If you've been in a car accident in Kansas, it's important to understand how car insurance coverage works, including the state's no-fault system. In this article, we'll summarize car insurance rules and the minimum coverage requirements for registered vehicles in Kansas. (If you’re looking for more general information on the legal rules related to car accidents in Kansas, you’ll find it in our companion article Car Accident Laws in Kansas.)
Kansas is one of a dozen or so states that follow a no-fault car insurance system. In a no-fault state, after an accident, the personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of each driver’s own insurance will pay for medical bills and certain other economic losses, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
It's important to note that PIP doesn't just cover the policyholder after an accident in Kansas. It also covers the policyholder's family household members who are injured while driving the covered vehicle (or while riding as a passenger), and any non-family/non-household passengers injured while riding in the vehicle (unless those passengers have their own car insurance policy, in which case the passenger will make a claim under their own PIP coverage).
After a car accident, PIP will kick in to pay for medical expenses, disability/lost income, cost of necessary in-home services, rehabilitation expenses, and funeral/burial costs, up to coverage limits.
In order to step outside of the no-fault system and file a liability claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver in Kansas, you must exceed your PIP amount and have suffered a "serious injury," which Kansas defines as including any of the following:
Keep in mind that the no-fault rules only apply to personal injury after a car accident; if you have incurred property damage as a result of the crash (damage to your vehicle, in other words) you can file a vehicle damage claim under your own collision coverage, or you're free to file a claim against the at-fault driver, to get your property fixed or replaced.
Kansas requires that any operator of a motor vehicle maintain these minimum amounts of liability insurance on the vehicle:
Note: These are the minimum amounts of liability coverage required under Kansas law. You can always choose a policy with higher coverage limits. Increased coverage means higher premiums, of course, but if you are found liable for an accident that causes injury or property damage in an amount exceeding the other party's PIP coverage and the limits of your liability coverage, then you will be on the hook to make up the difference from your own assets.
In Kansas, the personal injury protection (PIP) minimums are:
Kansas requires that an automobile policy include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, with minimum limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) is a feature of your own insurance that offers additional protection if you're involved in an accident with a driver who carries no insurance coverage at all, or when your medical or rehabilitative costs exceed the amount of your PIP protection and the at-fault driver's policy limits.
For more information on Kansas’s motor vehicle insurance requirements straight from the government, see the Kansas Insurance Commissioner’s Introduction to Auto Insurance.