By Shannon Jewitt

The Best Kentucky Auto Insurance Companies

While the cost of living in Kentucky is below the national average, car insurance premiums continue to rise. So, what’s driving up rates? Two of the state’s major metropolitan areas, Louisville and Lexington-Fayette, are among the top 100 U.S. cities with the highest rates of automobile crime, based on data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2016 Hot Spots Report. That’s why it’s so critical for Kentucky residents to make sure their auto insurance has them fully covered.

How We Found the Best Kentucky Auto Insurance Companies

Using our auto insurance review as a guide, we evaluated the top Kentucky providers by market share. Then we carefully reviewed them based on standard coverage and endorsements, discounts, and online educational materials. We also compared financial stability ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global before seeing how insurers were rated by Consumer Reports and J.D. Power in their evaluations.

Finally, we got a quote from each insurer to gain insight into the company’s premiums, policies, and customer service. Read on to see how Kentucky’s auto insurance providers stack up.

The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Kentucky

Progressive

Progressive is the third-largest auto insurer in Kentucky by market share and received average customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports — both of which were on par with the other Kentucky car insurance providers.

Requesting a quote through Progressive’s website is a simple process, especially when it comes to saving money. After filling out basic information for your quote, the insurer gives you three different options based on your budget. The Name Your Price tool then lets you fine-tune suggested values to see how much coverage you’ll be getting for your desired price.

Progressive offers a number of discounts, too. You can save by simply getting an online quote, paying in full, signing documents online, and using Snapshot — a program that uses an app to track and reward safe driving habits. Do be aware, though, that standard versus add-on coverage is not always clear when using the online quote tool; you have to actively click “edit” in order to see what’s mandatory and what isn’t. Otherwise, you might be tempted to purchase coverage you might not actually want or need.

In terms of coverage, Progressive’s options are top notch. Policies include everything from uninsured motorist property damage coverage, rideshare coverage, and gap insurance, which pays up to 25% more than your car’s actual cash value toward the amount you owe if your car totaled. Progressive’s collision coverage is unique, too, in that it also covers your pets’ injuries if they are hurt in an accident.

Liberty Mutual

Although not quite as strong as some of our other contenders in terms of financial stability and region-specific customer satisfaction ratings, Liberty Mutual boasts solid scores along with plenty of discounts. Based on the information we provided in the online quote tool, Liberty Mutual immediately listed the discounts for which we qualified and made clear distinctions between required and add-on coverages. Such clarity makes seeing what you actually want to pay for — or need to adjust — a more streamlined process before purchasing.

Where Liberty Mutual shines, though, is in its coverage and resources for specific demographics, especially teen drivers and teachers. Depending on where they teach, Kentucky educators may be eligible for certain benefits (you can check via Liberty Mutual’s live chat tool). If teaching materials or school-owned property — everything from binders to electronics — are damaged or stolen from your car, Liberty Mutual will cover up to $2,500 for each occurrence. Plus, teachers have a $0 deductible if they’re involved in a collision while driving on school business or if their vehicles are vandalized during school-related events.

While the standard coverage is solid, Liberty Mutual also offers quality add-ons. Accident forgiveness is pretty commonplace, but the insurer offers additional padding in the event that your car is totaled. For example, New and Better Car Replacement coverage offer you the opportunity to purchase a new car if your old one is totaled.

Allstate

Allstate isn’t as popular in Kentucky, as it comprises the lowest market share among our picks for this review, but its standard coverage goes above and beyond. It not only saves you money for safe driving, but may even help you earn some. That begins with Allstate’s Claim Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not happy with your auto claim, you’ll receive credit amounting to six months' worth of premium costs — no questions asked. It also received solid ratings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, with especially high scores for its friendly and knowledgeable agents.

In addition to the standard list of coverages, Allstate also offers a plethora of endorsements, including roadside assistance, new car replacement, rental reimbursement, and sound system coverage. Allstate also rewards motorists for driving safely with its Drivewise app and Allstate Rewards.

While some discounts (like airbags) are added upon using the quote tool, be on the lookout for more ways to save, including discounts for being a “Smart Student,” paying online, and paying your policy in full upfront.

State Farm

Although it's near the bottom of our list, State Farm is still an excellent option for Kentucky auto insurance. It writes the most policies of any insurer in the Bluegrass State (19.1% market share), and with good reason. Of the state’s top five insurers, State Farm received the highest financial ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global.

The company’s customer service ratings from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports are also stellar: Consumer Reports gave State Farm the highest score of our top five at 89 out of 100, with excellent scores for agent interactions and timely payments, while J.D. Power awarded it a three out of five for overall satisfaction.

As for savings, State Farm claimed it would cut auto insurance rates by 3.1% for over 700,000 Kentucky policyholders in June of 2018. The insurer also offers state-specific discounts, including 20% off for multiple vehicles and policies, as well as discounts for remaining accident-free and completing driver safety courses. While there’s ample room to save, State Farm’s online quote tool is a bit clunkier than some of our other competitors — we ultimately felt more comfortable speaking with a representative to make sure we were getting the right coverage and discounts.

Kentucky Farm Bureau

Because Kentucky Farm Bureau is a small regional insurer, we have limited information on its coverage, discounts, and customer service. However, it's one of the top auto insurers in the state. It was founded in 1919 to give farmers a voice in public policy matters — part of the reason why policyholders still pay an annual membership fee of around $35, depending on location.

This membership fee allows the bureau to lobby on behalf of farmers and provide resources in order to educate communities on agriculture. In return, you’ll have access to auto insurance and a host of other benefits like savings programs through state-wide companies, including discounts on hotel rooms, rental cars, and computers.

Not only are you getting Kentucky-specific benefits with the bureau, you’re also increasing the likelihood of receiving one-on-one attention from an an agent with knowledge of the area — this way you can forgo the website (which isn’t nearly as robust as those from our other contenders).

Guide to Kentucky Auto Insurance

Make sure you meet minimum requirements

Minimum liability insurance is the part of a policy that covers drivers and property outside of your own car. This may include damages to the other car, occupants of another car, or even property, such as a mailbox. In Kentucky, the minimum liability numbers for auto insurance are as follows:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident

This is lower than the industry standard of $50,00 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage. In some cases, even the standard won’t be enough to cover you. Say, for example, you get into an accident with an Audi, Cadillac, or other luxury vehicle. Those cars’ price tags will likely exceed your minimum property damage liability, which means you’ll be left paying for the rest out of pocket. With this in mind, you should always buy as much insurance as you can afford.

Personal injury protection

Kentucky drivers must obtain personal injury protection coverage for up to $10,000, which allows auto insurance policyholders to recover financial losses for medical, rehabilitation, loss of earnings, and funeral expenses from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage

Kentucky also requires drivers hold uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. These coverages provide compensation when an at-fault motorist has insufficient or no liability insurance or when the at-fault motorist is a hit-and-run driver.

Kentucky Auto Insurance FAQ

What are average auto insurance rates in Kentucky?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ most recent 2017 report, the average combined premium across the U.S. is $1,009. Kentucky falls slightly below this at $939. That said, this is only a ballpark estimation of how much you might pay in the Bluegrass state — your premium largely depends on your age, driving history, and ZIP code. Use our tool at the top of the page to source your best rates.

Why are Kentucky auto insurance rates so high?

Compared to the cost of living, Kentucky’s auto insurance rates seem disproportionately high due to the high rates of auto-related crime in the state. It’s also important to note that Kentucky is a no-fault state, meaning auto insurance policyholders can recover financial losses from their own insurance company — regardless of who is at fault — through personal injury protection (PIP).

According to the Kentucky Department of Insurance, “Basic PIP is to be paid by the insurer of the vehicle in which the injured person is riding at the time of an accident, or the vehicle which strikes a pedestrian, regardless of who was at fault in the accident.” If you dig further into the details, you’ll find that motorists can sue for severe injuries only if the case meets certain conditions. These conditions, known as a threshold, relate to the severity of injury, and in Kentucky, the threshold is conveyed in the dollar amounts of medical bills. The downside? Room for fraudulent claims. PIP coverage is often exploited by dishonest doctors and clinics that bill for unnecessary and expensive medical procedures, pushing up costs.

The Best Kentucky Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up

Progressive
Liberty Mutual
Allstate
State Farm
Kentucky Farm Bureau
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A+
A
A+
A++
A
J.D. Power 2018 Auto Insurance Study rating (Southeast region)
830/1,000
814/1,000
830/1,000
821/1,000
824/1,000
Consumer Reports reader score
87/100
88/100
88/100
89/100
N/A

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