AUTO INSURANCE SHOPPER’S GUIDE

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AUTO INSURANCESHOPPER’S GUIDEVicki Schmidt, Commissionerinsurance.kansas.gov

Why do I need auto insurance?TYPES OF COVERAGEWhen you purchase auto insurance, your policy combines multiple individual coverages that protectagainst a specific type of loss. You must provide proof of insurance when: registering or renewing yourvehicle tags, requested by law enforcement, or in an accident.The following is a brief description of the basic coverages in a personal automobile insurance policycontract.COVERAGEPROTECTS AGAINSTEXAMPLEBodily injury liability*Injury you cause with your carYou rear-end another driver and theimpact gives them whiplashProperty damage liability*Property damage you cause withyour carYou run a stoplight and cause anaccident with another car, smashingtheir passenger-side doorPersonal injury protection*Medical expenses for you andyour passengers after an accident(required in some states)You live in a “no-fault state” and areinjured in a car accidentUninsured/underinsured motorist*Provides coverage for expensesassociated with bodily injury causedby an uninsured or under-insuredmotoristYou are t-boned by an uninsureddriver and your injuries requiretreatmentBEYOND THE BASICSComprehensiveDamage not caused by a collisionAn icy tree branch falls onto yourcar’s roof, smashing it and crackingthe windshieldCollisionDamage caused by a collision, nomatter who was at faultYou backed into a telephone poleand cracked your rear bumper* Denotes minimum requirements in Kansaspage 1insurance.kansas.gov

Kansas Minimum MandatoryCoverages and LimitsKansas law requires that every personal automobile insurance policy sold in the state have theseminimum coverages:COVERAGE 25,000 per person — bodily injuryLiability Coverage 50,000 per accident — bodily injury 25,000 per accident — property damage 4,500 per person — medical expenses 900 per month for one year — disability/loss of income 25 per day — substitution benefitsPersonal injury protection 2,000 — funeral, burial or cremation expenses 4,500 — rehabilitation expenses to train for re-employment 900 per month for one year — disability/loss-of-income survivor benefits 25 per day for up to one year — substitution benefits 25,000 per person — bodily injuryUninsured/underinsured bodily injury 50,000 per accident — bodily injuryYou may buy a policy that exceeds these minimum amounts. The Kansas Insurance Departmentstrongly suggests you purchase as much liability coverage as you can reasonably afford in orderto protect yourself and your assets. Talk with your agent about your personal needs.Auto Insurance Shopper’s Guidepage 2

Coverage OptionsAdditional coverages are available to you. Consult with your insurance company or agent/agency about what coverages you may need.Rental reimbursementThis coverage provides for a limited daily amount for rental car charges whileyour motor vehicle is repaired for covered damages. Policies generally limitthe maximum dollar amount and the number of days the coverage is in forceper occurrence.Excess medical payments coverageThis coverage provides for necessary excess medical amounts over andabove those paid under PIP/Kansas no-fault benefits.Umbrella liability policyProvides an additional 1 million to 5 million limit of liability coveragebeyond the limits of your primary personal automobile liability coverage.Pays only after you exhaust the limits of the primary policy.page 3insurance.kansas.gov

Tips for lowering your premiums Compare premium rates for identical coverages and terms. Maintain a good driving record that does not have moving traffic violations and/or chargeableaccidents. Consider raising your deductible on comprehensive and collision coverage. Before purchasing a car, determine the cost of automobile insurance. Repairs to some makes andmodels cost more than others and can increase your premium rates. Consider having liability-only coverage — as opposed to full coverage (comprehensive andcollision) — on motor vehicles valued less than 3,000. Your savings on premiums can be significant. Review your personal automobile insurance coverage periodically with your agent or insurancecompany, and update if necessary. You may qualify for a discount if two or more vehicles are insured with the same company or yourvehicles have airbags, anti-lock brakes and/or other safety equipment. If you have other insurance policies, such as homeowners, renters, life or health, with the sameinsurance company, you may qualify for a discount. Maintain a good credit score. Plan eligibility may be affected by your score.Tips for parents of teenage drivers If your teenager does not own a car — meaning the title is not in his or her name — and has hadno moving traffic violations and/or chargeable accidents, ask to have your teen rated on yourfamily’s personal auto insurance policy as an occasional operator. Check for discounts available through your insurance company. You may be able to get a discountfor having multiple vehicles insured by one company. Sometimes teenage drivers are assigned to the most expensive car in the household. You can savemoney by making sure your teen’s name is assigned to the right car.Auto Insurance Shopper’s Guidepage 4

Shopping ChecklistThere are some common questions you will need to answer when shopping for auto insurance.Remember, the least expensive deal is not always the best deal. Good insurance value means findingthe right price, best coverage and quality service. Ask what discounts will save you money. Make surethe premium quotes you get are for the same term and coverage. For example, not all companies willoffer the same deductible options.Motor vehicle informationYear Make/Model Motor Vehicle ID No. (VIN)Motor vehicle location (city, county, state and ZIP code)Vehicle primarily used to travel:To and from workTo and from schoolFor pleasureFor business For farming OtherNumber of miles driven each yearNumber of miles to/from work or schoolOwner of motor vehicleName Relation to insurance applicantAgeSexMarital status OccupationDrivers to be insured on the policyName Driver’s license numberAgeSexMarital statusAccidents/moving traffic violationsNumber of convictions for moving traffic violations in past three yearsNumber of accidents in the past three yearsAsk about discounts for:Having multiple vehicles insured by one companyBeing a good driverHaving auto and home or renters policies with one companyBeing a good studentTaking a driver education/accident prevention courseHaving low annual mileageHaving a car equipped with safety devicesBeing a mature driverHaving a car equipped with anti-theft devicesCarpoolingpage 5insurance.kansas.gov

How are my premiums determined?Companies can consider chargeable accidents for rating purposes for 3 - 5 years per accident.A chargeable accident is anything your company writes a check for. The percentage and amount ofa surcharge may vary between companies.UnderwritingJust because you apply with a particular insurance company does not mean the company has toprovide insurance coverage to you. Underwriting is a process in which an insurance companydetermines if the risk you present to the company meets the standards or guidelines it has establishedfor you to obtain or retain insurance coverage with the company. Underwriting takes into accountfactors about you, factors about other insureds in the household and your driving habits.Eligibility into a personal auto insurance rating planIf you are approved for coverage from an insurance company, some of the rating factors that willinfluence your premium rate are the driving record of individuals in the household where you reside;how you use your vehicle (for pleasure or traveling to work); make and model of motor vehicles tobe insured; where you and other applicants/insureds drive and reside; your gender; your age andmost recent prior insurance coverage (whether your coverage was canceled or not renewed). Aninsurance company will offer you a policy in one of three rating categories:PREFERREDSTANDARDNONSTANDARDThis category is intended for driverswho are considered by insurancecompanies to be the best insuredsbecause they usually are the safestdrivers, present the lowest risk factorsand are least likely to file a claim.This category is for moderate-riskdrivers. These drivers are usuallydriving family-type motor vehiclesand have a reasonably clean drivingrecord with no more than one movingtraffic violation and no chargeableaccidents during the past three tofive years.This category is for drivers whoinsurance companies consider to behigh risk.These types of drivers usually havehad no moving traffic violations and/or chargeable accidents during thepast three to five years. The premiumcharge for these types of drivers willbe the lowest.Auto Insurance Shopper’s GuideThe premium charge for this categoryof personal automobile insurancewill be higher than for the preferredprogram.These types of drivers may beyounger than 25; have less drivingexperience; have had moving trafficviolations and/or chargeableaccidents during the past three to fiveyears; have poor payment history;have had convictions for drivingunder the influence of alcohol ordrugs and/or license suspensions.page 6

Termination of your personal auto policyAn insurance company may terminate your coverage under certain circumstances. Coverage may becanceled or nonrenewed. Cancellation means the company terminates your policy before it expires.Nonrenewal means the company chooses not to renew your policy when it expires.CancellationDuring the first 60 days of coverage under a new policy, the insurance company can cancel yourpolicy for any lawful reason. After 60 days your policy cannot be canceled unless: nonpayment of an insurance premium and/or any installment when it is due. There is no graceperiod. insurance obtained through fraudulent misrepresentation. violation by the insured of any of the terms and conditions of the policy. the insured, a family member or a person customarily operating the insured’s motor vehicle withpermission has:à had his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked during a policy period.à is subject to epilepsy or heart attacks and cannot produce a physician certificate indicating theinsured’s ability to operate a vehicle.à been convicted during the 36 months immediately preceding the effective date of the policy orduring the policy period for any of the following: any felony, vehicular homicide, operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influenceof drugs, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting the accident, theft of a motorvehicle, making false statements on a driver’s license application, or committing threemoving violations within an 18-month period.The company must give at least a minimum of 30 days written notice of the cancellation, except inthe case of nonpayment of premium.NonrenewalAn insurance company must offer renewal of your personal automobile liability insurance coveragesunless one of the following applies: The insurance commissioner requires the company to reduce its number of policies in order topreserve its financial integrity.page 7insurance.kansas.gov

The company no longer does business in Kansas. The company shows competent medical evidence that the insured has a physical or mental disabilitythat impairs driving in a safe and reasonable manner. The company determines that a substantial change in risk has occurred that was not known at thetime the policy was issued or last renewed. The policy has been continuously in effect for a period of five years after the first anniversary date. Any of the reasons that allow for cancellation.Kansas Automobile Insurance PlanIf at least three companies have rejected you for personal automobile insurance, you may purchasecoverage through the Kansas Automobile Insurance Plan (KAIP), which allows you to be assigned toone of the many insurance companies licensed to sell motor vehicle insurance in Kansas. The coverageprovides basic liability insurance required by Kansas law and optional physical damage coverages,such as comprehensive and collision.For Kansans who do have access to personal injury protection (PIP) as a result of not owning acar or motorcycle and not needing auto coverage, PIP coverage is available through the KansasAutomobile Assigned Claims Plan. This plan was created to provide fair and prompt claim serviceto those eligible injured individuals, with statutory personal injury protection benefits (PIP), arisingout of an accident involving an uninsured car or motorcycle in the state of Kansas. This coverage isavailable provided these benefits are not available elsewhere to the injured person.More information on these plans and how they work can be found at kaipins.org. If you have questionsor need additional information, a licensed insurance agent who sells personal auto insurance can bestassist you.Auto Insurance Shopper’s Guidepage 8

How do claims work?As soon as possible notify your agent or company while the details are fresh in your mind. If you report a claim by telephone,follow up in writing. Cooperate with the insurance company’s investigation. If you feel the other party is responsible for damagesto your motor vehicle or other property, you will need to contact that person’s insurance company or agent to file a claim.If you suffer injuries and you are a titled owner of an insured motor vehicle, you should notify your own insurance companybecause your PIP/Kansas no-fault benefits will be the first to cover medical expenses incurred by you, regardless of who is atfault. It is important during any claim to fully cooperate with the insurance company and respond timely to their requests.COMPANY HAS 30 DAYS FROM NOTIFICATION TO COMPLETELIABILITY INVESTIGATION.AFTER INVESTIGATION, IF CLAIM IS NOT DENIED, ONE OF TWOOUTCOMES IS COMMON FOR VEHICLE SETTLEMENTVEHICLE IS DECLARED TOTALED1.Car is 7 years old or newer AND damagemeets or exceeds 75% retail value - mustbe declared total loss.Older than 7 years varies by company.VEHICLE WILL BE REPAIREDCompany does not have to settle claim based on highestestimate of repair. If company believes the estimatesare too high, it has the right to check with other repairfacilities.Company’s offer needs to cover the actual repaircosts to restore vehicle to pre-loss condition.Can repair with after-market parts. May alsorepair with used or salvage parts provide partsare of like kind and quality.VEHICLE IS REPAIREDClaim settlement check is issued in yourname. If a first-party claim and a lienholder is named on your policy, companyshould include the lien holder’s name onthe claim settlement check.page 9When determining retail value or actual cash value,company may reference online valuations.Company may offer to let you keep vehicle by deductingsalvage amount from total loss settlement to you. Beaware choosing to retain vehicle may require a salvagetitle registration with the Kansas Department of Revenue.2.A check issued to the repair shop only if you provideauthorization for shop’s name to also appear on check.insurance.kansas.gov

Filing a consumer complaintIf you have tried unsuccessfully to resolve a claim dispute with your company or agent, we encourageyou to contact the Kansas Insurance Department.You may file a complaint online through our website, insurance.kansas.gov or by mail, 1300 SWArrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604. You can also call our Consumer Assistance Hotline if you havegeneral questions 1-800-432-2484.Upon receipt of your complaint, the Department will investigate and keep you advised of developments.You will receive a letter informing you of the name of your consumer assistance representative, andyour representative will contact the insurance company on your behalf.FOR MORE INFO, VISITinsurance.kansas.gov/auto-insurance/Auto Insurance Shopper’s Guidepage 10

1300 SW ARROWHEAD ROADTOPEKA, KS 666041-800-432-2484(785) V(785) 296-7805 (FAX)1-877-235-3151 (TTY/TDD)Vicki Schmidt, Commissionerinsurance.kansas.gov

There are some common questions you will need to answer when shopping for auto insurance. Remember, the least expensive deal is not always the best deal. Good insurance value means finding the right price, best coverage and quality service. Ask what discounts will save you money. Make sure the premium quotes you get are for the same term and .