You could call Nevada the “Even-Steven” State based on its insurance rates. Ranked 25th, puts it squarely in the middle of the pack of states and just below the national average in insurance costs. It ranks 23rd for most uninsured drivers, again in the middle of the pack and just barely ranks under the national average for number of fatalities on roadways for both per capita of people and road miles driven. As a large geographic state, with little population that is very sparse, except Las Vegas the state seems to have their insurance system in order.
Nevada like Most
When you get into an accident in Nevada, like in most states you have a number of options to recover any damages, especially if you were not at fault. As an at fault state, Nevada allows drivers to recover damages from an accident that is not their fault in a number of ways.
First you can always claim damages from your own insurance company, which would be a waste of money and risk an increase in premiums if it was not your fault. In minor accidents you can also settle privately out of court directly with the other driver and without insurance claims. Just be careful to get an agreement in writing and witnessed. Thirdly you can make a claim directly against the other driver’s insurance company and hope for an out of court settlement. This settlement can often be lowered if you are believed to be partially at fault. Lastly you can always litigate your case in a civil lawsuit against the other driver.
The state has a fairly low minimum insurance requirement, but all drivers must have insurance in the state. When renewing or registering a vehicle in the state proof of insurance is required. Also the Nevada LIVE system checks on your insurance status at least twice a year. If you are found without insurance you will be sent a notice to provide proof of insurance within 15 days. If you do not have insurance and are caught by enforcement officers, you can be assessed certain penalties such as reinstatement fees, fines up to $1000, a driver’s license suspension and the requirement of a SR-22 financial security certificate.
Insurance requirements in the state include $15,000 for bodily injury for a single injury accident, $30,000 for bodily injuries in multiple-person accidents and $10,000 for property damage in an accident. Most insurance companies are going to recommend higher insurance minimums to cover the average settlement or lawsuit costs for the state of Nevada.
With 12% of drivers in the state without proper insurance, it would be wise to opt for Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. Other coverages include collision and comprehensive coverages which protect your own vehicle in accidents and theft or damage. You can also opt for medical payments coverage as well as guaranteed asset protection coverage. GAP coverage pays for the outstanding amount you may owe on a car, should the car become totaled in an accident and you owe more than what it is worth. These optional coverages can often prevent financial collapse if you can afford them on a monthly basis.
SR-22 in Nevada
These provide a security responsibility to the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles in the case where you were found to be driving without insurance or involved in a DUI infraction. If you are caught driving for more than 3 months without insurance or involved in certain DUI infractions, you may be required to carry an SR-22 for up to 3 years afterwards. A SR-22 simply states that you guarantee to carry the appropriate insurance required in the state. Your insurance company files the SR-22 with the DMV on your behalf.