Quick Guide to Auto Insurance
No matter the severity, car crashes can be devastating. From dealing with injuries to repairing vehicular damage, car wrecks can affect your entire life. But if the other driver is uninsured, the situation becomes even more of a headache. When you’re on the road, there’s no way to guarantee that all drivers around you have car insurance. In fact, according to the Insurance Research Council, on average, 10.6 percent of Nevada drivers are uninsured. However, you can take steps to protect yourself.
In July 2018, Nevada’s vehicle liability insurance minimums doubled, marking the first major insurance coverage increase in over 30 years. Nevada state law now requires that all drivers have a higher amount of auto liability insurance, which protects only the other driver if you are determined to be at fault in an accident. While this increase in minimum coverage limits means higher available coverage in the event of a crash, it also increases the risk that more drivers may choose to go without insurance due to higher premiums.
Read on for a quick guide to Nevada’s motor vehicle insurance laws.
Liability insurance is Nevada’s minimum required car insurance coverage. However, this type of insurance only covers the other driver if you were determined to be at fault in the accident. It will not cover the insured driver, his/her passengers, or damages, whether they are physical or vehicle-related. As of July 1, 2018, Nevada drivers are required to have the following levels of liability insurance coverage, also called 25/50/20:
- $25,000 minimum bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 minimum bodily injury coverage per accident
- $20,000 minimum property damage coverage per accident (this does not include damage to the insured driver’s vehicle)
If an accident is especially severe, $20,000 may not be enough to cover the damage that has been done to the other driver’s vehicle. If you would like more than the minimum protection, you have the option of purchasing additional coverage with higher limits.
As the name implies, this type of auto insurance protects you in the event of a car accident, no matter who is determined to be at fault. Collision auto insurance covers your vehicle if you hit-or are hit by-another vehicle or object. Nevada does not require that drivers have collision coverage, but it can come in handy during stressful situations.
Most people consider themselves good drivers-and while that may be true, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be involved in a car accident. Whether due to the driver’s own negligence or the negligence of another driver, car accidents happen extremely frequently. Collision insurance will cover repairs for any damage to your own vehicle, or even compensation if your vehicle is totaled.
This type of auto insurance protects your vehicle against damage other than car accidents or fender benders. It covers vehicle damage from theft, vandalism, falling objects, and even bad weather.
Similar to Collision Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage is not required in the state of Nevada. But no matter where you live, the risks of vehicle damage can never be ruled out. If you decide to purchase both Comprehensive and Collision Coverage, your vehicle will be fully protected against any type of physical damage.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
This type of auto insurance covers you if you are involved in a car accident with a driver who is either uninsured or covered by only a small amount of insurance. The State of Nevada does not require that drivers purchase Uninsured Motorist Coverage, but considering the fact that 10.6 percent of Nevada drivers are uninsured, it would be a wise investment for yourself and your wallet. Nevada Insurance laws require that insurance companies offer UM/UIM coverage at a level no less than $25,000 per claim and $50,000 per accident.
Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)
Medical Payments Coverage — known in Nevada as “Medpay” for short — is an optional coverage that covers reasonable and necessary medical bills and funeral expenses, up to policy limits, resulting from a motor vehicle accident. The coverage applies regardless of who is at fault and applies even if an insured or his resident family member is in the insured vehicle or hit by another vehicle. Generally, the coverage applies to the insured, the insured’s family and passengers in the insured driver’s vehicle.
Usage Based Insurance
As noted above, with the increase in coverage limits, premiums have now increased. To help lower premiums, consumers may want to consider purchasing Usage Based Insurance (UBI). UBI can help save money for those who use public transportation or ride-sharing or who simply don’t drive much. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has launched a new tool called DriveCheck to help consumers determine if UBI may fit their driving habits. The DriveCheck website will take you through a few quick questions about driving habits while providing more information about how UBI works. At the end of your visit on its site, DriveCheck will provide you with an assessment of whether you will benefit from UBI.
If you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver and receive physical injuries, this type of coverage makes sure you have the means to pay for medical bills. Considering how stressful car accidents are, uninsured motorist coverage could be the difference between getting the health care you need and living with chronic pain.
In the short term, while going uninsured may be tempting, the truth is that skipping out on car insurance is never a good idea. While it may seem nice to pocket a little more money each month, you could cost yourself a fortune in the long term.
Even a small fender bender can have disastrous financial consequences for any driver, but especially for the uninsured. If you’re thinking about investing in car insurance, make sure to do your research to find the best prices and the best coverage. If you are not able to afford comprehensive, collision, or uninsured motorist insurance, at the very least make sure you are meeting Nevada’s minimum insurance requirements to protect yourself from fines and fees.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Las Vegas
If you were involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver, contact a personal injury lawyer at Shook & Stone. With over 85 years of combined legal experience, Shook & Stone’s personal injury lawyers in Las Vegas have the expertise to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial case evaluation or call us at 702-570-0000.