What Are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Kentucky?

When you drive a vehicle on Kentucky roads, you run the risk of getting into a car accident. Because these accidents are so common and often unavoidable, Kentucky requires you to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to cover your liabilities in the event of a car crash. If you do not carry this minimum amount of insurance, you could face certain penalties.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need to Carry in Kentucky?

Under Kentucky state law, every person who operates a four-wheeled motor vehicle on Kentucky roads must carry certain minimum amounts of insurance coverage. You could face severe penalties, including fines and jail time, if you do not carry this coverage. Your insurance helps pay for both your injuries and others’ injuries in accidents for which you are liable.

You must carry the following minimum amounts in car insurance coverage to lawfully operate a vehicle in Kentucky.

  • $10,000 in personal injury protection to help compensate for your injuries, the injuries of other passengers and drivers in your car, and any pedestrians struck by your vehicle
  • $10,000 in property damage liability per accident you cause
  • $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person per accident you cause
  • $50,000 in bodily injury liability for all people injured in an accident your cause

Kentucky’s Choice No-Fault Insurance System

Unlike most states in the country, Kentucky operates under a choice no-fault insurance system. In traditional fault-based systems, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for injuries sustained in accidents he or she causes. Under Kentucky’s no-fault system, your personal injury protection benefits compensate you for your injuries and lost wages in accidents which involve you.

The choice portion of the system comes into play when you sign up for an insurance plan. You can opt out of no-fault insurance at this time and carry traditional liability insurance. You retain your right to pursue a third-party insurance claim or personal injury lawsuits if you need to when you waive no-fault insurance. However, you lose your protection against liability for injuries you cause. In addition, you do not receive any personal injury protection benefits.

Even if you have no-fault insurance, you can still pursue third-party claims or a personal injury lawsuit for additional injuries in a car accident. To pursue these options, you must have sustained over $1,000 in medical bills or sustained a serious injury. To learn more about no-fault insurance claims, visit our Louisville car accident attorney page.

What Happens If You Do Not Carry the Minimum Amount of Insurance Coverage?

Under Kentucky state law, you must carry proof that you have the minimum amount of insurance in your vehicle at all times. When a law enforcement officer asks to see your proof of insurance, you must present it to him or her. The first time a police officer catches you driving without insurance, you can receive a penalty of $500 or higher, plus court fees between $150 and $200. In addition, Kentucky authorities can cancel your vehicle’s registration. You could also receive a jail sentence up to 90 days and pay a $40 reinstatement fee, plus provide proof of insurance.

If a law enforcement officer catches you driving without insurance for a second or subsequent offense, you may have to pay a fine between $1,000 and $2,500. You could also receive a jail sentence up to 180 days or a combination of fine and jail time. You could receive a registration suspension for 1 year for a second offense and 2 years for third or subsequent offenses. In addition, the state will require you to pay a $40 reinstatement fee and court fines, provide proof of insurance, and potentially order you to retake your driving exams.

If you do not have the minimum auto insurance requirements in Kentucky, it is important to seek a policy that works for you as soon as possible. If you suffer injuries in a Kentucky car accident and need assistance navigating your car insurance claim, contact an attorney to assist you with the process.