Insurance is required in order to drive a motor vehicle in Kansas. According to the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Kansas minimum car insurance requirements are:
- $25,000 to cover the bodily injury or death of another individual
- $50,000 to cover the potential bodily injury or the death of two or more individuals
- $10,000 to cover property damage liability
Kansas drivers are also required to purchase coverage for personal injury. Kansas is a no-fault state, which means that drivers will receive payment from their own insurance companies for injuries and other expenses, even if they were not at fault.
The minimum requirements for personal injury protection are:
- $4,500 per person to cover medical expenses
- $900 per month for one year of lost income
- $25 per day for in-home care services
- $2,000 for funeral expenses
- $4,500 for rehabilitation expenses
- $900 per month for one year of survivor lost income
- $25 per day for one year of survivor in-home care
Kansas auto insurance policies are also required to include coverage for potential accidents involving uninsured and under-insured motorists.
The minimum uninsured/under-insured coverage requirements are at least $25,000 per person, and up to $50,000 per accident for any bodily injury.
Required Proof of Insurance in Kansas
In Kansas, all drivers are required to be able to provide proof of insurance. Proof can be in the form of an insurance binder or identification card. According to the Kansas Auto Insurance and Shopper’s Guide, the following situation may require drivers to show proof of insurance:
- It is requested by a law enforcement officer
- A driver is at the scene of a motor vehicle accident
- A driver is registering or renewing his or her motor vehicle at the county treasurer’s office
If a driver is not able to provide proof of insurance in any of these situations, or in any other situation in which insurance documentation is required, he or she may be fined or have a license suspension.
Obtaining a Driver’s License
One of the qualifications for getting a driver’s license in Kansas is age. According to the Kansas Driver’s License Handbook, in order to obtain a non-commercial class C license (the most common type), a Kansas resident must be at least 17 years old. Drivers may, however, begin the process of getting a license by applying for an instruction permit at age 14.
The following outlines the age requirements and related criteria for each part of the Kansas licensure process:
Class C or M Instruction Permit: Driver must be 14 years of age or older. They must hold the permit and complete all the necessary permit requirements for at least one year before applying for a license.
Non-Commercial Class C (Restricted): Drivers must be at least 15 years of age and have completed driver’s education They must have completed 50 hours of practice, 25 while accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years of age. Ten of the 50 practice hours must have taken place at night.
Non-Commercial Class C (Less Restricted Privileges): Drivers must be at least 16 years of age. They have less restriction, but will have to drive within the same restricted hours as those who apply for the permit at 15 years-old.
Non-Commercial Class C: Drivers must be 17 years of age or older. This license allows full driving privileges.
For drivers under 16 years old, a driver license or instruction permit will only be issued if the application is signed by a parent or legal guardian.
Kansas residents may also apply for farm permits, which have different age requirements and restrictions and were developed in order to allow younger workers to help on Kansas farms, especially their own family farm.
In order to obtain a non-commercial class C farm permit, a resident must be 14 or 15 years of age. At the age of 16, residents may apply for a non-commercial class C less-restricted farm permit. They must have completed 50 hours of practice driving while accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years of age, and 10 of the practice hours must have been at night.
If the applicant does not live on a farm of over 20 acres, the farm permit application requires the permission of a farm employer.
Once it comes time to apply for a full non-commercial C class license, drivers must pass a series of tests. Driver’s education is not required as part of the learning permit, but courses do help students learn the rules of the road and safe driving techniques.
According to the Kansas Driving Handbook, applicants are required to pass the following exams:
Drivers must come to the DMV with their glasses or contact on in order to pass the vision test and see clearly for the driving portion. The DMV will check the eyesight of all applicants and, in the instance of poor eyesight, may require them to get corrective lenses or renew their prescription and come back to re-take the test before a license will be granted. If corrective lenses are worn by a driver, this will be noted on the driver’s license and drivers will be required to wear them anytime they are operating a motor vehicle in Kansas.
The test will be composed of written questions about rules of the road, legal procedures and road signs. Drivers will need to answer questions about different traffic laws and be able to identify sign that they may come across while driving. The Kansas Driver’s Handbook outlines the Kansas rules of the road on the following pages:
- Rules of the road – 11
- Speed and speed restrictions – 11
- Signals for stops and turns – 12
- Driving in proper lane – 13
- Turns – 14
- Passing – 17
- Following – 19
- Stopping – 20
- Backing up – 21
- Right of way – 21
- Parking – 21
- Drivers and pedestrians – 23
- Implied consent to alcohol test – 25
- Seat belts – 26
- Night driving – 26
- Winter driving – 27
- Hydroplaning – 27
- Effects of alcohol and drugs on driving – 28
- Sign, signals and markings – 29
- Highway signs and markings – 29
- Shapes of signs – 30
- Regulatory signs – 30
- Warning signs – 34
- Traffic signals – 36
- Dangerous conditions ahead- 37
- Construction and maintenance signs – 38
- Pavement markings – 40
- Service signs – 43
- Railroad crossing – 44
- Hand held signals – 45
Applicants must also pass a physical driving test administered and graded by a DMV representative. The driving test may consist of proper handling of the following maneuvers and situations:
- Smooth stops
- Backing up
- Stop signs
- Traffic lights
- Approaching corners
- Using the clutch
- Parking on a hill
- Starting on a grade
- Staying in lane
- Using the horn
- Hand position
Drivers should apply for a license at a Division of Vehicles site. All offices are closed on Monday, and some offices have varied hours. The Kansas Department of Revenue provides a list of DMV stations and hours.
Learning the Rules of the Road
Drivers in the state of Kansas are required to follow the state driving rules. If they break traffic laws, they may incur fines, license suspension, jail or other legal ramifications.
The Kansas legislature provides all Kansas driving laws online. Articles 1 through 26 are available on the website, with links to the corresponding bi-laws. The laws cover all traffic regulations and provisions in Kansas.
Kansas insurance companies take many factors into consideration when calculating insurance rates, which is good to keep in mind if you’re looking to snag the best car insurance rates in Kansas. They typically start from a base rate and then increase or decrease the amount after having considered any possible financial risk a driver may pose.
Insurance companies will typically look at the following factors when determining rates:
- Age. For the most part, drivers under 25 years of age will see an increase in rates. Statistics show that drivers in this age range are the most likely to be in an accident and therefore pose a higher financial risk to an insurer.
- Gender. Males, especially those under the age of 25, will typically see a rate increase because young males are statistically more likely than young females to become involved in an accident.
- Driving record. Your insurance rates will be affected by the amount of accidents and tickets on your driving record. Many insurers increase rates if any at-fault accident has occurred within 3 years of the date of insurance application. Safer drivers are, in this way, rewarded with lower rates and often receive the best auto insurance rates in Kansas.
- Marital status. Married people are statistically less likely to get in a car accident than single people, and married couples will sometimes see a decrease in insurance rates.
- Geographical area. The geographical area in which a driver lives or generally frequents will also affect insurance rates. Drivers who live in areas of town that have higher rates of crime may see higher insurance rates. Also drivers who live in areas with high rates of traffic collisions could also have an increase in insurance rates, as the risk of an accident becomes higher.
- Year, make, and model of the insured vehicle. High-performance and luxury vehicles pose a higher financial risk to insurance companies because they are more likely to be stolen than other types of vehicles. They are also more expensive to repair or replace in the event of an accident.
- Credit history. Kansas insurance companies are allowed to check customers’ credit history when calculating insurance rates. Drivers with poor credit history may see an increase in rates because the chances of them failing to pay premiums are higher.
According to the Kansas Insurance Commissioner, once these factors are taken into consideration, Kansas insurance companies will then put drivers into one of the three following categories:
- Preferred. This category represents drivers who show the least amount of financial risk to an insurance company. They typically have very clean driving records, with no accidents or tickets over the past 3-5 years. These drivers will be given the most affordable auto insurance in Kansas.
- Standard. The standard category represents drivers who pose only a moderate financial risk to insurance companies. They may have a couple tickets or an accident on their record, but it is not excessive. These drivers will see higher rates than the preferred group, but lower rates than drivers who pose more risk. In many cases, standard drivers can still enjoy low cost car insurance in Kansas.
- Non-Standard. Drivers that pose high financial risks to insurance companies will be placed in the non-standard category. These drivers are sometimes under 25 years old, have had excessive tickets or accidents in the past 3-5 years, have a poor history of paying premiums or a bad credit score, or have serious incidents, such as DUI’s, on their driving record. These drivers will have the highest insurance rates.
Getting the Best Rates
There are some factors, such as age and marital status, which cannot be changed and will still affect insurance rates. There are, however, many things consumers can do in order to ensure that they are getting the best auto insurance rates in Kansas.
The Kansas Insurance Commissioner outlines some of the best ways to lower insurance rates on her website:
- Make sure to compare auto insurance rates in Kansas by doing research and shopping around.
- Be steadfast in following traffic laws and keeping up a good driving record.
- If you can afford a higher deductible, search for a plan with a high deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. (However, do not get a deductible so high that you will not be able to pay it.)
- If the market value on the vehicle is less than $3,000, carrying only liability coverage may be a better financial decision.
- Pay premiums on time.
- Update insurance coverage periodically in order to make sure it is relevant and the lowest price possible.
Parents of drivers who are under twenty years old may list their teenage children as occasional operators of the least expensive cars on a family policy, as long as the vehicle is not in the child’s name. Teenagers may also be listed as occasional drivers if they do not drive themselves to and from school and work. Parents should also look into possible rate discounts for good grades or having young drivers take a driver’s education course.
Young, unmarried, individuals who are living on their own will often be charged more than ten percent more for their premiums if they driver a higher performance or “turbo” car. Buying a more family-style vehicle will save money on the average cost of car insurance in Kansas.
Customers should also inquire about possible available discounts:
- Having over two cars on one policy
- Having had a motor vehicle accident prevention course
- Have had driver education courses
- Students under 25 years old with good grades
- Drivers between 50 and 65 years old
- Having anti-lock brakes, airbags, and other safety features
- Having an anti-theft system
- Having low mileage
- Having a clean driving record
- Having no accidents in your driving history
- Having auto and home insurance with the same company
Choosing an Insurance Agent or Broker
Insurance agents work for one insurance company and act as the representative to customers. Agents help customers determine their insurance needs, they get past driving records and other information in order to calculate potential rates, and they inform customers of their insurance options with that particular company.
Insurance brokers, on the other hand, work in the same way as stock brokers. They do not work for a specific insurance company. Rather, they will search the plans of many different companies and try to find their clients the best rates.
Both insurance agents and brokers make a commission off of any completed insurance policies, so both have a vested interest in selling a policy.
Insurance agents may be able to secure better deals within their own specific insurance company, which makes working with an agent beneficial. However, insurance brokers will be able to compare the rates and benefits of different companies in order to find the best policy. Whether a customer works with an agent or a broker, they should be listed on the website of the Kansas Insurance Commissioner. The website offers a search function where residents can view different insurance companies, agents and brokers.
Help with problems with an insurance company or agent:
Customers who run into issues with their insurance company may file a complaint with the Kansas Insurance Department. Residents will need to include their name, address, telephone number, and e-mail on the online form. They will also need to include the name of their insurance company or the agent involved. The Department will need the policy or claim number, if the complaint is about a specific claim. The resident should include a thorough description of the complaint.
Any supporting documents for a complaint can be sent here:
Kansas Insurance Department
Consumer Assistance Division
420 SW 9th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
After an Accident
If you are involved in a car accident in the state of Kansas, you need to stay on the scene and notify police as quickly as possible. Drivers should check to make sure anyone involved in the wreck is safe and not injured. If there is an injury, the driver should call 911 as quickly as possible and administer any aid as directed by the emergency operator.
Drivers may not leave the scene until a police officer has arrived and given them permission to leave the scene. The police will need to file an accident report, so all drivers, passengers, and any other witnesses should do their best to think about what happened leading up to the accident so they can contribute to the report. Drivers should also take down their own account of what happened so they can accurately describe the situation to their insurance company when they file a claim.
The insurance company will need as much information as possible from the involved drivers. Drivers should log the time the accident happened, what caused the accident, how fast they were driving, how fast they think any other involved vehicles were going, the make and model of any involved vehicles, the name of other involved drivers, and their telephone numbers, addresses and insurance information, even if the other driver has no car insurance in Kansas. Most of this information will then need to be reported to the insurance company.
The Kansas Department of Insurance provides steps to filing an insurance claim after an accident on their website.
Kansas insurance companies are required to investigate filed claims within 30 days of the time they were reported.
Insurance Coverage for High-Risk Drivers:
In Kansas, all drivers must have insurance coverage in order to operate a motor vehicle. However, if the state deems certain individuals to be especially high-risk, they may be asked to provide proof of insurance in the form of SR-22, or high-risk, insurance.
This often happens if a driver has been involved in several at-fault accidents or has been caught violating serious laws, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers who are caught driving without proper insurance may also be classified as high-risk by the state. Also, if a driver has had a license suspension or revocation, he or she may be required to apply for SR-22 insurance in order to get the license back.
For information on SR-22 insurance, drivers can contact the Insurance Commissioner:
420 SW 9th Street
Topeka, KS 66612