Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Kentucky: Do You Need It?

Kentucky doesn’t legally require drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Drivers in Kentucky aren’t legally required to carry uninsured motorist coverage—but when 14% of Kentuckians behind the wheel are driving with no insurance, do you want to chance driving without it?
Unless you live in
New Hampshire
, you’re required by law to purchase minimum amounts of
liability insurance
to operate a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, about 14% of Kentucky drivers choose to ignore this law, which puts you and other legally insured drivers at risk of massive medical bills if you’re in an accident caused by an un- or underinsured driver. 
Luckily,
car insurance
providers are also required by Kentucky law to offer uninsured motorist coverage to protect you from uninsured or underinsured drivers. Here to help you understand what this coverage can do for you is
Jerry
—the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
that can help you save money on
Kentucky car insurance costs
.
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Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Kentucky?

Kentucky doesn’t include
uninsured motorist coverage
among the types of insurance its drivers are required to carry, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. According to a study conducted by the
Insurance Information Institute
, 14% of Kentuckians were driving without insurance in 2019—and that number has not gone down in recent years. 
This is why your auto insurance policy should include uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to pay for medical bills and expenses not covered by other driver’s liability insurance or your
personal injury protection (PIP)
coverage. When you consider that UM/UIM coverage typically adds less than $200 a year to your insurance premiums, that’s a small price to pay to be certain you're covered after an accident.

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Kentucky

Kentucky’s current minimum liability insurance limits include the following.
The other driver’s bodily liability coverage and your own PIP coverage pay for medical bills and other injury-related expenses following an accident. Their property damage liability takes care of repairs to your vehicle.
This may look like a lot of coverage, but anyone who’s ever been in an accident knows just how fast bills can pile up. If your expenses wind up costing more than the other driver’s liability and your PIP can cover combined, guess who has to cover those costs—that’s right, you.

What’s available

Because uninsured motorist coverage is so important, Kentucky requires that all insurance companies offer their customers at least:
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, and up to $50,000 per accident.
  • $25,000 in underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, and up to $50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage takes care of accidents with drivers who don’t carry any coverage at all, while underinsured coverage covers any remaining costs after all other types of insurance have been exhausted. Drivers may choose to opt out of either or both of these coverages, but they must do so in writing.
While carrying
collision coverage
can pick up the slack when it comes to property damage costs following an accident, UIM bodily injury coverage is particularly important to have. Certainly, your health insurance can cover medical bills not paid for by the other driver’s liability coverage and your PIP insurance. But liability and PIP funds can get tapped out quickly when it comes to covering things like hospitalization, lost wages, and, in worst-case scenarios, funeral expenses.

What it covers

Kentucky UM/UIM coverages pay for  bodily injury damages to you and your passengers caused by:
  • Uninsured motorists
  • Insured motorists with inadequate coverage to pay for your expenses
Occasionally, UM/UIM can cover minimal property damage costs, but its primary purpose is to pick up the slack for medical expenses for you and your passengers when liability coverage and PIP fall short. We're talking about much more than just an ER visit—UM/UIM insurance will also help cover costs like the following: 
  • Lost wages 
  • Bills for household services, like yard work or cleaning if your injuries prevent you from completing them on your own
  • Funeral expenses
When you’ve followed all the rules by carrying proper insurance to cover any damage you may cause, the last thing you need after an accident is paying for damages that should be covered by someone else. Considered in this light, the fee for UIM coverage is insignificant next to the benefits it can provide. 

How to make a claim 

Filing a UM/UIM claim is similar to
filing any car insurance claim
, but it’s a bit more complicated. This is because you’re filing a claim with your own insurer for expenses that should have been covered by someone else. To present a solid claim to your provider you’ll need to gather evidence at the scene of the accident and any bills that come in for expenses.
Contact your insurance provider and begin the claims process as soon as possible following your accident. Once you leave the scene of the accident and in the weeks and months following, be sure to keep track of all bills and receipts associated with your medical expenses and submit copies of them to your provider immediately.

Why it’s a good idea to buy uninsured motorist insurance in Kentucky

We know—cars and everything to do with car ownership are expensive, and that includes insurance coverage. So why pay more for coverage that’s not even required by
Kentucky car insurance laws
? Here are just a few reasons.

14% of Kentucky drivers are uninsured

This may sound like a small number, but this translates to roughly 1 in 7 drivers operating their cars without proper coverage. Add to this that driving without insurance, or without adequate coverage is illegal, and you have a driver with a lot of reason to flee the scene, creating a hit-and-run situation that leaves you completely uncovered—unless you’ve opted to include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in your policy.

$57,000 average cost for post-car-accident hospital expenses

The average hospital bill
after a car accident
runs about $57,000. Kentucky requires drivers to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability and $10,000 worth of PIP coverage. When stacked, this equals $35,000 worth of coverage for your medical expenses following an accident. Not only is this insufficient to cover your basic medical costs but it also leaves nothing to cover lost wages and other costs associated with recovery, therapy, and assistance.

Kentucky only requires $50,000 per accident bodily injury liability coverage

We already know $35,000 probably won’t be enough to cover one person’s medical expenses following an accident. So what happens when you’re not the only one in your car? Especially if you’re driving with passengers who won’t be carrying their own PIP coverage—like young children—that leaves only $25,000 to cover their medical expenses, and even less if you have more than one other passenger in your car.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Kentucky

Even though it may not be required by Kentucky law, you need uninsured motorist coverage to be sure you’re fully protected while driving in the state. Luckily, this coverage is generally affordable, and you can make it even more affordable by shopping for your coverage with
Jerry
.
In less than one minute, Jerry can help you find the best rates on UM coverage and your whole policy. By comparing real-time quotes from over 55 top insurance providers, Jerry creates savings of over $800 a year for the average customer. That’s savings of four times as much as you’d spend by adding UM coverage!
“I’ll keep this simple for you. They literally saved me $100 a month.
Jerry
is an amazing platform.” —Indiana L.
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