All drivers in Nebraska are required to carry a basic amount of car insurance in order to be on the road legally, or meet one of the other requirements for financial responsibility. This law exists to make sure that all drivers can be held responsible for negligence on the road – and that all drivers and passengers can receive restitution for damage and injuries incurred as the result of an accident.
Drivers in Nebraska can choose to provide liability insurance coverage or meet the financial responsibility requirement through one of the following:
- Surety Bond or Property Bond in the amount of $75,000
- Certificate of Deposit in the amount of $75,000
- Certificate of Self-Insurance (fleet vehicles only)
Most drivers meet the legal requirements by carrying an insurance policy. In Nebraska, insurance must meet the following minimum coverage amounts:
- $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 of bodily injury coverage for all persons injured in a single accident
- $25,000 of property damage coverage to pay for damages to other vehicles or any other property damaged in an at-fault accident
Most Nebraska drivers choose to carry higher limits than these legal minimums in order to protect themselves financially from the high cost of car accidents. In particular, serious accidents that involve injuries.
In addition to the basic insurance requirements, Nebraska drivers can further protect themselves and their families with an expanded auto insurance policy.
Options that can be added to a Nebraska insurance policy include:
- Collision coverage – paying for damage to the insured vehicle in the event that the owner is found at fault in an accident
- Comprehensive coverage – for losses incurred as a result of non-collision incidents such as theft, vandalism, fire, and weather damage
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – covering damages caused by a driver who is either uninsured or whose insurance is not sufficient to cover all of the losses
- Medical Payments coverage – providing benefits for medical coverage that isn’t paid for elsewhere after an accident
- Towing and Labor – paying for non-accident roadside needs
- Rental Reimbursement – covering the costs for a rental car during a covered claim
In addition, Nebraska insurers may offer a range of additional coverage options, packages, and add-ons to make a more valuable and comprehensive policy. These options vary by insurance company.
Proof of Insurance and Penalties
All drivers must carry and present proof of financial responsibility for the vehicle they are driving at all times. During a routine traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, drivers are required to show this proof of insurance to law enforcement officials.
A driver who is convicted of driving without insurance will be subject to an automatic suspension of driving privileges. In order to reinstate privileges, the driver will be required to file an SR-22, proof of financial responsibility, and to pay a reinstatement fee of $50.
The vehicle’s registration will also be suspended, and there is another fee of $50 in order to reinstate this once proof of insurance has been provided.
The SR-22 is required for three years and may result in the driver paying higher insurance rates as a result of being categorized as a high-risk driver. If at any time the SR-22 is not in place and insurance lapses or is canceled, the driver will once again have driving privileges suspended.
Shopping for Nebraska Car Insurance
According to a 2015 study by Insure.com, Nebraska car insurance rates rank at number 38, well below the national average. That means that Nebraska drivers are paying less for car insurance than drivers in many other states.
Nebraska came in with an average annual rate, based on a specific sample of $1,086, compared to the national average of $1,311. Nebraska drivers pay more than $1,000 less on average than Michigan, the highest priced state.
As in most states, Nebraska drivers who keep clean records will get the best rates, and those with tickets and accidents can expect to pay more.
The Nebraska Department of Insurance helps drivers choose a reputable insurance company by offering a company and agent search on their website. They also provide rate comparison guides and other information to help Nebraska drivers obtain the best coverage at the best price.
High Risk Drivers in Nebraska
Drivers who have multiple tickets or accidents, major violations, or other issues on their driving record my be classified as high-risk drivers. Since insurance companies can determine their own rating guidelines and decide who qualifies for their policies, high-risk drivers may have difficulty obtaining coverage. There are some insurance companies, known as non-standard insurers, who provide coverage for high-risk drivers, but in some cases further assistance may be required to obtain the legal requirements for insurance.
The Nebraska Automobile Insurance Plan is designed to help these high-risk drivers to meet the requirements. It will assign each driver to an insurance company, which is required to provide a policy. Although coverage is guaranteed, high-risk drivers can still expect to pay very high premiums for their coverage.
Teen Drivers in Nebraska
Nebraska employs a graduated licensing system that allows teen drivers to learn and practice skills over time and earn more responsibility with fewer restrictions.
In Nebraska, teens may qualify to begin practicing their driving skills as young as 14 years old, if they are applying for a School Permit.
School Learner’s Permit
Between the ages of 14 and 16, teens can apply to obtain a School Learner’s Permit (SLP) license. This license allows the teen to practice driving skills in preparation for the School Permit test, as long as they are accompanied by an adult over 21. In order to get this permit, the teen must qualify for the School Permit.
In order to apply for a School Permit (SCP), which allows a teen to drive back and forth to and from school only, the teen must:
- Live at least 1.5 miles from school
- Live in a town of less than 5001 people or attend school outside a town of less than 5001 people
- Hold a learner’s permit for at least 2 months before applying
- Be between the ages of 14 years three months and 16 years three months
- Pass a DMV approved safety course
- Complete 50 hours of driving practice with 10 of those hours at night
With the SCP, the teen can drive unsupervised only on the shortest route to and from school, and can drive anywhere when accompanied by a driver 21 or over.
The SCP expires at 16 years, three months of age.
The standard Learner’s Permit (LPD) can be obtained on a teen’s 15th birthday, although they can apply 60 days in advance to take the written test, which must be passed in order to earn the permit. With this permit, the teen can driver with another driver of 21 or older in order to practice for the road test.
Provisional Operator’s Permit
This permit can be issued at 16 years of age, and is known as the POP.
In order to obtain a POP, the teen must:
- Complete a DMV approved safety course
- Complete 50 hours of practice driving, with at least 10 of those hours at night
- Hold a Learner’s or School Permit for at least 6 months
- Pass the road test and written test if not waived (waivers are issued with completion of driver education and to holders of school permits respectively)
With the POP, teens may drive unsupervised under a set of restrictions:
- Driving is only permitted between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, with the exception of school or work activities
- No more than one passenger under the age of 19 may be in the vehicle during the first six months, with the exception of family members
This license is valid until the teen reaches the age of 18, at which point the teen can apply for a full license.
Teen drivers must meet all of the legal requirements for financial responsibility at all times. In many cases, teens in Nebraska are insured on the auto policy of a parent or guardian and can remain so through college.
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