Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is an essential type of personal insurance. In most states, it is mandatory to have some form of insurance to legally drive. Auto insurance can be categorized into two primary coverage areas: liability and property damage.

Two critical factors determine your auto insurance costs. The first factor is underwriting, where insurance companies assess the risk associated with an applicant. The second factor is rating; the rating assigns a price based on what the insurer believes it will cost to assume the financial responsibility for the applicant’s potential claim.

Liability

Most auto insurance policies contain three major parts: liability insurance for bodily injury, liability insurance for property damage and uninsured/under-insured motorists coverage.

Bodily injury liability insurance protects you against the claims of other people who are injured in an accident for which you were at fault. Their claims for bodily injury may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Property damage liability insurance pays for any damage you cause to the property of others. This includes not only damages to other vehicles, but also other property such as walls, fences and equipment.

Uninsured /under-insured motorists coverage may provide coverage for expenses associated with bodily injury caused by an uninsured or under-insured motorist.

Property Damage

Property damage coverage includes both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage is for physical damage to your car resulting from a collision, such as with a tree or another car. This coverage is not legally required, but it may be mandated by your lending institution or lessor. If your car is involved in an accident and the cost of repair exceeds its value, the insurer will consider it “totaled” and compensate you for the car’s worth rather than repairing it.

Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from various causes, including fire, severe weather, vandalism, floods, and theft, as well as broken glass like windshield damage. It is not a legal requirement to carry comprehensive coverage.

Rental Car Insurance

Car rental companies offer several different insurance options that your existing policy might already cover. Car rental companies may charge administrative and loss-of-use fees which are not typically covered under personal auto policies. They typically offer the following products at the counter:

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)

Collision Damage Waiver is also referred to as a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). If you have comprehensive and collision coverage on your own car, you will likely not need this additional protection. (Comprehensive insurance covers vehicular damages caused by accidents such as fire, theft, wind, hail or a run-in with a deer, vandalism, or theft. Collision insurance covers the cost of repairs or the actual cash value of the vehicle, if damaged in a crash or rollover.) This protection can cost an extra $10-$20 a day.

Liability Insurance

Liability Insurance covers medical expenses and damages to another person’s property as a result of a car accident caused by the insured’s negligence. If you are adequately insured on your own car, you may consider forgoing this additional liability protection. This supplemental insurance can cost $7-$14 a day.

Personal Accident Insurance

Personal Accident Insurance offers coverage to the renter and passengers for medical bills resulting from a car crash. If you have adequate health insurance and disability income insurance, or are covered by personal injury protection under your own car insurance, you will likely not need this additional insurance. It usually costs about $1-$5 a day.

Personal Effects Coverage

Personal Effects Coverage provides for the theft of personal items inside the rental car. If you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy, it generally covers this already. If you frequently travel with expensive jewelry or sports equipment, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a floater under your home or renters insurance policies so the items are fully protected when you travel. Generally, this coverage costs $2-$5 a day.

Auto Shopper’s Guide

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View or download our shopper’s guide to learn more about auto insurance in Kansas.

Auto Insurance Shopper’s Guide

Accident Prevention Courses

Kansas law requires auto liability insurers to provide for a reduction in premiums if the principal operator of a covered vehicle completes a motor vehicle accident avoidance course, or at least four hours in duration, utilizing a nationally recognized driver training curriculum or a curriculum approved by a state or federal agency. The Kansas Department of Insurance does not approve the curriculum. Contact your insurer to inquire about which courses they will accept.