When you purchase car insurance, decisions about coverage are more important than you might think. First: you need to have a current policy to be sure you're protected in the event of an accident. Buying one after an incident won't help.
Second: make sure you understand the terms of coverage. Often, individuals are more concerned with how much insurance is going to cost, rather than the actual policy details. You don't want any surprises.
Although insurance policies can often be confusing and difficult to read, it's vital to understand them. An insurance policy is a contract, and both parties are bound by its terms. The more you know, the easier the claims process will be.
Kansas and Missouri Vehicle Required Insurance Coverage
The basic aspect to understand about insurance coverage is what it means to live in a no-fault vs. at-fault state:
- Kansas is a no-fault state. This means you primarily rely on your insurance coverage injury and property protection in an accident, regardless of who was at fault in causing it.
- Missouri is an at-fault state. This means the negligent driver who caused your injuries and property damage is fully responsible for compensating you.
These differences affect the type of coverage that you need. To begin, let's review the required automobile insurance in Kansas and Missouri:
- Liability Insurance. Both Kansas and Missouri laws require this on your policy. It covers your bodily injury and property damage when involved in a car accident caused by someone else. If the accident is your fault, it protects your assets by paying for the other party's injuries and property damages up to the limits of the policy.
In both states, you're required to purchase a liability insurance minimum of $25,000 for bodily injury per person; $50,000 in bodily injury per accident; and $25,000 for property damage. However, you should purchase more coverage if you can afford it because this does not fully protect you if the victim of your accident suffers any serious injury.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage. This you in the event of an accident caused by an uninsured driver. You would make a claim against your insurance for bodily injuries, even though the accident wasn't your fault. However, this doesn't cover property damages.
In both Kansas and Missouri, you're required to have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in uninsured motorist coverage. You may need to purchase additional coverage to fully protect you and your family.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This insurance protects you if the negligent driver had insufficient insurance—such as the minimum amount of liability coverage—to fully compensate you. This insurance coverage is mandatory in Kansas in the same amounts as uninsured motorist coverage.
However, it is optional coverage in Missouri. You should definitely consider purchasing this additional coverage and increasing the amounts beyond the minimum required.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage. PIP coverage is required under your insurance policy in Kansas, and pays for your medical expenses, lost wages, in-home care services, rehabilitation services, and other expenses up to your policy limits—regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
The minimum required insurance coverage will pay for $4,500 per person in medical bills and up to $900 per month in lost wages for one year. Because these limits may be insufficient, it may be necessary to buy additional coverage.
This insurance isn't required or offered in Missouri because it's an at-fault state.
Optional Insurance Coverage Available In Kansas and Missouri
Insurance companies also offer policy additions that can extend injury compensation or property damage limits after a collision.
Here are coverage options to consider:
- MedPay. This is optional coverage in Missouri, but doesn't apply in Kansas, which has PIP coverage. It pays for your medical costs up to the policy limits. You turn in the claim to your insurance carrier, regardless of who's at fault. MedPay covers other passengers in the vehicle, and if you happen to recover compensation from the negligent driver, you usually don't have to pay back this coverage as part of your restitution.
- Comprehensive Insurance. This provides coverage when your car is damaged by theft, vandalism, storms, fire, and other circumstances. A deductible is usually required.
- Collision Insurance. Collision coverage pays to replace or repair your car if it's damaged in a collision. This offers protection regardless of who's at fault, but usually involves a deductible. If another party is at fault, you may be able to recover your deductible.
- Car rental. This addition may come in handy while your vehicle is being repaired.
Even if you purchase sufficient insurance coverage to protect yourself and pay your premiums faithfully, you could still have to fight to obtain the compensation you deserve following a crash.
Our experienced car accident attorneys help many victims of car accidents in Kansas and Missouri obtain fair settlements of their claims. Find out more about your legal options and how we can assist you. Call our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.