Do You Know What An Uninsured Vehicle Is?

There was a case in 2010 that involved an uninsured vehicle. The case explored what was an uninsured vehicle under the Uninsured Motorist Coverage in your Kentucky car insurance policy. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is the part of your insurance policy that will cover you if you are the victim of an accident and the person that caused the accident does not have car insurance. 

Related: Are You Driving Without Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

What is an uninsured vehicle or driver?
Unfortunately, there is no universal definition of what an uninsured vehicle is in Kentucky. In other words, what type of vehicle that doesn’t have insurance and causes an accident will trigger your uninsured motorist coverage? Every insurance policy has its own definition. To know exactly what an uninsured vehicle is, and what is covered, you must review your personal insurance policy. Many people do this after their accident. That's not a good idea. You need to know what your insurance covers before you're ever in an accident so if you need to add or increase a policy, you may do so.

The Court of Appeals case from 2010
In the unpublished Court of Appeals case mentioned above, there were two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) involved in this accident. One ATV was struck by the other ATV on a public road in Louisville, Kentucky. The question the Court of Appeals struggled with was whether the ATV was a covered vehicle within the meaning of the insurance policy’s definition of an uninsured vehicle in the Uninsured Motorist portion of the policy. The Court pointed out that an ATV was not considered a motor vehicle for purposes of the Motor Vehicle Reparations Act. This is the PIP or Personal Injury Protection statute. This was an important fact because medical bills were not paid or considered covered. 

Related: Kentucky Ranked 4th In 2013 With Most ATV Deaths In U.S.

Uninsured auto qualities
Here are some uninsured auto qualities that are commonly included in car insurance policies:

  • An auto that is insured.
  • An auto owned or operated by a self-insurer. This means somebody that does not carry insurance but has enough money to pay for any claim.
  • Any car owned by the United States of America.
  • A land motor vehicle or trailer operated on rails.
  • Farm type tractor equipment designed for off-road use.

The case conclusion
The at-fault ATV was not excluded but was not included in any definition. Therefore, no coverage was found. We believe an ATV should be considered a vehicle, but we realize that an insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. If you own an ATV, moped or ride a bicycle, pull your car insurance policy out and take a look at it. Find out if you have coverage. If you are in an accident in Kentucky and are hit by an uninsured driver, then you'll know what is covered.

Related: Questions To Ask Your Auto Insurance Agent

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I have seen policies where coverage has been found for mopeds and bicycles. It is extremely important to review your policy if you are in this type of situation. Don’t trust the insurance company’s interpretation. Always bring it to a qualified attorney to help you make the determination as to whether or not you can be compensated for injuries.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
1 Comments
I am glad to see that there are such comprehensive materials online to help people who get into such accidents as it can sometimes be rather daunting if they decide to take action against the driver who caused them harm.
by Melanie April 12, 2012 at 04:07 AM
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