Auto Insurance Basics

Below are some simplified descriptions of common auto insurance coverages. All coverages are subject to the limits, terms and conditions of the actual policy you purchase.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage generally pays damages for bodily injuries to the driver and passengers of the other vehicle when you are responsible for an accident. It also provides coverage to defend you if you are sued because of an auto accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage generally pays for damages to another person’s property (e.g. their car) when you are responsible for an accident. It also provides coverage to defend you if you are sued because of an auto accident.
  • Medical payments coverage generally covers you, household relatives and your passengers for medical expenses that result from injuries sustained in an auto accident. It also covers you as a pedestrian if you are hit by a vehicle.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is provided in some states in place of, or in addition to, medical payments coverage. This is also known as no-fault coverage. PIP can generally pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of income and other expenses for injuries or death due to bodily injury sustained as the result of a car accident.
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage generally pays for damages for bodily injury to you and your passengers when caused by another in an auto accident and the person legally responsible either has inadequate or no insurance. This coverage varies greatly by state. In some states it may be a combined coverage, while other states may offer it as two separate coverages (e.g. one for uninsured motorists and one for underinsured motorists).
  • Collision coverage generally pays for damage to your car if it hits another car, object, or overturns. A deductible applies to this coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage generally pays for damage to your car if it is stolen or damaged by certain causes other than collision, such as fire, theft, hail or vandalism. A deductible applies to this coverage.

What is required?

For all my KC Metro residents here is the breakdown for what is required in Kansas and Missouri.  Both State of Missouri and Kansas requires that you carry the following types of insurance:

  1. Liability Insurance: Missouri requires that you carry at least a 25/50/10 policy.  These numbers mean $25,000 Bodily Injury (BI) per person, $50,000 for BI per Accident and $10,000 for property damage (PD) per accident.
  1. Uninsured Motorist: 25/50 policy ($25,000 BI/ $50,000 per accident). All motorists are required to have insurance but as we know, there are many out there who do not have coverage.  Missouri estimates there are around 14% of drivers on the road who do not have coverage.

Kansas also requires not only “uninsured insurance” but also “underinsured insurance”.  Kansas is considered a no-fault state.  This does not mean that fault is not considered after an accident. However, regardless of fault, your injuries after an accident will be covered by personal injury protection coverage before any other type of insurance coverage.

Your car insurance policy must include PIP at the following minimums per accident:

  • $4,500 per person for medical costs.
  • $900 per month for 1 year for disability and loss of income.
  • $25 per day for in-home services.
  • $2,000 for funeral, cremation or burial expenses.
  • $4,500 for rehabilitation.