Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some initial questions many clients have when they first contact Michael A. Schafer, Attorney at Law. The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have about your accident. If you don't find the answers here, you should contact us for answers to questions specific to your case. The consultation is free.
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When Does A Teenaged Driver Need To Be On My Car Insurance?
You do not need to obtain additional coverage when your high school student obtains their permit and starts driving under most insurance policies. Also, you do not have to list them as drivers on your policy while they get their permit. This all changes when they obtain their driver’s license. At that time, you must call your insurance agent and add your child as a driver on your car insurance policy.
What Are No-Fault Insurance, Basic Reparations Benefits And Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
No-Fault Insurance, Basic Reparations Benefits and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) are different terms for the same type of insurance coverage. Kentucky is a "No-Fault" state. This does not mean that it doesn't matter whose fault the car accident is. What this does mean is that you may buy insurance that will pay for your medical bills and lost wages if you are in an accident.
You can collect these benefits even if the accident was your fault, thus the term "No-Fault." The reason the "No-Fault" law was enacted is to allow you to choose your doctor when being treated for injuries sustained in a car accident. It is also designed to ensure that your medical bills are paid without delay or interference from the at-fault insurance company. In other words, to encourage the injured person to seek the medical treatment and rehabilitation they need to recover and not damage their credit rating in the process.
Can I Buy Car Insurance If I Don't Own A Car?
In Kentucky, the answer is yes. You can purchase what is called a non-owner's policy. This coverage is expensive. However, it will protect you if you drive someone else's car on a regular basis and have an accident. It will also protect you if you are in a car accident as a passenger and the owner of the vehicle does not have insurance. It also covers you if the car, truck or motorcycle that hits you isn't insured.
What Is Collision Insurance Coverage?
In Kentucky, Collision Coverage is insurance that covers the property damage done to your car by an actual collision and nothing more. If you have been in a car accident, this coverage does not pay for your medical bills, loss wages or pain and suffering. This does not cover damage to the other vehicle. It covers your car and your car only.
What Is Comprehensive Insurance Coverage?
In Kentucky, Comprehensive Insurance covers damage to your car caused by something other than a collision. A lot of people think of Comprehensive Coverage as insurance that just covers minor damage to your car, such as a cracked wind shield. This is not the case. Comprehensive Insurance can cover damage caused by falling objects (like a tree that falls during a windstorm and crushes your car), fire, theft, explosives, earthquakes, windstorms, hail, vandalism and deer or other animals.
Do I Have Coverage If A Car Hits Me While Biking Or Walking?
In Kentucky, if you are hit by a car while riding a bicycle, walking or even standing on the side of the road, there should be insurance coverage. Your medical bills should be covered by the PIP insurance of the car that hit you. If that car does not have insurance, then the PIP insurance you have on your own car should cover you. If you do not own a car and do not live with anyone that owns a car, then you may be eligible for benefits under the Kentucky Assigned Claims Plan.
Your pain and suffering would be covered by the Liability Coverage of the car that hit you. If those limits are not sufficient to cover your injuries, then your Underinsured Motorist Coverage should pay the additional amounts, up to your limits, unless there is exclusion in your policy. If the car that hit you did not have insurance, then you would submit the claim under your Uninsured Motorist Benefits, unless there is an exclusion in your policy.
Does My Personal Car Insurance Cover A Rental Car?
Most car insurance policies in Kentucky cover a rental car unless there is a waiver clause. If you have insurance, your policy will cover the rental car just like it was your own car. Your Liability Coverage, Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage, PIP and Collision Coverage are the same. All the same deductibles apply.
What Discounts Do Car Insurance Companies Offer?
Many insurance companies offer discounts on your premiums. Some of the most common discounts offered in Kentucky include:
- Good Driver Discount (basically no claims for X number of years).
- Good Student Discount. Usually the student must carry a 3.0 GPA.
- Family Package or Multiple Policy Discount. That is if you have homeowner's and automobile insurance with the same company.
- Multi-car Discount.
- Passive Restraint (airbag) Discount.
- Anti-lock Brakes Discount.
- Driver Training Discount.
- Vehicle Alarm System Discount.
Does Health Insurance Cover My Medical Bills If I'm In A Car Accident?
If you are injured in an accident in Kentucky and go to the doctor, the answer is both yes and no. Your primary insurance coverage for paying your medical bills is your PIP insurance. This is also called Personal Injury Protection or No-Fault Benefits. This will pay for your first $10,000 of medical bills and/or lost wages.
Once your PIP is exhausted, your secondary insurance, which is your health insurance, becomes your primary coverage. Your health insurance pays the additional medical bills as they occur. However, you are responsible for any co-payments or deductibles as they occur.
How Do I Get A Rental Car If I Have Been In A Car Accident?
Rental car coverage is always offered with full coverage in Kentucky car insurance policies. This is the only way to make sure you will get a rental car while your car is being repaired. The insurance company for the driver who hit you may pay for your rental car from their property damage coverage, but this is sometimes a slow process. Also, if there is a dispute as to the cause of the accident, the other party's insurance company will not pay for anything until the liability dispute is resolved. They will then pay only if the dispute is resolved in your favor. If you do not agree with their decision, your options are to forget about it or file a lawsuit.