Kentucky’s fatal vehicle collision rate is 15 percent higher than the nation as a whole. Surprisingly, the state’s car insurance rates are only 5 percent higher than the nationwide average. If you haven’t gotten comparison quotes from at least five companies, you’re likely paying more for insurance than the average driver in Kentucky.
Remember that every insurance company has a different formula to calculate your risk as a driver and the rates it will charge you. It takes into account things like your vehicle, driving history, living situation and other personal information. Even if you polled all of your neighbors to find out which company gave them the lowest rate, the only way for you to find the best car insurance for you and your family is to get several quotes from different insurers in your area.
It takes less than 10 minutes to get a quote online, so dive in and see how much money you can save.
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Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Kentucky
Kentucky’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
As a Kentucky driver, you need to carry insurance that covers $25,000 in the event of an injury/death of one person in an accident, $50,000 for multiple people, and $10,000 for the damage of another person’s property. Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, you also need to be insured for $10,000 in personal injury protection. You’ll see this written as 25/50/10 10 PIP. You’re not required to have insurance that covers your personal vehicle/property in a collision, meaning the state minimum insurance won’t cover many of your costs, even in a minor accident.
How do you find a quote?
Few insurance agencies make you pick up the phone to get rate quotes from a registered agent. You should be able to get most of your quotes from easy online tools. The great thing about getting an online quote is that you can usually see exactly what you’re paying for. There are a lot of optional coverages that you may need and some that might not apply to your driving situation. Do you frequently drive in forested areas? Then you might want to add deer-collision coverage. Have a second car in your household? Then you may not need rental car compensation when your car is in the shop. Car insurance websites make it easy to check and uncheck all of these options and see how your rates are affected.
How do you find the best car insurance quote?
You should consider only companies that are financially solvent and have high customer satisfaction ratings. To start, check out J.D. Power’s ratings for the Southeast region and choose agencies with three stars and above. Then look up each company on A.M. Best Rating Services, a company that rates the fiscal security of insurance providers. You can also check for customer complaints on the Kentucky Department of Insurance website.
What happens if you’re caught without insurance?
In Kentucky, you’re legally required to have car insurance when operating a vehicle. There are stiff penalties for driving uninsured, so make sure your insurance never lapses. You can be fined $1,000 and given up to 90 days in jail. Your license plate will be suspended and you’ll be labeled a high-risk driver by insurance companies, making it difficult and expensive to get coverage.
Is anyone really monitoring whether or not you maintain your coverage?
In an effort to crack down on drivers who get insurance just so they can register their vehicles and then immediately drop their coverage, the state legislature tracks registered vehicles without matching insurance policies. If you have a registered vehicle that isn’t insured for 60 days, you’ll receive a notice that your registration will be canceled if you don’t provide proof of insurance. So, even if you’re not getting pulled over and asked to hand over your insurance paperwork, the state is keeping tabs. If you drop your coverage, the state will know. If you are planning to forgo insurance coverage in order to avoid paying a monthly premium, you are taking a risk that might cost you more in the long run.
Why are Kentucky’s rates above average?
Premiums in Kentucky are about 5 percent higher than the national average for car insurance. While this is not a huge difference, it does mean that drivers pay roughly $80 more per year than most. With 1.36 deaths per 100 million miles driven, Kentucky’s fatal accident rate is 15 percent higher than the other 49 states. It’s surprising that insurance rates aren’t even higher.
What if I’m not a full-time resident?
If your primary state of residence is outside of Kentucky and your car is registered and principally operated in that state, you don’t need to register your car in Kentucky, too. If you’re a Kentucky resident and bringing in a car from out of state, you should apply for Kentucky registration within 15 days. That means you’ll need Kentucky insurance within those first two weeks, too.
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What is no-fault insurance?
Kentucky is a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, your car insurance company will cover your expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. By law, you are required to carry no-fault insurance in Kentucky, which means $10,000 in personal injury protection. This low level of insurance could leave you vulnerable to a huge bill if you’re in an accident, so it’s recommended to look into upgraded coverage. Consider comparing quotes for yearly premiums, since they often yield a discount over month-to-month plans.
What is SR-22 car insurance?
This is a document your insurer files with the state that proves a driver is carrying the state’s legally required minimum amount of vehicle liability insurance. It is simply a certificate that states an individual has insurance coverage. It is not an insurance policy. The SR-22 is specifically for people with bad driving records, such as multiple offenses or a DUI.
Is going with cheap car insurance the best option?
While premiums may be low for the state’s minimum insurance requirement, the actual cost can be astronomical. The average cost of a serious, nonfatal injury from a car accident is $93,800. If you have only the minimum required liability coverage, you could end up owing nearly $70,000 out of your own pocket — and that doesn’t include the cost of damage to the other driver’s vehicle. Even if you’re a safe driver, driving with the minimum insurance is a big risk. The average driver gets into an accident every 17.9 years. Paying out of pocket in the event of a collision will cost you much more than a small increase in your annual premium for sufficient protection.
Depending on your situation, upgrading to substantially more coverage can cost an extra $200 a year. There are levels of insurance in between the required minimum and a 100/300/100 50 PIP policy. Even the more expensive insurance companies cost less than $300 for more than four times the coverage. Over the course of 18 years, you could pay around $5,500 for up to 10 times more coverage. Assess your situation; it may be worth upping the coverage now rather than risking a far bigger cost down the road.
What is the main takeaway?
Dedicating an hour to researching car insurance companies and requesting quotes is likely to save you a lot of money, and if you repeat the quote process every couple of years, you’ll prevent your rates from going up. It takes less than 10 minutes to get a quote, and you don’t even have to pick up the phone, talk to an agent or worry about getting upsold. Get five quotes and see how much you can save. Remember that quotes are highly individualized; what’s best for one person might not be best for the next person.
Spending a little extra money to get more than the minimum coverage may be the right choice for your situation. Cheap car insurance often doesn’t pay in the long run. With better coverage, you won’t be hung out to dry in the event of a collision. However, rather than maxing out your budget paying for a more expensive insurance agency, you should pick one of the lowest quotes you receive and then upgrade your coverage. Paying just slightly more for a higher level of coverage will save you money in the long run and won’t cost nearly as much as going with the minimum coverage at the most expensive company.
Even If You’re Happy With What You Have, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
It might seem like your car insurance company is rewarding your loyalty as a customer with exclusive offers and discounts. However, in the car insurance business, your loyalty is actually rewarded with fees and price hikes. It’s called “price optimization,” and it’s a controversial tactic used by the majority of national brands. Your insurance company probably analyzes your personal data and online behavior, and if it determines that you’re unlikely to shop for a new insurer, your bill will steadily increase. If there’s a loyalty discount on your policy, it’s probably smaller than the rate hikes it’s been coupling with that “discount.”
Price optimization won’t negatively impact you if you know how to stop it, and the best way to do that is by shopping around for new insurance every year or two. The process of occasionally requesting quotes online will flag you as a flight risk, and your rates are less likely to go up. If you happen to find a lower premium, you can either switch insurance companies or call your current provider to see if it will lower your rate. Insurers are similar to cable companies: They’ll often lower your bill if you threaten to leave.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “By measuring and using price elasticity of demand, an insurer can ‘optimize’ prices to charge the greatest price without causing the consumer to switch to another insurer. It is this use of elasticity of demand that has led to criticisms that price optimization penalizes customers.”
Although 15 states have taken a stand against price optimization, Kentucky has yet to speak out. Eventually, the practice may be regulated, but for now, it’s up to consumers to shop around frequently enough to keep their rates from going up.
Insurance companies will also offer different types of discounts, which provides another incentive to shop around. Depending on the type of driver you are, you may be able to make some savings on your policy if you conduct a thorough search.
You can actually be rewarded for being considered a good driver, though the definition of a “good driver” will vary according to each insurance company. Generally, insurers will consider your driving record and your history of accidents and claims.
The good driver discount will typically fall into two different categories. If you are not involved in any accidents for a certain number of years, then you can qualify for an accident-free discount. If you haven’t received any major violations on your record for a certain number of years, then you can qualify for a violation-free discount. An insurance company may offer one or both of these discounts.
If you are a young, inexperienced driver, you will be at a disadvantage because insurance companies see you as a risk and will charge you a higher rate. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crash rates for teen drivers are four times those of drivers 20 and older, per mile driven.
However, there are still ways to help keep your costs down. You can take a defensive driving course to refine your skills and receive a discount on a policy at the same time. If you are a student and under the age of 25, you can save on insurance costs if you maintain good grades.
Most insurance companies will look at your credit score when determining your rates. If you have bad credit, you can still find savings on car insurance since every company will have different prices for the same policy. Shopping around can definitely pay off.
There are also companies that specialize in insurance for high-risk drivers. When you go with such a company, you can get a better rate than with other insurance companies.
Best Car Insurance in Kentucky
- State Farm
Dedicating an hour to researching and requesting car insurance quotes is likely to save you a lot of money now, and if you repeat the quote process every couple of years, you’ll prevent your rates from going up. It takes less than ten minutes to get a quote, and you don’t even have to pick up the phone, talk to agent, or worry about getting upsold. Get five quotes and see how much you can save.
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