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If you accept tort limitations is that the same as accepting no fault?


It would appear you are from Kentucky whose "choice no-fault" auto insurance can be a bit confusing to motorists buying car insurance there. A motorist in KY can choose to insure their vehicle under the tort system or the no fault system. If you accept tort limitations it is indeed the same as accepting no-fault car insurance.

When you choose to be under Kentucky's no-fault insurance system it means you are required to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage.  Basic PIP is paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which the injured person is riding (or driving) at the time of an accident, or the vehicle which strikes a pedestrian, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Basic PIP in KY has a $10,000 limit per person per accident for medical expenses, loss of income or services, and funeral expenses.

The Kentucky Department of Insurance notes that all people who register, operate, maintain or use a motor vehicle in Kentucky are deemed to have accepted limitations on their rights to sue and be sued (tort rights). This means injured people cannot recover medical expenses, wage loss, other expenses, or pain and suffering from the at-fault party unless their injuries exceed certain thresholds. The thresholds are currently at $1,000 in medical expenses, a broken bone, permanent disfigurement, permanent injury, or death (per Kentucky Revised Statute 304.39-060).

So when buying the basic PIP coverage in Kentucky you forfeit your right to sue the other driver in an accident for the cost of injuries, unless the cost exceeds a certain level set by the state. Kentucky insurance companies will allow you to buy back that right (even though you carry PIP and chose no-fault) for an increase in your premium. This is referred to as "buy back" PIP since you will be paying an increase in your insurance rates for carrying PIP so that you can still retain your right to sue another driver instead of giving up that right as you would under a normal PIP insurance plan.

The other choice in KY is to be under the tort system where each driver involved in an accident is responsible for both the property damage and bodily injury they caused. In Kentucky with their tort system you retain the right to sue the other driver in an accident for the cost of expenses related to injuries sustained in the accident.

When choosing to be under the tort system then you must reject the limitations on your tort rights. The rejection must be in writing on a special form and must be filed with the KY Department of Insurance before it is effective. The rejection will remain in effect until the department is notified in writing of any change.

If all members of a household reject the limitations on their rights to sue and be sued, guest PIP coverage must however be included on their insurance policy to provide basic PIP benefits to guest passengers and pedestrians (since these individuals have not signed over their PIP rights). Liability premiums may be higher due to no-fault rejection, since there are others that will have the same right to sue you for their injuries which do not reach the thresholds.

Under either the no-fault or tort system, drivers in Kentucky are required to purchase basic Liability coverage (Bodily Injury and Property Damage) in the state's minimum amounts of 25/50/10. This stands for Bodily Injury Liability limits of $25,000 per injured person up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and Property Damage Liability coverage with a minimum limit of $10,000. Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury must be offered by a car insurance company but can be waived in writing if one does not wish not to purchase these coverages.

Auto insurance in Kentucky can be confusing. If your current car insurance agent is not able to explain to you about coverages here or able to fulfill your car insurance needs, contact a CarInsurance.com agent and they can explain not only insurance terms and explain coverages but also tell you how they can get you low cost car insurance for KY.


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