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What are the Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements in Nevada?

One reason to buy insurance is that it’s the law. You will not be able to register your vehicle unless you show adequate proof of insurance. As of July 2018, Nevada drivers must carry at least the following in automobile insurance:

  • Bodily injury: $25,000 per person, and $50,000 per accident. Bodily injury pays compensation when you injure another person. Your insurance will cover things like medical bills and lost wages. A minimum of $25,000 is required. If you injure two or more people, then you must have at least $50,000 to cover any injuries.
  • Property damage: $20,000. You might cause damage in a crash to someone else’s vehicle or other property. Your insurance will cover up to $20,000 in this damage.

Before July 2018, Nevada had lower limits for bodily injury: $15,000 per person, and $30,000 per accident. Nevada increased the amount of coverage you must have, so you will need to purchase additional insurance if you do not currently have the required minimum.

Should You Buy More Coverage?

Although these are the bare minimums, many drivers purchase additional insurance. For example, they might buy a higher policy limit for bodily injuries, often up to $100,000 per person and $200,000 per accident.

There are many valid reasons to buy more insurance. In fact, it might be the smart choice for most motorists. As mentioned earlier in this article, even moderate injuries will quickly exhaust $25,000 in benefits, leaving injured motorists with unmet medical needs. You might think that isn’t your problem, but the truth is that Nevada law lets injured victims sue the drivers who cause their accidents.

Let’s look at a real-world example: Say you severely injure another motorist and they need $100,000 in medical care. You only carry the minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. You might think the motorist will just accept the $25,000 and leave you alone, but the law lets them sue you to receive the entire $100,000.

And if a motorist wins their lawsuit, they can come after assets that you own. If you own a boat or several cars, they can ask the sheriff to seize them and sell them at an auction. In some situations, they might be able to even force a sale of your home. Most of the proceeds then go to pay the $100,000 judgment against you. Conversely, if you carried $100,000 in bodily injury liability insurance, then your policy can cover the other driver’s full loss.

Second, buying a larger policy might not be as expensive as you think. Many motorists wrongly believe that they will have to pay hundreds of dollars more each month to get a larger policy. You should talk with your insurance agent for quotes. You might be surprised at how affordable it is.

Other Policies to Buy

Many motorists also purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You can use this policy if you are injured by a driver who is uninsured or whose policy is inadequate to compensate you for your injuries. For example, you might suffer $150,000 in injuries, of which only $25,000 is covered by the other driver’s insurance. Your UM coverage can step in and pay more.

You might also purchase medical payments coverage, which covers medical treatments for you or your passengers regardless of fault for the accident. Medpay also covers medical treatment if you are a pedestrian who is struck by a moving vehicle.

How much insurance to buy is a complicated issue, one you can answer by considering your needs, income, and tolerance for risk.

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