Kansas flag

Driving through the heartland can be disorienting if you’re from a mountain state. The Great Plains are quite a sight to see as you cruise down the highway. Endless fields of grain on a clear day might make you feel like you don’t have a care in the world. But all that can change in an instant if you’re in a car accident.

But if you’re covered with the proper insurance policy, you can drive peacefully knowing you'll have help in case of a costly accident. Finding an insurance policy that keeps you covered will take a little work, but it’s well worth it.

Kansas state law mandates that all policies sold must meet the minimum coverage limits. Kansas requires more types of coverage than many states - but even so, customers can expect to pay below the national average on their policies. Still, if you want to find the best deal on cheap car insurance, you should shop around. Comparing insurers’ rates online is a simple, effective way to find the best policy for you.

But before you shop around, take some time to get to know what you’re paying for, and make sure you explore all your options before you decide. So what coverage is required, and what policies should you consider adding?

Kansas Car Insurance Laws

The Kansas Insurance Department states that every policy sold must contain at least the minimum limits for the following types of coverage:

Liability Insurance

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage

Bodily injury liability pays for the injuries or death caused by the policyholder, up to the limit stated on the policy. Property damage liability pays for damage to another person's property in an at-fault accident.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

  • $4,500 per person for medical expenses
  • $900 per month for one year of disability/loss of income
  • $25 a day for in-home services if in-home care is needed due to injuries.
  • $2,000 for funeral expenses
  • $4,500 for rehabilitation expenses

Personal injury protection, also known as no-fault insurance, will pay for the medical expenses or funeral costs of the insured and any passengers, regardless of who is at fault.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 per accident

Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage compensates the insured's and/or passenger's medical expenses in the event that they are struck by a motorist who does not carry a policy, is underinsured, or in incidents involving a hit-and-run driver.

Also bear in mind that the liability coverage required by Kansas car insurance laws might not be enough coverage in a serious accident. It’s a lot easier to raise your limits than it is to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket, and you can usually double your limits for a few extra dollars a month.

Comprehensive and Collision

If you are still paying off your vehicle, you will be required to carry additional coverage until you pay it off. But even if you own your car outright, the cost of repairs to your vehicle will be your responsibility if you’re in an at-fault accident. Unless you can afford it, the best practice is to keep yourself covered for all possibilities.

Collision coverage will pay for damages to your vehicle in an at-fault accident or damages caused by a pothole or hitting a stationary object. Comprehensive insurance protects against so-called “acts of God,” as well as theft and vandalism. It will also keep you covered if you ever have a run-in with a deer. It will also usually provide you a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired.

Both policies are subject to a deductible. The lower your deductible, the more you pay in premiums. In some cases, you may be able to find zero deductible coverage, but different states require deductibles on certain coverages. When selecting your deductible, it’s best to choose the highest amount you’ll reasonably be able to pay. That way you’re not overpaying for your car insurance.

If you want to save money by cutting insurance coverage, you need to decide how easily you could repair replace your car, should it become damaged beyond use. Some companies will let you purchase comprehensive coverage without collision coverage. You may feel confident that you can avoid an accident, but comprehensive policies protect you from things that are totally out of your hands—like hail storms.

Kansas is a no-fault state

Kansas is one of the 13 states that take a no-fault approach to injuries in a car accident. That means, regardless of who is at fault in an accident, the driver’s insurance will cover injuries and loss of wages for anyone in the car. However, law enforcement officers will still determine liability for property damage at the scene of an accident.

So why do you need to carry a bodily injury policy? In instances where the injuries are severe enough to go over the maximum limits of the other driver’s policy, they may sue for damages. Injury protection is limited in scope, and it doesn’t take into account pain and suffering or emotional distress. If someone’s injuries have life-changing consequences, your bodily injury policy can compensate them, as well as cover your legal fees in a court case.

If you are in a car accident and suffer damages beyond your personal injury protection, you have up to two years to sue for damages to help pay for medical costs and lost wages. After that, that statute of limitations is expired. It’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible to make sure you get the care and reimbursement you need before it’s too late.

Keep a clean driving record

Safe driving practices are the best way to prevent an accident, but laws in Kansas allow the Division of Vehicles to suspend your license if you are cited for three moving violations in a one year period. And if you cause a car accident, depending on the circumstances, law enforcement might issue you two or three in one day. Drive defensively, follow the rules of the road, and don’t drive drowsy.

Whether or not your license is suspended, your insurance rates may skyrocket, especially if you don’t have accident forgiveness on your policy. The longer you go without making any claims, and the longer you go without incident, the lower your rates will be.

Driving without proof of insurance isn’t considered a moving violation, but it can have just as large an impact on your car insurance premiums. In addition to facing fines between $300 to $1000, you may also be required to file for an SR22 for up to 12 months. But beyond that, a lapse in coverage can raise your premiums 10% on average. Multiple offenses lead to your license being suspended, and you’ll have to pay even more money to get it reinstated.

Other factors that determine your rates

The amount of coverage you buy and your driving record are only part of the formula that determines your car insurance premiums. A number of personal factors come into play, including your age, sex, zip code, credit score, and whether you live in a home or an apartment.

The kind of vehicle you drive will also affect your rates. If your car has a high theft risk, your comprehensive coverage will be more expensive. But if it has anti-theft devices, you might see a discount on your coverage. You can also get discounts for having safety features that prevent injuries in a crash, or features that help you avoid accidents like corrective cruise control and anti-lock brakes.

The more you drive annually, the higher your premiums will be. If you have a long commute or you live in the city with more congestion, you’ll pay extra for the increased risk. But if you live in the city and walk most of the time, you can get a usage-based policy to save money.

Saving money on Kansas Car Insurance

One of the most important steps in getting savings is to compare insurance quotes. Each company can vary significantly in price with every applicant, so it is vital that consumers comparison shop in order to locate the most affordable prices. Even if currently insured, shopping around the time of renewal may be wise to ensure that the current provider is still the cheapest.

Motorists that maintain a good driving record will pay less for coverage. Even if you have a few dings on their record, avoiding accidents will pay off in the future. Almost all policies offer a safe driving discount. Taking advantage of all the discounts available can lower your costs substantially.

Many car insurance companies offer discounts for things like a high GPA for students, military discounts, or discounts for bundling multiple policies, like life insurance or renter’s insurance. Different companies offer different discounts, so ask before you buy to make sure you’re getting the best deal available. Even if you already have car insurance, you can save a lot of money. Some companies even offer a discount for switching carriers.

The bottom line

Finding cheap car insurance is pretty simple once you know what you need. And once you find an insurance agency that looks right to you, you can search for customer feedback online. If they have a high customer satisfaction rating and maintain good standing at the Better Business Bureau, then you know you won’t have to fight for your coverage should you ever need it.