium falls slightly below the national average at $105 a month. And while that’s a great thing to hear, I spent 30 minutes getting quotes from five different companies and discovered that many folks are probably paying more than they have to. For instance, my quotes ranged from $322 to $626 — and they were all for the same exact coverage.

After comparing said rates, Auto-Owners was easily my best car insurance option thanks to its offer of $322 a year. But I’m not here to tell you that it’ll be the best company for you too, though. Each insurer decides your premium based on many different factors including age, marital status, location, driving record, et cetera. All of those things boil down to your overall risk, but each company puts more stock in some factors than others. So really, there’s no way to predict what you’ll be quoted based upon my rates — you need to go through the quote process yourself. And the more quotes you get, the better off you will be, and the more savings you might find.

Overall, getting a quote takes only ten minutes of your time — as long as you have the proper information handy, that is. What you will need to save yourself a headache is your basic personal information (address, telephone number, et cetera). You will also need to know the year, make, and model of your car, or even better, the VIN number. Also make sure you have the details of any accidents or citations on your record from the last few years.

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Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Kansas

My search for the top insurers in Kansas began with the following five companies, all of which have incredibly high financial and customer service ratings.

Insurer My quote
Auto-Owners Insurance $322
American Family Insurance $366
Allstate $448
State Farm $522
Shelter Insurance $626

No one wants to ever use their insurance, but we all know that at some point it is inevitable. That’s why it’s important to not just have a cheap auto insurance policy, but to also be able to depend on the company you’ve chosen to insure you. The top two factors for me when considering dependability are customer service and financial stability, so I chose companies that were the top rated companies by J.D. Power in my area, and then cross-checked them with A.M. Best. (J.D. Power is a global leader in reporting customer’s satisfaction, and A.M. Best is a company that does extensive research on insurance companies’ financial solvency.) This satisfied my desire to have a company that will not give me any unnecessary headaches when filing a claim and also be able to follow through with its financial obligations to me.

My shopping experience quickly highlighted why it’s so important to get as many quotes as possible; the last company I got a quote with (and ironically the most difficult company to work with) ended up being the company that provided me with the cheapest coverage. Auto-Owners Insurance was the best auto insurance option for me at $322 a year, while American Family Insurance came in as a close second at $366. Shelter Insurance ended up being the most expensive at $626 a year. I would recommend either Auto-Owners with the cheapest price, or American Family because of their website and ease of use. However, either one would save me around $100 a year which, for me, is a fair sum of money.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

When calculating how much to charge you for your premium, insurance companies don’t just look at your risk; they consider how likely you are to remain loyal. According to Earnix, 45 percent of large insurers utilize a technique called “price optimization.” After analyzing a ton of your personal data (including how long you have been with your insurance company, online shopping habits, and even social media), they estimate how resistant you will be to gradual increases in your premium. Basically, they use statistics to squeeze every penny out of you possible without losing your business.

The best thing you can do to prevent this is to shop for a new policy every couple of years. Even if you don’t switch companies, simply getting a quote will demonstrate to their fancy algorithms that you are serious about not overpaying for car insurance. Not only will this help you score rates that reflect you as a person, it will keep you from getting marked as a sucker who’s comfortable with gradual rate increases.

If you are insured in Kansas, the chances are good that you’ve already fallen victim to this practice. As of 2016, Kansas is not one of the 15 states that have addressed price optimization. For instance, the Consumer Federation of America sent a letter to Ken Selzer, the Kansas Insurance Commissioner, citing Allstate as one of the many companies that have filed a plan to use price optimization in the state. They asked the commissioner to protect consumers from price optimization because it results in “unfair, discriminatory rates.” So for now, it’s up to resident drivers to protect themselves by regularly shopping for new policies.

Kansas’ Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Kansas Law requires drivers to purchase liability insurance in the amounts of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $10,000 for property damage (that’s insurance speak for $25,000/$50,000/$10,000). Drivers also must pay $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident to protect themselves from uninsured or underinsured drivers.

Kansas is a “no fault” state, which means that your own insurance pays for personal injury regardless of who was at fault in the accident up to the limits in each driver’s Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP). Once the PIP limits are exceeded, a liability claim or lawsuit can be filed. Keep in mind that PIP insurance only covers personal injury, not property damage. PIP insurance is required in the following amounts:

  • $4,500 per person for medical expenses
  • $900 per month for one year for disability or loss of income
  • $25 per day for in-home medical services
  • $2,000 dollars for funeral, burial, or cremation services
  • $4,500 dollars for rehabilitation expenses.

The Best Car Insurance is Not Just Cheap Car Insurance

While getting the cheapest coverage may seem like a good way to save money, you might be much worse off in the long run. It’s always best to get additional coverage. Here’s why:

  • On average, drivers have accidents every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of permanently injuring someone in an accident is at least $79,400, but that’s only for one person. If you injure multiple people, the cost can escalate quickly.

It would cost me $366 for the most basic, cheap car insurance ($25,000/$50,000), but to upgrade to a more robust policy ($100,000/$300,000) it would cost me $474, which is only $107 more a year.

To put it in perspective, imagine if you got in a wreck and severely injured several people. The cost could easily be in the $175,000 range. If you have the state required minimum insurance of $50,000 per accident, you could be sued for $125,000. But if you have the better coverage of $300,000 per accident, then your insurance would cover the costs completely! What’s better is that in the 18 years between accidents (according to the stats), you would have only payed $1,933 for the extra coverage that could save you over $100,000.

I would also recommend getting collision and comprehensive coverage due to the  danger of hitting an animal in Kansas. According to WIBW, State Farm released data which indicates that you are 10 percent more likely to hit a deer this year then you were last. Kansas also moved up from being ranked as 25th most likely state for vehicle-animal collisions to being ranked 19th. Where I live in North Carolina, there is also a high risk of hitting an animal. I learned this lesson the hard way when I hit a deer last year. Without comprehensive insurance I would not have been able to pay the $3,500 dollar bill that I incurred. So trust me; it’s a good investment.

What happens if I’m caught without insurance?

There are three basic penalties Kansas residents will face when caught driving without insurance. First, drivers must file a form with the state (Form SR-22) which verifies that the offender’s insurance does not lapse for a consecutive 12 month period. During that period, if the driver’s insurance coverage lapses, their license is immediately suspended. If that happens, the driver’s consecutive 12 month period will restart, and he or she must pay a license reinstatement fee of $100 or $300 (depending on the number of previous suspensions).

Second, drivers will be fined between $300 and $1,000 for the first offense and between $800 and $2,500 for the second and subsequent offense. Third, and most serious, is that being convicted of driving without proper insurance will likely result in a three-year suspension according to the Habitual Driving statute. As you can see, it’s definitely not worth it to drive without proper insurance.

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Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

There are many factors that affect how much you pay for your premium that you can’t change — factors like your age (being over 25 really helps), your gender, and your driving history (you can’t change your past). However, there are some steps you can take to save yourself some money on your premium. Taking a defensive driver course is a great way to start. Check out The Simple Dollar’s list below for ideas at how you can chip away at your premium.

Nine Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

FAQs

Why are Kansas’ rates slightly below average?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Kansas $105
Kansas City $118
Wichita $111
Topeka $103
Overland Park $101
Olathe $99
Lawrence $98
Source Quadrant

The exact reason for Kansas’ insurance rates being a little below average is not immediately clear, but we can make some reasonable assumptions. Despite the fact that Kansas is a relatively rural state, the amount of Personal Injury Protection insurance required by the state because due to its “no fault” policy makes residents more expensive to insure. In the end, you’re left with a state that sits about $150 a year below the national average.

What if I’m not a full-time resident?

Unless you are a full-time student with 9 or more credits or are in active service with the military, you must register and insure your car within 90 days of establishing residency in Kansas. There aren’t specific rules regarding people who are part-time residents of the state, but what’s implied is that you must have valid insurance with the state minimum requirements if you are in a accident, or your driving privileges in Kansas will be revoked.

The Bottom Line

Finding cheap auto insurance that you can count on doesn’t have to be a difficult process. The best way to go about it is by gathering quotes from a bunch of different providers and comparing them. I was able to find $300 in savings in Kansas, but you might be able to uncover even more. Take a few minutes and give one a whirl. By my estimates, it will be completely worth your while.

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Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

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