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Driving in the Bluegrass State

Kentucky is bordered by the Ohio River to the north and the beautiful Appalachian Mountains to the east. Tourist may know the state primarily for its renowned horse race, the Kentucky Derby, held in May each year. However, the state also offers visitors stunning state parks and natural attractions, plus vibrant nightlife in several of Kentucky’s major cities. Unfortunately, the diverse terrain and abundant attractions can prompt dangerous driving, increasing your risk of getting into an accident.

If you’re a motorist in Kentucky, you want to drive safely and protect your assets and your passengers. Fortunately, finding great auto insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. Get real quotes from top insurance companies in your state, compare rates and policy features side by side, and then select the policy that fits your needs best. SmartFinancial is a trusted source of carrier-neutral information, and we can help you find the right policy at the right price.

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Kentucky Auto Insurance Rates

You’d never buy a house or car without shopping around, and you’d prioritize the features that were most important to you. Right? Shopping for car insurance in Kentucky shouldn’t be any different. To help you get started, here are the top three auto insurance companies for Kentucky (see the full list).

  1. Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee
  2. Alfa Insurance
  3. KY Farm Bureau

Factors that affect your insurance premiums include the type of car you’re insuring, if you drive it for business, your driving record, and how much you drive. Your age, gender, marital status, credit score, geographic location, and prior insurance coverage come into play, too.

Choose your location below to compare car insurance rates in your area. Or, if you don’t see it on the list, click here to compare rates now.


Legalities 101

It’s impossible to predict the future, and even if you’re the safest driver on the road, it doesn’t mean the cars around you are controlled by safe drivers. Insurance exists to protect you from the risks and uncertainties of driving. It’s wise to carry as much coverage as you can afford to ensure your medical bills, car repairs, and lost wages are taken care of should the worst happen.

Kentucky Driving Safety

In 2014, 64% of all traffic accidents and 37% of all fatalities involved collisions with moving motor vehicles. Kentucky also has a high number of hit-and-run accidents and pedestrian collisions. These are some of the reasons for the state’s high insurance rates.

Take a look at some Kentucky safety statistics below.

Kentucky Driving Safety Stats

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Reported collisions in 2014
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Fatal accidents on public roads
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Hit-and-run collision in 2014

Driving Green

Kentucky offers fewer state-level incentives for green drivers than many other states, but that doesn’t mean you can’t save money by going green. Plus, the state will likely add rebates, tax credits, and other eco-friendly incentives over time.

Some incentives offered to environmentally conscious drivers in Kentucky include:

  • Propane Excise Tax Exemption

    Kentucky offers a propane excise tax exemption to drivers who use propane to operate a motor vehicle on public highways. To qualify, vehicles must either have fuel systems in line with standards put forth by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards or gain approval of their carburetion systems by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

  • Auto Insurance Discounts Discounts

    Insurance companies in Kentucky offer various discounts and rewards for green driving habits. You may qualify for these incentives if you drive very little and take mass transportation when possible, or if you drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. Examples of vehicles that may qualify include hybrids, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), and economy cars. Discounts vary by insurer.

  • City-Level Green Driver Incentives

    Although Kentucky doesn’t offer green drivers many incentives at the state level, various counties and cities offer their own discounts, rewards, or rebates. Some of the larger urban areas, for example, promote rideshare programs, and others may offer additional incentives.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Drivers in Kentucky are required by law to carry a minimum of $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person per accident and $50,000 bodily injury for all persons involved in a single accident. The state also requires $10,000 property damage liability and $10,000 personal injury protection.

Kentucky is a no-fault state. This mean your insurance will pay for your claims, no matter who caused the accident. You do not have all the rights to sue as you do in some other states.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person

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$ 10,000
Personal injury protection

Payment per person per accident for out of pocket costs due to injury

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$ 10,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

You undoubtedly consider the price of your car and the interest rate you’ve been offered when buying a car, but do you also consider your insurance premium? Finance companies generally require comprehensive and collision insurance on top of your state’s minimum coverage. This level of insurance can increase your rates substantially. Always factor this cost in when buying a car.

Optional coverage in Kentucky

  • Customized Parts and Equipment
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Rental Car
  • Roadside Assistance/Towing
  • Travel Expenses
  • Med Pay
  • Uninsured Motorist
  • Loan/Lease Gap

Get some tips to be a savvier shopper from our post 10 Things to Consider When Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.

Kentucky car insurance companies

Farm Bureau Insurance - Tennessee
Alfa Insurance
KY Farm Bureau
Auto-Owners Insurance
NC Farm Bureau
State Farm
National General
Liberty Mutual

*This list of insurance companies is based on the ratings for the Southeast U.S. Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are derived from five service areas: claims, price, interaction, policy offerings, and billing. USAA is a military-only option and is therefore not including in the above rankings.

Car Safety for Kentucky Kids

Kentucky Car Seat Regulations

Children under 40 inches tall must ride in an approved car seat or infant seat. Infants younger than one year should ride facing the rear of the vehicle. Once a child reaches 40 inches, he or she should move to a booster seat. More than 90% of children aged 4 to 8 years who were seriously injured in a crash were not properly restrained in a booster seat, according to Partners for Child Passenger Safety.

Kentucky House Bill 315 requires that children younger than 8 years and between 40 and 57 inches tall ride securely in a booster seat. Booster seats are designed to improve the fit of lap and shoulder belts so children can ride safely. A properly fitting belt should fit low on the hips and cross the collarbone and shoulder. It should not sit against the stomach or cross the neck or face; a belt that doesn’t fit properly can expose children to serious neck and abdominal injuries.

The Kentucky State Police have put together an informative booklet on top car seat errors. To learn more about child seat safety, view the booklet.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

Even on a temperate day or with the windows slightly open, it’s never safe to leave a child (or pet) unattended in a motor vehicle. On a sunny day, temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to dangerous levels within minutes, putting children at risk of brain damage and death.

Bryan’s Law, which was enacted in 2000, is named for a little boy who was left in a hot car by his caregiver—with tragic consequences. Bryan’s Law allows for criminal prosecution if a child is left alone in a motor vehicle without appropriate supervision.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Kentucky?

Yes. This is because insurance companies believe people with poor credit are more likely to file a claim. They use your credit score when determining your insurance score. It is this insurance score that is used to calculate your rates.

Does Kentucky offer a good-driver discount?

Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to customers, and some of these can result in big price breaks on your premium. One of the most common discounts is a good-driver discount, which is generally given to motorists with no moving violations or at-fault accidents for several years. Other discounts may include:

  • Driver Education Course
  • Multi-Car
  • Alternative Fuel / Hybrid Car Discount
  • Multi-line Policy Discount (Home and Auto on the Same Policy)
  • New Car Discount
  • Anti-Lock Brake Discount
  • Anti-Theft Discount
  • Accident Free Discount
  • Continuous Car Insurance Discount
  • Good Student Discount
  • Electronic Stability Control Discount
  • Organization or Club Membership Discount
  • Passive Restraint
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Home Ownership

Does Kentucky allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Kentucky law allows insurers to provide you with proof of insurance electronically, and it allows you to prove you have insurance by showing your electronic ID card on your phone or other mobile device.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

Allowing your coverage to lapse or failure to maintain the proper amount of insurance in Kentucky can result in monetary fines, jail time, and other severe penalties.

What are Kentucky’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s illegal to drive in Kentucky with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ for 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ for under 21 years old

Drivers can be convicted of DUI in Kentucky at levels lower than 0.08 if there’s evidence of impairment. Plus, a DUI in Kentucky can be charged for driving while under the influence of any substance that impairs driving, including prescription medications, gasoline, glue, OTC drugs, spray paint, etc.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Kentucky?

As is common across the U.S., Kentucky is an “implied consent” state. This means that by operating a motor vehicle, you are considered to have given consent to blood, breath, and urine testing for the purpose of determining your BAC or the presence of another impairing substance. If you refuse to take one of these tests, you will lose your license for up to 120 days for the first offense and up to 60 months for a 4th offense within a five-year period.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

For a first offense DUI in Kentucky, you may receive a fine of up to $500, 2 to 30 days in jail, 90 days of alcohol or drug abuse treatment, and 30 to 120 days of license suspension. You may also receive up to 30 days of community service. The penalties increase with each offense within a 10-year period, with a 4th offense considered a Class D Felony that carries a minimum of 120 days in jail, 60 months without a license, and a year of substance abuse treatment.

Does Kentucky offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Kentucky insurance providers may offer discounts to drivers who voluntarily complete a defensive driving course. Make sure any course you take is approved by the state and that your insurer allows for a discount.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Kentucky car insurance?

If you’re like many, you’re probably paying too much for your car insurance. Shop around for the best rates and discounts, and ask for higher deductibles to save money. Also, maintain a good credit record, reduce coverage on older vehicles, and pay your bill upfront to save even more.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Kentucky?

No. Kentucky does not require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. However, this type of insurance is a great supplement to add to your policy. Uninsured motorist helps cover medical bills and lost wages if the other driver does not have insurance.

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