Brad Pistotnik Law
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What does uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage mean in Kansas?

What does uninsured and underinsured insurance coverage mean in Kansas?

Kansas is one of the states that requires mandatory equal limits of uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. You ask why? The reason is simple. The Kansas legislature along with the KTLA worked on this law years ago trying to make sure it was fair to everyone. The reason that you need equal limits of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is because whenever you have a car accident, motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, or pickup truck accident and the person that hit you did not have insurance or carries only minimum coverage, you will have additional coverage to compensate you for your injuries and losses if you bought more than minimum coverage and the other person is at fault.

K.S.A. 40-284 is the applicable statute in Kansas which requires that the insurance carrier follow the Kansas Automobile Injury Reparations Act mandatory insurance coverage. It requires equal limits of coverage for uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage that is equal to your bodily injury limits of coverage.

Kansas also has mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage which is also called are no-fault law. This act requires some of the following:

  • personal injury protection benefits for medical expenses, wage loss, rehabilitation benefits, essential services benefits and other coverage
  • survivor’s benefits for wrongful death
  • funeral expense payments up to $2000
  • Kansas requires minimum bodily injury liability coverage of $25,000 per person and 50,000 total per accident with $25,000 of property damage liability coverage
  • uninsured motorist coverage includes coverage on your policy with insurance limits equal to your bodily injury liability coverage.
  • underinsured motorist coverage includes insurance coverage that protection from another motorist who is at fault for the accident and had liability limits which were less than yours.

The unfortunate problem with Kansas motor vehicle law is that it allows an uninformed purchaser of a new car, motorcycle, pickup and other types of vehicles like vans to knowingly reject having equal limits of uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage which is equal to your policy coverage for your limits on bodily injury liability coverage. The problem is that they do not “knowingly” realize what they are giving up when the consumer is buying insurance on a website for an insurance company and not talking to a real live human agent who likely recommend they get better coverage. Every week, The Bull Attorneys ® see someone who has unfortunately purchased insurance on line from GEICO, Progressive, Esurance, and any other insurance carriers that allow online purchase of motor vehicle coverage and the person buys the minimum coverage possible. Whenever you purchase coverage on line, it is likely you will look for the lowest amount of the monthly premium. While the websites that are on the Internet selling the insurance to the public go through various types of coverage provisions, the common consumer does not get what uninsured coverage is for or why they need it.

The best way to illustrate this for a potential purchaser of car insurance is to explain it like this. Many bad drivers in Kansas tend to purchase the lowest amount of insurance possible that they can buy. This this gives them $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage which results in the same amount for uninsured motorist coverage which would be $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. It also would give the same coverage for UIM coverage. One of our clients recently was badly injured by a drunk driver and had substantial hospital bills as well as a need for more treatment. The insurance company for the drunk driver claimed that the vehicle was stolen and therefore there was no coverage for it so it became an uninsured motorist case. The client only purchased $25,000 of uninsured coverage so she could not get more than that amount. Had she purchased a policy with $100,000 per person and 300,000 per accident of uninsured and underinsured coverage amounts she would have obtained a much larger final settlement.

We tell everyone that you should always purchase no less than $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident of bodily injury liability coverage and make sure that the same levels are purchased for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. A substantial number of our clients never have more insurance than the other side and they never have the benefit of using their underinsured motorist coverage. By definition underinsured motorist coverage must be higher than the liability limits of the at fault driver. When they are the same you do not have underinsured motorist benefits to pay you more.

In these dire are times it is extremely important that you realize that has we reach 35 million people laid off following the Covid-19 crisis that many of those 35 million laid off workers may still drive and have no insurance at all. If one of them hits you and causes a bad crash where you are severely injured you will only be able to look to your uninsured motorist coverage.

You can always call Brad Pistotnik Law at 800-241-BRAD or 316-684-4400. We provide free consultations. We are Kansas uninsured motorist attorneys and Kansas underinsured motorist lawyers.

Bradley A. Pistotnik © 2020