If you want to register and operate a car or other motor vehicle in Kansas, the law requires you to maintain certain minimum levels of auto insurance coverage on it. Kansas is also a "no-fault" car insurance state, which means your options are often limited if you're injured in a car accident, when it comes to the kinds of claims you can pursue. In the sections below, we'll summarize Kansas's no-fault car insurance system, and the minimum car insurance coverage requirements in the state.
Kansas is one of a dozen or so states that have legislated some form of a "no-fault" car insurance system. That means, after a car accident, your own basic no-fault ("personal injury protection" or "PIP") coverage pays for your medical bills and certain other out-of-pocket losses regardless of who caused the accident.
Specifically, the minimum benefits available to someone making a no-fault/PIP claim in Kansas are:
Kansas PIP coverage also includes "Survivor Benefits" for family members whose loved one has passed away as a result of the accident. These include:
In Kansas, these PIP benefits are available to anyone covered under the policy (directly or indirectly), including:
A key thing to understand about a no-fault/PIP claim is that you can't get compensation for your "pain and suffering" and other non-monetary damages stemming from the accident. You're limited to compensation for your medical bills and other economic losses, unless your injuries meet certain thresholds set by state law (we'll explain these in the next section).
Finally, while Kansas's no-fault car insurance system applies to injuries caused by car accidents, it has no bearing on vehicle damage claims. You can hold the at-fault driver liable for damage to (or total loss of) a vehicle after a car accident in Kansas, with no limitations.
As touched on above, in order to step outside of the no-fault car insurance system and pursue a case directly against the driver who caused the underlying accident, your claim must meet the thresholds set by state law. In Kansas, that means, as a result of the car accident, 1) you exceeded your PIP coverage for your medical expenses, and 2) your injuries qualify as "serious." Kansas defines "serious injuries" in this context as any of the following:
If you meet these requirements, you have the right to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the accident by filing a third-party car insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, and that means you can pursue compensation for all categories of losses, including pain and suffering and all other available non-economic damages (which, again, aren't available in a no-fault/PIP claim).
Now that you understand how no-fault car insurance works in Kansas, let's look at the state's requirements for different kinds of car insurance coverage.
In order to register and drive a motor vehicle in Kansas, you must carry certain minimum amounts of insurance on it. According to the Kansas Insurance Department, those minimums are as follows.
No/Fault Personal injury Protection (minimum benefits are detailed above)
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Keep in mind that, if you are found responsible for causing a car accident, and the injured drivers' and/or passengers' losses exceed the limits of your car insurance policy, you may find yourself personally responsible for making up the difference out of your own assets.
For more details on the state's car insurance rules and requirements, check out the Kansas Insurance Department's Introduction to Auto Insurance page.