Kentucky Car Insurance [Everything You Need to Know]

Kentucky car insurance requires a minimum of 25/50/25 for bodily injury and property damage and $10,000 in PIP coverage. The average KY car insurance rates are $77/month.

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UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Kentucky Statistics SummaryDetails
Miles of Roadway79,727
Miles Driven in the State47,941 million
Registered Vehicles4,037,625
Most Popular VehicleFord F-150
Uninsured Motorist Rate11.5%
Total Driving-related Deaths in 2018782
Speeding Fatalities in 2018138
DUI Fatalities in 2018181
Average Annual Car Insurance CostLiability: $529.21/yr
Collision: $267.91/yr
Comprehensive: $141.39/yr
Full Coverage: $938.51/yr
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Home to the Louisville Slugger, the Kentucky Derby, and bourbon whiskey, the Bluegrass State has a lot to offer those who live there. If you’re a Kentucky resident and you’re planning to drive, you need car insurance.

With so many options, it can be hard to know what company is right for you, and with so many coverage choices, you might not be sure if you should stick to basic coverage or go with full. Don’t get overwhelmed!

We’ll walk you through the process and show you actual provider quotes and reviews so you can make an informed decision about car insurance in Kentucky.

Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool above to get started finding the best rate for the coverage you need.

What do you need to know about Kentucky car insurance coverage and rates?

Are you tired of paying money to an insurance company without really understanding why? We’ll show you how that money is used. Most of it is used for good but unfortunately, some of it has to go to preventable problems, like fraud.

We’ll dive right in and show you exactly what coverage is required in Kentucky.

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Kentucky Minimum Coverage

To drive in Kentucky, you must have coverage at these levels: 25/50/25. To spell it out:

  • $25,000 – Bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $50,000 – Total bodily injury liability coverage per accident
  • $25,000 – Property damage liability coverage
  • $10,000 – Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Alternatively, Kentucky residents can opt for a single-limit insurance policy of $60,000.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection is required at the level of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident but can be rejected in writing.

Notice that the minimum coverage required is for liability. The state-required liability coverage is known as basic coverage. If you cause an accident, your basic coverage will pay for the damage done to another party up to the limits of your policy.

If you want coverage for your own vehicle after you cause an accident or after storm damage, you’ll need to carry full coverage, which includes collision insurance and comprehensive insurance.

Full coverage costs more than basic coverage, and it’s not worth the extra cost in all cases. If you’re leasing or financing a car, you’ll almost certainly be required to carry full coverage. If you own your car outright, you can decide what is best.

Typically, experts recommend that if the extra cost for full coverage is 10 percent or less annually of your vehicle’s value, it’s a good idea to carry it.

At a certain point, your vehicle loses so much value, that the increased cost for full coverage is a waste of money.

Because Kentucky is a no-fault insurance state, residents must carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage which pays for each party’s own medical costs and a portion of lost wages. So, why carry bodily injury liability if each party pays for their own medical costs?

If the injuries are severe and cost more than the PIP coverage, the injured party can sue the at-fault driver, in which case bodily injury liability coverage would kick in.

The minimum coverage is required on all vehicles even those driven seasonally. If you would like to avoid purchasing insurance year-round for a car you only drive in the summer, you’ll have to turn your plates into the DMV prior to canceling insurance during the off-season.

If you don’t, you can expect penalties for not being insured.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

The average percentage of income that a Kentucky resident pays for car insurance is shown next. Nationwide, the average is 2.4 percent, so you can see that Kentucky residents pay a bit over the national average.

Annual Full Coverage
Average Premiums
Average Premiums$76.46
Annual Per Capita Disposable Personal Income$33,237.00
Monthly Per Capita Disposable Personal Income$2,769.75
Percentage of Income2.76%
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Core Coverage

Coverage TypeKentucky Annual AverageNationwide Annual Average
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Additional Liability

If you cause a major accident resulting in a vehicle being declared a total loss and injuries to persons requiring extended hospitalization and rehabilitation, the minimum liability coverage levels required in Kentucky won’t be sufficient.

If you have assets or are planning for future assets that you would like to protect, please consider increasing your liability limits.

The minimum limits of personal injury protection required in Kentucky will pay 80 percent of your lost wages following an accident for a maximum of $200 per week.

You might consider higher limits for that as well, especially if you need to protect your income and you make considerably more than $200 a week.

One way to help you see how the insurance industry as a whole is doing is to check out loss ratios. The rates consumers pay in premiums compared to the amount that insurers pay in claims gives us the loss ratio.

Insurance providers need extra money for overhead, but a low loss ratio indicates the companies are spending too much money on overhead while too high of a loss ratio indicates they may not be charging high enough premiums to stay solvent.

Type of InsuranceKentucky loss ratioCountrywide average loss ratio
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage71.2767.33
Personal Injury Protection75.0469.41
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The overall numbers for Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Personal Injury Protection in Kentucky are pretty healthy.

When considering the addition of Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, keep in mind that 11.5 percent of motorists in Kentucky are uninsured. If one of them causes an accident involving you, you’ll likely be out of luck in terms of getting compensated.

Having the added coverage for Uninsured/Underinsured motorists is one of the best supplemental protections to get. Other supplemental coverage types to consider are as follows:

Pay-as-you-drive coverage is becoming increasingly popular from companies such as Metromile. So far, such coverage is not available in Kentucky, but as its popularity grows, you might want to check back in a couple years.

Drivers who put on less than 5,000 miles annually can save big with a pay-by-the-mile plan.

Usage-based coverage is a broader type of plan. Several companies offer plans with the option to install a telemetric device to monitor driving habits. Good driving habits will yield lower premiums.

Root Insurance only offers an app-based, driving-based plan.

If you’re willing to let your driving be monitored, you may be able to find solid savings with usage-based plans.

Consider each of these additional coverage options carefully when you’re shopping for an auto insurance policy.

Male Versus Female Rates in Kentucky

We gathered car insurance quotes for two hypothetical 25-year-olds. The two people we created had identical driving histories, education, and employment. The only difference between them was that one was male and the other female.

Like most places in the U.S., males end up paying slightly less for coverage. This discrepancy is based on the actuarial analysis done by insurance companies that place a slightly heavier risk on females.

With insurance, the more risk you present, the more money you have to pay. Check out the average rate from Geico and Progressive for a male and female 25-year-old driver below.

Company25-Year-Old Male Monthly Premium25-Year-Old Female Monthly Premium
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Curious what a similar study reveals for 55-year-olds? We’ll answer that next.

Company55-Year-Old Male Monthly Premium55-Year-Old Female Monthly Premium
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While these tables highlight the difference paid by men and women, please also compare the overall rates between Geico and Progressive. You can see how comparing quotes could save you money in your monthly premiums. A company that has great rates for one person, might not for another.

You have to compare for yourself.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Kentucky by City

Average Car Insurance Rate Kentucky Cities
You can see that Pikeville and Louisville have much higher rates than Kentucky’s other biggest cities.

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What are the best Kentucky car insurance companies?

There are a lot of companies to choose from when you’re shopping for auto insurance coverage. It can be hard to find the right one for you but don’t worry, we’ll help you know what steps to take to find the best company for your needs.

We’ll show you financial ratings, complaint information, and customer satisfaction information. Most importantly, we’ll show you which companies offer the cheapest auto insurance.

First up, financial ratings.

Financial Rating

AM Best is an independent rating agency. They examine the financial standing of insurance companies and predict how they’ll do in the future. A good grade and a stable outlook indicate the company will remain solvent and able to pay claims.

Allstate Insurance GroupA+
Kentucky Farm Bureau GroupA
Liberty Mutual GroupA
Nationwide Corp GroupA+
Progressive GroupA+
Shelter Insurance GroupA
State Auto Mutual GroupA-
State Farm GroupA++
USAA GroupA++
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All of the largest companies in Kentucky have good grades and stable outlooks, so if you go with one of these, the odds are favorable that your insurer will remain solvent and able to pay your claims. To check the rating of another company, go to the AM Best website.

Consumer Ratings

What AM Best provides for financial ratings, J.D. Power provides for consumer ratings. Overall customer satisfaction will give you an idea of how your interaction with your insurance company will be.

JD Power 2018 Auto Insurance Study Southeast Region

Consumer reports is another valuable resource for consumer ratings.

Company Complaints

Complaint ratio for Kentucky's largest insurers

The complaint ratio is the number of complaints per $1 million of premiums received. Larger companies will have more complaints than smaller companies because of how many more customers they have. That’s why the complaint ratio matters more than simply the number of complaints.

Rates by Company

So, which auto insurance company has the lowest rates? The prices listed below are annual premiums for a 32-year-old married man.

Cheapest CompaniesRatesMost Expensive CompaniesAnnual Rates
Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange
$672.13Nationwide General Insurance Company
American Select Insurance Company
$874.75Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company
United Services Automobile Association
$912.75Trexis One Insurance Corporation
Erie Insurance Exchange
$946.88Encompass Insurance Company of America
USAA Casualty Insurance Company
$952.75Amica Property and Casualty Insurance Company
Auto-Owners Insurance Company
$958.63Permanent General Assurance Corporation of Ohio
Geico General Insurance Company
$1,081.50Trexis Insurance Corporation
Government Employees Insurance Company
$1,081.50Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
$1,104.50Encompass Indemnity Company
AIG Property Casualty Company
$1,133.38American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas
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Here are the cheapest companies for a 23-year-old female:

Cheapest Car Insurers for 23-year-old female in Kentucky

Kentucky's cheapest insurers for 45-year-old divorced male

It’s plain to see that each example person gets different auto insurance quotes. The company with the lowest rate for a 23-year-old female isn’t always going to be best for a 45-year-old male. So, whatever your age, marital status, and driving history, you need to compare personalized auto insurance rates to know which are the cheapest insurance companies for you.

Largest Car Insurance Companies in Kentucky

Largest car insurers in Kentucky by market share

Company NameDirect Premiums WrittenLoss RatioMarket Share
Allstate Insurance Group$190,42250.09%6.28%
Kentucky Farm Bureau Group$566,60375.94%18.70%
Liberty Mutual Group$206,82259.60%6.82%
Nationwide Corp Group$88,33157.90%2.91%
Progressive Group$240,00058.90%7.92%
Shelter Insurance Group$57,75363.96%1.91%
State Auto Mutual Group$56,05672.38%1.85%
State Farm Group$714,96465.70%23.59%
USAA Group$152,25976.42%5.02%
State Total$3,030,46367.00%100.00%
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There are 900 foreign insurance companies licensed in Kentucky and seven domestic insurers.

If you have a bad credit score or a bad driving record, make sure to look for auto insurance discounts. Most major insurers offer a variety of discounts, including the safe driving discount, good student discount, multi-policy discount (for bundling an auto policy with homeowners insurance or renters insurance), automatic payments discount, and the defensive driving course discount.

When you’re shopping around for the best insurance premiums, don’t forget to take note of which companies offer the best discounts.

Don’t let the slightly higher auto insurance costs prevent you from getting the coverage you need. A minimum liability insurance policy may be cheapest, but it doesn’t offer a lot of coverage.

What do you need to know about Kentucky state laws?

The type of driver you are has a big impact on your premiums. Knowing the laws can help you follow the laws. Have you looked at a codebook lately? There are a lot of laws! You won’t be able to memorize all of them, but we’ll point out some of the most important laws related to driving.

We’ll start by examining how Kentucky makes car insurance laws, and then we’ll get into the rules of the road.

Kentucky Car Insurance LawsInsurers in Kentucky don’t have free reign to charge whatever they want. If the rate jumps up or down by 25 percent or more, prior approval must be given. Forms for prior approval must be filed no less than 60 days before delivery. The Commissioner may extend 30 days with notice.

High-risk InsuranceIf you’ve had your license suspended for committing a major traffic offense, you may be considered a high-risk insurance customer. In many states, the insurance company for a high-risk driver is required to fulfill the future financial responsibility requirements, such as filing an SR-22.

Kentucky does not require such a filing. The high-risk individual is still required to purchase insurance, they just don’t have to file additional paperwork.

If you’re unable to find insurance from the general market, you may need to look into the Kentucky Automobile Insurance Plan (KAIP). This plan offers basic liability insurance to people denied coverage from the voluntary market.

Windshield Coverage

Kentucky law requires insurance to provide deductible- and fee-free windshield replacement for customers carrying comprehensive coverage. It’s one of the few states that stipulates this. That’s great news if you have comprehensive coverage and need a new windshield.

Aftermarket parts may be used. If the consumer prefers factory parts, he or she may be required to pay the difference in cost.

Insurance Fraud

In this hilarious video, you see a guy “falling” in order to make an insurance claim. Thankfully, this company had security cameras and the footage from the rather obvious fake fall has been used to charge him with insurance fraud.

Unfortunately, most who commit insurance fraud are usually not so easy to catch.

Insurance fraud matters because it drives your premiums up. There’s soft fraud and hard fraud. Soft fraud is the “white lies” in insurance. If you’ve stretched the truth about your annual mileage or where you park your car, you’re guilty of soft fraud.

Hard fraud is deliberately lying to an insurance company by falsifying claims or staging accidents (like in the video above).

The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates the average person pays $200–$300 extra in car insurance premiums each year thanks to fraud.

Committing insurance fraud in Kentucky is a crime, and the state has formed a fraud bureau whose sole job is to investigate insurance fraud. Also, insurers are mandated to have a fraud plan.

Kentucky’s Department of Insurance Fraud Division has been cracking down on those who commit fraud and ordered over $3 million in restitution in 2016. They publish monthly reports with the names of the offenders and the amount of money ordered for restitution.

Those who suspect insurance fraud are welcome to submit a report to the state.

Statute of Limitations

After an accident, you have a specific amount of time to file a claim. Past that timeframe, you are totally out of luck. There’s no reason to wait to file a claim, just do it right away.

  • Property Damage – Two years
  • Personal Injury – One year

Vehicle Licensing Laws

If you don’t have your vehicle registered and insured, you’re going to get into trouble. The state legislature has mandated a crackdown on those who drive uninsured.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond Offense in Five Years
ImprisonmentUp to 90 days (imprisonment may be in place of or in addition to the fine)Up to 180 days (imprisonment may be in place of or in addition to the fine)
RegistrationRegistration will be revoked and license plates suspended for one year or until proof of insurance can be shownRegistration will be revoked and license plates suspended for one year or until proof of insurance can be shown
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Law enforcement may access information regarding your car’s insurance through AVIS. If you purchased insurance within the past 45 days and it’s not reflected in AVIS, you may show your insurance card (paper or electronic) as proof of insurance.

Vehicles registered in Kentucky must be insured by a company licensed to sell insurance in the state even if they’re not being driven. The only exceptions to this are as follows:

  • You may cancel insurance if you’ve already turned the vehicle’s plates into the County Clerk’s Office
  • You may cancel insurance if you’re a college student and have insurance licensed in the state where you’re from or where you’re attending
  • Active duty military may stay with insurance from another state
  • People temporarily working out of state may purchase insurance in the state where they are working

Teen Driver Laws

RestrictionsPermitIntermediate LicenseUnrestricted License
AgeMinimum age 16After having a permit for six months (minimum age 16 years six months). If convicted of a traffic offense, the teen must begin the six-month period againAfter holding an intermediate license for six months (minimum age 17) or age 18
Hours of DrivingMinimum 60 hours, 10 of which must be at nightMust have completed the permit requirementMust have completed the permit requirement
TimeCannot drive between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. without good causeCannot drive between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. without good causeNo restrictions
PassengerOne unrelated passenger under 20 years old limit except when supervised by a driving training instructorOne unrelated passenger under 20 years old limit except when supervised by a driving training instructorNo restrictions
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Out-of-state permit holders must be 16 years old to drive in Kentucky.

Kentucky has a zero-tolerance law for alcohol and drivers under 21 years of age. Drivers under 21 may not drive with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.02 percent.

Driving privileges may be suspended for a driver under 18 who accumulates more than six points and a driver over 18 who accumulates 12 or more points.

Kentucky students who are 16 and 17 years old who wish to drive must obtain a School Compliance Verification Form. If a student drops out of high school or receives non-passing grades, he or she will not be allowed driving privileges.

Vehicle Registration Procedures

When renewing your license in person, be prepared with the following items:

You may also renew online if all of the following points apply to your situation, according to the state of Kentucky website:

  • list of eligible plates is available online.
  • Vehicles registered in separate counties to the current owner must be renewed separately.
  • Leased vehicles cannot be renewed online.
  • The vehicle(s) renewed must have unexpired registration(s).
  • The owner of the vehicle(s) cannot have overdue property taxes on any other vehicles they own.
  • The vehicle(s) must be insured for at least 45 days with the same insurance company for database verification.

License Renewal Procedures

Previously, Kentucky driver’s licenses needed to be renewed every four years, the time between renewals has been increased to eight years.

Anyone wishing to renew their license must do so in person. The only exception is for military personnel who may renew by mail.

New Residents

New residents need to be aware of the following guidelines:

  • New residents in Kentucky have 30 days to get a Kentucky license.
  • To get a license, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • You will need to bring your out-of-state license and social security card to the Circuit Court Clerk’s office (photocopies are not accepted). If your name is different than that on your birth certificate, you may need to show a marriage license or court-ordered name change.
  • Those under age 18 must present a School Compliance Verification Form signed by the out-of-state school.
  • Out-of-state permit holders must transfer their permit to Kentucky before applying for a license.

College Students

A college student may drive on their valid out-of-state license and is not required to transfer that license to Kentucky if:

  • They are a citizen of the United States;
  • They are enrolled as a full-time or part-time student at a university, college, or technical college located in Kentucky; and
  • They must have a student identification card from the university, college, or technical college located in Kentucky in their immediate possession at all times when driving in Kentucky.


Kentucky is working to get REAL ID compliant. If you have a standard Kentucky driver’s license as your only form of ID, you won’t be able to fly after October 2020. Between March and May 2019, the state will roll out licenses, permits, and personal IDs which are REAL ID compliant.

You can still opt for a standard driver’s license, but remember it won’t be enough for you to fly domestically after October 2020.

Kentucky Points System

Points on your license stay for two years from the date of conviction — not the date of the infraction.

Infractions stay on your record for five years, but the points come off after two. Insurance companies have access to three years of your driving infractions.

Accumulating 12 points in two years may result in a license suspension. For those under 18, accumulating seven points may result in a license suspension.

Three-point OffensesThree-point OffensesFour-point OffensesFive-point OffensesSix-point OffensesHearing — Possible Suspension
Careless driving11–15 mph over speed limit on limited access highwayReckless drivingImproper passing16–25 mph over speed limit on any road or highway26 mph over speed limit on any road or highway
Improper lane usage15 mph or less over speed limit on any non-limited access highwayFollowing too closeFailure to stop for church or school busAttempting to elude police officer
Improper use of left lane/limited access highwayFailure to yieldDriving on wrong side of roadwayCommitting a moving hazardous violation involving an incidentRacing
Failure to illuminate headlights or failure to dim headlightsFailure to yield right-of-way to funeral processionChanging drivers in a motor vehicleCommitting two or more moving hazardous violations in any continuous occurrence
Failure to comply with Instructional Permit requirementsStop violation (traffic signal, railroad crossing, stop sign)Vehicle not under control
Any other moving hazardous violationWrong way on a one-way streetFailure to yield to emergency vehicle
Texting while drivingToo fast or too slow for road conditions
Improper driving, improper start, or improper turn
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If your infraction was for 10 mph or less over the speed limit on a limited access highway, the points are zero.

Rules of the Road

Next up — driving laws you need to know about. We’ll cover everything from headlights to DUIs.

Fault Versus No-fault

Kentucky is a choice no-fault state. Drivers may opt-out of no-fault coverage (PIP) in writing. If you don’t opt out, you must purchase PIP coverage and each party must pay for their own medical bills following an accident regardless of who is at fault.

The victim may sue the at-fault party if the medical costs exceed $1,000 or if the accident caused the claimant’s permanent disfigurement, fracture of a weight-bearing bone; compound, compressed, or displaced fracture of any bone; any permanent injury, or any permanent loss of a body function.

For minor accidents, your own PIP coverage will pay for your medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages.

The at-fault party will still be responsible for property damage.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

Have you ever been on a four-lane (or more) highway and even though there’s no heavy traffic, you’re stuck going under the speed limit because some idiot is just lolly-gagging in the left lane and totally impeding the flow of traffic? Yeah, it’s frustrating! But guess what…it’s also illegal!

In Kentucky, you must drive in the right lane unless you are passing or turning left. Now, if everyone would just abide by that, it would sure open up the roadways!

As for “move over” laws, in Kentucky, the require motorists to move to the lane not adjacent an emergency vehicle if safe and possible to do so. If impossible or unsafe to do so, the law requires motorists to slow down and use caution while passing emergency vehicles.

Headlight Law

Headlights can only be white, and this restriction applies to cars registered in other states that are traveling through Kentucky. Not only does the bulb have to be white, but there cannot be a colored film or tint put on the headlights.

Sharing the Roadway

Bicyclists and motorists don’t always get along in perfect harmony. A new law in Kentucky requires vehicles to stay at least three feet from bicycles when passing. Motorists may cross a double line to safely pass a bicyclist if safe to do so.

Speed Limits

Road TypeSpeed Limits
Rural Interstates65; 70 on specified segments of road
Urban Interstates65
Other Limited Access Roads65
Other Roads55
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Seatbelt and Car Seat Laws

Kentucky's Child Safety LawsFinesCar SeatAdult BeltAdditional Fines
Who is covered?
In what seats?
Maximum base fine first offense, additional fees may applyMust be in
child safety seat
Adult belt permissibleMaximum base fine first offense, additional fees may apply
7 and younger and more than 57 inches in all seats; 8+ in all seats $2540 inches or less in a child restraint; 7 and younger who are between 40 and 57 inches tall in a booster seat taller than 57 inches $50 child restraint; $30 booster seat
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The Kentucky Transporation Cabinet reminds caregivers that,

Best practice…[is] to keep children under 57 inches riding in a booster until they meet the height requirement, regardless of age.

Seatbelt and car seat violations are primary offenses in Kentucky. You can be pulled over for just that violation. In states where it’s a secondary offense, you can be ticketed for it but there has to be another reason to be pulled over by law enforcement.

If you’re curious whether or not you can ride in the cargo area of a pickup truck, you can. It’s not safe, but there aren’t any laws against it in Kentucky.


There are several companies that offer ridesharing insurance in Kentucky.

Kentucky residents can participate in a ridesharing program called “Slugging.” Drivers pick up passengers (slugs) who have the same destination as themselves. Money is not exchanged. The slug gets a ride while the driver gets to travel in the HOV lane.

Standard ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have rules to abide by. They have to:

  • Apply to operate in Kentucky
  • Renew applications each year
  • Carry $1 million in insurance while transporting passengers
  • Be insured while waiting for customers

Automation on the Road

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Kentucky has “regulated platooning technology, which allows groups of individual trucks or buses to travel together with set distances between them at electronically coordinated speeds.”

While Kentucky hasn’t passed legislation governing autonomous vehicles, lawmakers focused on future planning are looking into how to embrace autonomous technology wisely.

Safety Laws

Driving is a serious task. To be a safe driver, you cannot be under the influence of drugs alcohol. Here’s how Kentucky cracks down on impaired driving.

DUI Laws

Bourbon whiskey and Kentucky — a match made in heaven. When you live in the state that produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, you’re probably going to have access to some fabulous distilleries. Even so, there are 39 dry counties in the state prohibiting the sale of alcohol.

In Louisville, alcohol can be served from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:00 p.m. through 4:00 a.m. on Sundays. The rest of the state closes down alcohol service at 2:00 a.m.

In Kentucky, a DUI includes driving under the influence of the following substances which impair driving ability:

  • Alcohol
  • Over-the-counter medication
  • Prescription drugs
  • Illegal drugs
  • Inhalants

The first three offenses within ten years are considered misdemeanors while the fourth and subsequent offenses within 10 years are considered felonies.

PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond OffenseThird OffenseFourth Offense
Suspended License30–120 days12–18 months24–36 months60 months
ImprisonmentTwo to 30 daysSeven days to six months30 days–12 monthsMinimum 120 days without probation
Program Attendance90 days of alcohol or substance abuse programOne year alcohol or substance abuse treatmentOne year alcohol or substance abuse treatmentOne year alcohol or substance abuse treatment
Community ServicePossible 48 hours–30 days of community labor10 days to six months community labor10 days–12 months community laborN/A
Mandatory Ignition Interlock DeviceNo (Yes, if BAC is over 0.15)YesYesYes
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Kentucky has harsher penalties for high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 percent or greater. Statistics prove that the risk of being involved in a crash raises greatly. At 0.15 percent BAC, you’re over 1000 percent more likely to be in an accident than when you’re sober.

Distracted Driving Laws

Drivers under 18 years old may not use a handheld electronic device, like a cell phone while driving. If you’re over 18, you can talk on a cell phone, but you are banned from texting.

Texting and driving is a primary offense in Kentucky, so you can be pulled over just for that violation.

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Kentucky Can’t-Miss Facts

You may be interested in the statistics related to driving in Kentucky, but there’s a lot of data to sift through to find what’s relevant. We’ll help you out and show you some of the most interesting information from vehicle thefts to fatalities to EMS response times to commute times right here in one place.

Vehicle Theft in Kentucky

Chevy pickup trucks are popular with Kentucky car thieves. Check out the other popular models:

Vehicle Theft by City

Urban areas have a higher population density than rural areas, and as a result of more people, they have more crimes. It’s not a surprise that Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville, has the highest number of stolen vehicles.

CityMotor Vehicle Thefts
Bowling Green125
Louisville Metro2,025
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Risky and Harmful Behavior

Driving is a convenience that is hard to live without, but please don’t forget the risk involved. Don’t become a statistic. Drive carefully!

Fatality Rates by City

City/AreaTotal Killed (Pedestrian and Vehicle Occupants)Fatality Rate per 100,000 Population
Louisville/Jefferson County Metro8714.12%
Lexington-Fayette Urban County5015.7%
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Traffic Fatalities by County

Top Ten Counties223220246284276
All Other Counties415452515550506
All Counties638672761834782
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Traffic Fatalities Rural Versus Urban

Type of Roadway20132014201520162017
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Fatalities by Person Type

Passenger Car269278314353326
Light Truck – Pickup92115120116126
Light Truck – Utility8484998890
Light Truck – Van2021253232
Light Truck – Other00001
Large Truck10991610
Other/Unknown Occupants1517242315
Total Occupants490524591628600
Total Motorcyclists87869111190
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist34797
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants31552
Total Nonoccupants6162799592
Grand Total638672761834782
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Fatalities by Crash Type

Crash Type20132014201520162017
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)638672761834782
Single Vehicle355395400451413
Involving a Large Truck78688110089
Involving Speeding125125140138138
Involving a Rollover157200229216203
Involving a Roadway Departure410456499529472
Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)116119122152179
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Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

County NameFatalities Per 100K Population 201520162017
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Fatalities Involving an Alcohol-impaired Driver by County

County Name201520162017
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Teen Drinking and Driving

In 2016, law enforcement in Kentucky made 66 arrests for drunk driving by individuals under 18 years old. Since Kentucky has just over a million residents under 18, that puts the arrests per million people at 65.31.

The national average for under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100.000 population is 1.2. Kentucky comes in under that average at 0.9.

EMS Response Time Rural Versus Urban

Population DensityTime of Crash to EMS
EMS Notification to
EMS Arrival
EMS Arrival at Scene
to Hospital Arrival
Time of Crash to Hospital
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The average Kentucky household has two cars. Most drive themselves to work and the average commute time is 22.4 minutes compared to the 25.3-minute average countrywide. Public transportation isn’t a huge factor in the average Kentucky resident’s commute.

Here’s how car ownership compares with the rest of the U.S. Kentucky is represented by orange, and the U.S. average is represented by gray.

Car Ownership

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), 42.3 percent of households in Kentucky owned two cars in 2018.

Commute Time

The ACS also found that in 2018, Kentucky workers spent an average of 22.5 minutes on their daily commute compared to a national average of 25.7 minutes. Furthermore, 2.05 percent of Kentuckians had “super commutes” of longer than 90 minutes.

Commuter Transportation

A majority of Kentucky workers, 82.4 percent, drove alone to work. That’s compared to only 9.36 of Kentuckians who carpooled.

Traffic Congestion

While the Louisville and Lexington metro areas definitely have some traffic congestion, at least it’s not like Los Angeles! If you’re sitting in traffic in Kentucky, getting aggravated with those around you, just remind yourself of that.

CityHours spent in congestionPercent spent in congestion – PEAKPercent spent in congestion – DAYTIMEPercent spent in congestion – OVERALL
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Now, with all this information, you can consider yourself an informed driver!

Remember, as a driver, car insurance is vitally important. You shouldn’t overpay for the coverage you need, though. Enter your ZIP code into our free tool below to compare rates and find the coverage that’s right for you!

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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