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Nevada Car Insurance Laws & State Minimum Coverage Limits

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Feb 21, 2018

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Nevada State FlagThe state of Nevada requires all drivers to carry insurance in order to comply with financial responsibility laws. These laws protect all drivers on the road by ensuring that they can pay for damages caused in an at-fault accident. Currently, Nevada requires only basic liability insurance.

Mandatory Coverage

Nevada law mandates that all drivers have at least the legal minimum in coverage for liability. This insurance will pay for injuries, damages, and death in an accident. The legal minimums in Nevada are:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury, and $50,000 per incident to pay for all parties injured in a single accident
  • $20,000 for property damage to pay for damage to another person’s vehicle or any other property damaged in the accident

While these are the legal minimums, most drivers choose to carry higher limits due to the high cost of car accidents, particularly serious ones. In addition to higher liability limits, there are several other options drivers can choose from to provide financial protection.

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Optional Coverage

Nevada drivers can create a comprehensive policy by selecting from a list of optional features available from Nevada insurers.

The most common options include:

  • Collision – pays for damage to your vehicle in the event that you are found at fault in an accident. The more expensive a car is to replace, the more important this coverage becomes.
  • Comprehensive – provides coverage for non-accident damages, such as those caused by theft, vandalism, weather, and fire. This coverage generally also has a glass-only benefit to repair broken, cracked, or chipped auto glass.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – pays for damages caused by another driver who is either uninsured or underinsured – meaning their limits are not high enough to cover all of the damage.
  • Towing and Labor – pays for towing and other roadside assistance needs in a non-accident situation.
  • Rental Reimbursement – pays for the use of a rental car during a covered claim.

Insurance companies may offer a variety of other options and add-ons to complete your car insurance policy and add extra value and coverage.

Proof of Insurance Laws and Penalties

Nevada drivers must provide proof of insurance upon request to law enforcement during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. Failure to provide proof can result in penalties.

Nevada uses an electronic system to ensure that all vehicles on the road in the state are properly insured. Drivers must provide insurance information to the DMV, and it can be added, changed, and updated online through the MyDMV online services site.

If the liability insurance is canceled or lapses on a vehicle, the state requires that the license plates be surrendered. Registration will immediately be suspended and the owner sent a verification request by mail. Failure to respond to their request within 15 days will result in the mailing of a certified letter, to which you will have 10 days to respond. Failing this, penalties will apply.

Nevada’s penalties for insurance lapses are based on a tiered system of increasing fees and penalties based on how long the insurance has been lapsed for and how many lapses the same driver has had.

For a first offense:

  • The reinstatement fee is $251
  • After the first 30 days, an additional $251 fine is added
  • After 90 days the fine rises to $501 and an SR-22 will be required
  • After 180 days, the fine rises to $1001 and an SR-22 will be required

For a second offense:

  • The reinstatement fee is $501
  • After the first 30 days, an additional $501 is added
  • After 90 days, the fine stays the same, but an SR-22 is required
  • After 180 days, the fine increases to $1001 and an SR-22 is required

For a third offense: An SR-22 is required immediately, the driver’s license is suspended for at least 30 days, and:

  • The reinstatement fee is $751
  • After 30 days, an additional fine of $501 is added
  • After 90 days, the additional fine goes up to $751
  • After 180 days, the additional fine goes up to $1001

Additionally, if the registration has been suspended and you are caught driving, your license plates will be confiscated and the vehicle impounded.

Shopping for Car Insurance in Nevada

Nevada falls right around the national average for car insurance rates. According to a 2017 Insure.com study, Nevada falls at number 20 among all states, with rates just below the average at $1342. Nevada drivers can shop around to reduce their car insurance rates.

Nevada insurance companies use a variety of factors to determine rates. It is legal in Nevada to use credit scores in the insurance underwriting process. The Nevada Division of Insurance site provides helpful information to drivers regarding shopping for insurance and how rates are determined.

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High-Risk Drivers

Some drivers may be considered to be high-risk as a consequence of tickets or accidents on their driving records. As a result, insurance companies may increase rates or even, in extreme circumstances, refuse coverage to these drivers.

Nevada participates in an assigned risk program through which high-risk drivers can obtain the insurance they need to drive legally. This system assigns each driver to a particular insurance company, which is required to provide a policy. Although the insurance company must provide the needed insurance, they will still charge higher rates to high-risk drivers.

Teen Drivers in Nevada

Teen drivers in Nevada must go through a multi-level graduated licensing program in order to reach a full driver’s license. Each stage has its own particular rules and restrictions that must be followed until the teen passes to the next level.

Instruction Permit

This permit is available at 15.5 years old and allows teens to drive while supervised during the initial stages of learning to drive. To be eligible for a permit, teens must be enrolled in school and pass a written knowledge test.

Restricted Driver’s License

At 16 years old, teen drivers can apply for a restricted license, as long as they have met the requirements:

  • Have passed an approved driver education course
  • Have completed 50 hours of driving practice with at least 10 of those hours after dark (or 100 hours in certain situations)
  • Have held a permit for at least 6 months
  • Be enrolled in school

With the restricted license drivers must follow the following rules:

  • No passengers under the age of 18 are permitted unless they are immediate family members for the first 6 months
  • Drivers under the age of 18 may not drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless for an approved work or school purpose.
    • The curfew hour is moved back to 9 p.m. in certain areas of Nevada. In Las Vegas, driving is not permitted after 9 p.m. on the strip, but the curfew is extended to midnight on Friday and Saturday nights.
    • In Reno, the 9 p.m. curfew applies in the gambling district, but the curfew is midnight in all other areas on weeknights

Full License

At 18 years old, all teen drivers graduate from the restrictions and drive on a full license.

All teen drivers, regardless of restriction level, must obey the financial responsibility laws. Teens can be covered under the car insurance policy of a parent or guardian even when away at school until they establish their own residence.

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

4 Comments

  1. Eric,
    You state, “Teens can be covered under the car insurance policy of a parent or guardian even when away at school until they establish their own residence.” It is also stated that each driver must be insured to a minimum level. I have a 17 yr old driver, can she fall under my insurance, or do I need to specifically add her to my policy? When I add her, my insurance doubles in cost.

    Reply
    • Hi Jeremy,

      Yes, you need to add her name to the policy if she will be driving the car. Unfortunately, teens are the highest risk for the insurance company, so their premiums are very high.

      In some cases you add someone as an EXCLUDED DRIVER, and your premium will not be impacted by them being under your household. However, this means if she does get in the car and gets in an accident, the insurance company will cover nothing. Even if she is just making a quick run down the street. Use this feature with caution.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
      • Thank you, Eric. Is this a Nevada requirement? If so, do you happen to have the NRS reference for it? I know that it is the policy of several insurance companies, but I’m curious if it is an actual enforceable regulation.

        Also, what would be the difference between letting her drive my car once in a while versus letting a friend borrow my truck to take a load of garbage to the city dump. If an accident occurs with my friend, it falls under my insured vehicle, but I don’t need to add him to my coverage, do I?

        Thanks again for taking the time.

        Reply
        • Hi Jeremy,

          I am not an expert on individual State statutes, so I can’t help you there.

          As for your question, it is because your friend doesn’t live in the same household. Your daughter does, so she would need to be listed on the policy.

          Best,
          Eric Stauffer

          Reply

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