Kansas’ Great Plains, amber waves of grain, and wide open expanses add up to a stirring depiction of the American heartland. This Midwestern state’s economy relies heavily on the agriculture and aerospace industries, capturing a common dichotomy in the state of slower paced down-to-Earth living and racing toward the future.
Residents here pay slightly higher average car insurance rates than their counterparts in many other Midwestern states. But by knowing where to look for discounts (keep reading for plenty more on that) and by comparison shopping for the lowest quotes, Kansas drivers can easily pay well below their state average each month.
SmartFinancial gives you the perfect tool to find the lowest possible insurance rates. We quickly provide objective, carrier-neutral information on a secure platform, returning the best quotes to compare on coverage that’s just right for you.
If you’re wondering where to start looking for a new car insurance policy, J.D. Power ranked the top carriers in Kansas in 2016. These were the three leaders (see the full list).
Policy flexibility, affordability, customer satisfaction scores, and other key considerations factored into these ratings. So, there’s a good chance you’d be happy with a policy from any of these car insurance providers in Kansas.
But what’s best for one person isn’t necessarily what’s best for the next. SmartFinancial lets you quickly, easily, and securely cover more ground by presenting you with quotes to compare on coverage that’s best suited to your vehicle and lifestyle. This way, you can be confident you’ve found the lowest rate available to you.
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Every driver in Kansas has to have car insurance. It’s just a fact of life. But should the worst happen, you’ll be thankful for the essential financial protection your coverage provides. Remember, no matter how defensively and responsibly you drive, there are always circumstances—and other drivers—beyond your control.
Auto insurance really does serve an important purpose. We don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but we all have to recognize that driving isn’t always safe.
Kansas Driving Safety
In 2015, Kansas saw 355 people killed in 322 fatal traffic accidents. In addition to the 322 crashes involving fatalities, there were another 13,002 involving nonfatal injuries and 47,149 involving only property damage. That’s a total of 60,473 crashes that year, involving a total of 96,848 vehicles.
The top contributing factors to crashes in Kansas include inattentive drivers, animals in the roadway, failing to yield the right-of-way, tailgating, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Find lots more year-by-year data about accidents in the state on the Kansas Department of Transportation website.
The state doesn’t offer much in the way of green driving incentives to individuals. Environmentally conscious motorists in Kansas may still have some opportunities to save a little cash through their car insurance company or the IRS, though.
If you drive an economy, hybrid, or alternative fuel vehicle, your insurance provider might offer you a green driver discount. Also, low-mileage discounts are sometimes available to Kansas drivers through their carrier; if you limit your driving to limit your carbon footprint, ask about this possibility.
If you’ve recently purchased an all-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, you’re probably eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500; the credit amount depends on the vehicle’s battery capacity. A number of states offer a similar tax credit, but unfortunately Kansas isn’t one of them. Get more information and calculate your tax credit at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website.
If you work at a C-corporation in Kansas that spends money on alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) or AFV fueling stations, you should look into the state’s alternative fuel tax credit. Click through for details about eligibility and credit amounts.
Under Kansas state law, motorists have to carry at least $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, along with a minimum of $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. Also, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident is also mandatory.
There’s one other type of auto insurance coverage you’re required to carry in Kansas. It’s called personal injury protection (PIP), and you need at least $4,500 per person to cover medical expenses no matter who’s at fault for the accident.
Maximum payment for serious injury or death to a single person
Maximum payment for serious injury or death to more than one person
Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you
Lots of people choose to stick to the lowest level of coverage required by state law. But while it keeps the monthly premium down a little, those savings are easily wiped out by one accident that isn’t fully covered by the minimum protections. Taking on optional coverages is a smart way to protect your financial well-being. Read on for more about this topic.
Electing to pick up some of these optional coverages is a great way to achieve peace of mind. You know you’re protected against significant out-of-pocket costs associated with an array of accident circumstances and other problems that aren’t covered under the minimum coverage required by law.
If you’re worried about the expense of optional coverages, read our article 12 Things You can Do to Lower your Auto Insurance Premium to find ways to offset the cost of the add-ons.
*This list of car insurance carriers is based on the ratings for the Central region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are derived from five key service areas: claims, price, interaction, policy offerings, and billing. USAA is a military-only option and is therefore not including in the above rankings.
Children 1 year of age and younger must be secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat. When they’ve outgrown that as per the manufacturer’s weight and height limit, they switch to a forward-facing car seat. Follow the product instructions for proper use and keep your child in this seat until he or she reaches the stated size limit.
Once kids have outgrown their car seat, often around the age of 4, a belt-positioning booster seat is the next step. This is to remain in use until your child passes the manufacturer’s weight limit, which typically occurs around the age of 8. Children under 8 may only use the vehicle’s built-in seat belt system if they either weigh more than 80 pounds or are at least 4′ 9” tall.
Age is much less relevant than size in determining when a kid can safely discontinue use of a booster seat. The height of 4′ 9” is when a person can be properly secured by most standard vehicle restraint systems. Also remember, children are always safer in the back seat. All minors must wear a seatbelt at all times, even in the rear seat of a vehicle.
If a parent, guardian, or caretaker leaves a child unattended in a vehicle, they’re putting that child in harm’s way. Besides the risk of self-injury while playing around in the car, SUV, or truck, and the potential for being targeted by a stranger, hot vehicles are extremely dangerous.
The interior temperature rises quickly on a warm or hot day—and even on a temperate day if the auto’s parked in the sun. We’re talking as much as 30 degrees in a half hour or less. This holds true even if the windows are cracked. Young children (and animals) don’t regulate their body temperature well, nor are they able to recognize and escape the danger. This can lead to debilitating injury and death.
Like a slim majority of states, Kansas still doesn’t have a law specifically addressing the situation of a child left alone in a vehicle. However, all around the country, it’s becoming more common for adults to be prosecuted under child neglect or endangerment laws when a kid suffers harm from being left unsupervised in a vehicle; you can see how the language of Kansas’ child neglect laws and child endangerment laws make this possible.
Insurance companies in Kansas do use your credit score as one factor in calculating how risky you are to insure. The lower your credit score, the greater a risk you’re considered to be. This yield higher rates.
Drivers with clean records often qualify for discounts through their carriers. Ask if yours offers something along these lines. And while you’re at it, inquire about saving with other common auto insurance discounts, such as:
Yes it does. Gone are the days of scrambling to dig through your overflowing glove box to find your printed insurance card! Assuming your carrier provides an official digital card—and almost all of them do these days—you can request one and show it on your electronic mobile device if you’re pulled over.
You must have continuous car insurance coverage on any registered vehicle in Kansas. The state takes violations seriously. Lapsed coverage puts you at risk of fines of at least $300, up to 6 months in jail, and license suspension until you can show proof of coverage. This is just for a first offense, and assuming the circumstances under which you’re found to be uncovered aren’t serious (as they would be if you’ve caused an accident). Repeat offenses and more serious circumstances increase the penalties.
It’s illegal to drive in Kansas at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
In Kansas, you face harsher DUI penalties if you’re not of the legal drinking age or if your BAC registers at 0.15% or higher.
You’re not allowed to refuse a breath, urine, or blood test to determine if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol. The first time you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year and you’ll have to install an ignition interlock device for 2 years, and then there’s a $600 license reinstatement fee.
Various factors affect the penalties that follow a DUI conviction in Kansas. For example, if you cause an accident, if this isn’t your first DUI conviction, or if you have a child under 14 in the car during your infraction, the consequences become even more serious.
Here’s what you can expect with a first conviction with no other circumstances calling for increased penalties: either 48 hours of imprisonment or 100 hours of community service, compulsory completion of a drug and alcohol safety education course and/or treatment program, fines ranging from $500 to $1,000, additional administrative fees, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
Find more extensive details about the state’s DUI penalties in this PDF from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Many Kansas car insurance companies extend discounts to customers who elect to take a state-approved defensive driving course. These are the same courses drivers take when they accumulate too many points on their license or to prevent having points assessed following certain traffic violations. Ask your carrier if this is available to you, and be sure to find an approved in-person or online class through your local DMV, municipality, or county.
Sure, there are plenty of ways! We’ve already covered a number of possible discounts. Two other helpful tricks for getting lower rates are to pay upfront rather than in monthly installments and to take on a higher deductible. For long-term ways to cut your costs, maintain a high credit score and a clean driving record. But the most crucial thing is to be a diligent comparison shopper when selecting a new policy. Your savings over the course of a year can be huge if you shop around for the lowest quote!
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident is mandatory in Kansas. This covers you should you end up in an accident with another driver who doesn’t have any or adequate car insurance to pay for the injuries or damage they cause.
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