When driving a State of Nevada registered vehicle, insurance is required.
Nevada minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Auto insurance policy with limits of at least 15/30/10 – meaning:
- Liability coverage
- $15,000 of bodily injury or death of each person in an accident
- $30,000 of bodily injury or death of all persons in an accident
- $10,000 of injury to or damage of property of others in any one accident
Although uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage is not required by the state of Nevada, insurance companies are legally required to offer it to you in the same amount as your required liability coverage, according to the Nevada Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance. Many drivers choose to purchase it in order to cover any expenses they may accumulate from an accident in which an uninsured or underinsured driver is at fault or in which a hit-and-run occurs.
Alternative Options to Insurance:
- You or your business must have at least 11 vehicles registered in the state under the name of one self-insurance applicant
- Provide a list of those vehicles, including VINs, license plate numbers, and name of the make and model of each vehicle.
- Fill out a self-insurance application in full and have it signed by a principal of the business
- Submit an affidavit (form SI-10) from a state-licensed CPA attesting that all of the applicant’s financial statements have been audited
The application and all other necessary documents should be sent to:
Central Services and Records Division
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711
Note: If you have any additional questions about self-insurance, you can call this division at (775) 684-4491 or email them at DMVSelfInsurance@dmv.nv.gov.
Note: Self-insurance certificates are valid for one year
Self-insurance applicants must deposit one of the following types of security with the DMV:
- A time certificate of deposit
- A surety bond
- Letter of credit
Note: If the security is used to satisfy damages, the self-insurer must replenish the required amount within 24 hours
Note: The amount of security required depends on how many vehicles you have.
Required Proof of Insurance in Nevada
A valid Nevada evidence of insurance card provided by insurance company should be kept in your vehicle at all times. The insurance card should include all of the following:
- Name of insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Effective date/expiration date of policy
- Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
- Name and address of insured driver
Nevada is moving toward a Web reporting system called Nevada Live, in which proof of your liability coverage can be accessed electronically via the DMV’s online system.
Self-insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:
- Expiration date of certificate
- Name and address of driver covered by certificate
- The statements “self-insured” and “This certificate of self-insurance or a photocopy thereof must be carried in the motor vehicle which is self-insured for production on demand.”
Nevada Division of Insurance
Office of the Insurance Commissioner – Brett J. Barratt
1818 E. College Pkwy, Suite 103
Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 687-0700 (Carson City office); 1-888-872-3234 (Division of Insurance toll-free)
Obtaining a Driver’s License
Here are the requirements to obtain your instruction permit for residents under the age of 18:
- Be at least 15 and six months
- Show proof of identity (e.g., birth certificate and Social Security card)
- Pass vision/written tests ($25 testing fee for written test)
- Have parent/guardian sign application portion referring to financial responsibility
- Pay $22 license fee
Note: Instruction permits are good for one year
Here are the requirements to obtain your full license for residents under the age of 18:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Log 50 hours of driving experience, including 10 hours of driving at night, accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older. A parent/guardian must sign your completed driving log and submit it
- Complete driver’s education (drive time with a driver’s ed instructor counts toward your required hours)
- Have a valid instruction permit for at least 6 months
- No accidents that are your fault in the past 6 months
- No moving violation convictions in the past 6 months
- No conviction of alcohol/drug offense in past 6 months
- Complete driving skills tests
Once you meet the requirements, visit your local DMV and apply for a driver’s license. Bring the following:
- Parent/guardian to sign official documents
- Instruction permit
- Proof of identity
- Driver’s ed completion certificate or high school report card/school transcript
- Completed Beginning Driver Experience Log (Form DLD-130)
- Vehicle with registration and insurance
Here are the requirements to obtain your first license for residents over the age of 18:
- Be a resident and provide a Nevada address
- Show proof of identity
- Apply in person at a DMV office (locations here)
- Fill out application for driver’s license
- Pay $22 licensing fee ($17, if 65 or older) and $25 testing fee
- Surrender any other licenses or ID cards
- Pass vision/knowledge tests
- Have photo taken
- Receive instruction permit
- Schedule and complete a skills test to obtain your full license
Completing Driver Education
When a teen reaches the age of 15, they may enroll in a driver’s education course. Nearly all first-time drivers under the age of 18 must complete driver’s ed, and homeschooled students are not exempt from this requirement, according to the DMV. Beginner drivers older than 18 are not required to take driver’s ed, although some choose to do so anyway to hone their driving skills.
To complete a driver’s education course, a student must:
- Attend a classroom-based course and log 50 hours of driving experience
- Attend an online course and log 50 hours of driving experience
- Log 100 hours of driving experience (this option is only available for those who do not live in a 30-mile radius of a location that offers classroom-based instruction and who do not wish to take an online course)
It is important to research any driver-training program that you enroll in. You want to make sure they meet the following standards:
The driving school and individual instructors are licensed and have certificates to teach driver’s education from the State of Nevada. (See a list of professional driving schools here).
- They meet the state curriculum requirements
- Check if they have received any disciplinary action for violations
- Make sure there are enough instructors to meet student needs
You can also check if your student’s public or private high school offers any driver training programs. These programs meet the state requirements and have licensed instructors.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Nevada provides their rules of the road online in Chapter 484 of the Nevada Revised Statutes. Carefully obey these rules to qualify for the lowest possible car insurance rates.
- Aggressive driving: NRS 484B.650
- Carpool lanes: NRS 484A.460 and NRS 484B.323
- Child restraint systems in vehicles: NRS 484B.157
- Driving on mountain highway: NRS 484B.120
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: NRS 484C.110
- Flashing signals: NRS 484B.310
- Following too closely: NRS 484B.127
- Obedience to police officer: NRS 484B.100
- Obedience to signal indicating approach of train: NRS 484B.553
- Obedience to traffic control devices: NRS 484B.300
- Open containers of alcohol: NRS 484B.150
- Operation of vehicle on approach of emergency vehicle: NRS 484B.267
- Overtaking and passing school buses: NRS 484B.353
- Overtaking a vehicle on the left: NRS 484B.207
- Reckless driving: NRS 484B.653
- School zone or school crossing zone speed limits: NRS 484B.363
- Slow driving; minimum speed limit: NRS 484B.623
- Unlawful riding: NRS 484B.160
- Unattended motor vehicle: NRS 484B.530 and NRS 484B.533
- Vehicles and bicycles: NRS 484B.270
Nevada residents are encouraged to think carefully about how much auto insurance they need and how much they can afford to pay, as an insurance policy is a legal contract. If you let the contract lapse, it could prevent you from receiving low cost car insurance in Nevada. While Nevada only requires drivers to purchase minimum liability coverage, many drivers feel it is in their best interest to purchase additional coverage beyond the state requirements. Additional coverage in an auto policy could include: uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments, rental coverage, rental/reimbursement, guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance, towing/labor coverage, and collector/antique auto coverage, according to the Nevada Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance. It helps to familiarize oneself with insurance terminology as you examine your options. Here we’ll explore some things consumers should think about when it comes to auto insurance.
Know Your Rates
How much you pay for auto insurance is determined in part by how much coverage you want (the more coverage you purchase, the higher your premium) and the deductible you select (the higher your deductible, the lower your premium). Also, the insurance company must consider all of the risk factors associated with covering you and the other licensed drivers in your household. The base rate that is used to evaluate all drivers is then adjusted to take into account the following factors:
- Age. Statistics indicate that drivers under the age of 25 are involved in more accidents than those aged between 25 and 65. For this reason, drivers under 25 years old are considered a higher risk, so insurance companies will charge households with younger drivers more for insurance due to the increased risk. In addition, those who are older than 65 years of age are considered greater risks as well because their reaction time and overall physical ability tends to slow down.
- Gender. Statistical evidence shows men have more accidents than women. Men under the age of 25 are particularly more prone to accidents than women in the same age group, so male drivers typically must pay higher insurance rates than female drivers.
- Driving record and claims history. If you have had multiple accidents, tickets, and insurance claims, you are automatically considered a riskier driver to insure. For that reason, those with less than sterling driving records will see higher insurance rates. Accidents remain on your driving record for a period of years before your driving history is wiped clean again. Driving safely is one of the best ways to qualify for the best car insurance rates in Nevada.
- Marital status. Statistics show that married couples tend to have lower claim levels than those who are unmarried, so married couples may be offered a lower insurance rate when shopping around. Under Nevada law, domestic partners are considered “married” for insurance rating purposes, according to the Nevada auto insurance guide.
- Geographical area. As a general rule, urban drivers pay more for auto insurance than those in small towns or rural areas because the increased traffic and higher crime makes their vehicles more likely to get into an accident or be stolen or vandalized.
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle. The general rule of thumb is that the more expensive and high-performance the vehicle, the more drivers will have to pay to insure them. This is because they are more expensive to repair after accidents, not to mention more likely to be stolen. Insurance companies also point out that red, flashy sports cars are more likely to be pulled over for speeding and other violations by police.
- Credit history. In Nevada, your credit history may play a part in the rates you receive. For more information on how and why your credit can affect your insurance rate, see the Federal Trade Commission’s Report on Credit-Based Insurance Scores.
- Annual miles driven/use of vehicle. If you don’t put many miles on your car each year, you pose less of a risk and therefore pay a lower premium. Also, people who use their car for leisure will generally pay a lower premium than those who use their car for business and long-distance commuting to work day in and day out.
Lower Your Rates
No matter which insurance company you choose, the surest way to lower your rate is to drive safely and maintain a good driving record, according to Nevada’s Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance Rates. That said, it’s still important to shop around at a number of different insurance companies and compare rate quotes for identical coverage plans before buying auto insurance. When shopping around, speak with an insurance agent and find out exactly what your insurance plan will cover for the price you are paying so that you receive the best price for the best coverage, as opposed to simply settling for a plan that is cheap, but doesn’t offer much.
Inquire about discounts that a company may offer but not advertise, such as discounts for young drivers with good grades, senior discounts, and discounts for drivers who have completed a driver’s education course. Other ways to get a lower auto insurance rate include: bundling your auto and home insurance under one provider, insuring multiple vehicles under one policy, and installing safety and anti-theft devices, Nevada’s auto rate guide points out.
Longtime customers of an insurance company may be able to call in and request a lower rate for loyalty after many years of doing business with the company and faithfully paying their premiums on time. Also, insurance companies often give you the option to pay your entire premium all at once or pay it in installments; those who pay all at once often pay less overall.
In addition, pay close attention to your other insurance plans. Some plans, such as medical insurance, can overlap in coverage areas with your auto insurance plans, so you can opt out of paying for coverage in areas where you are already insured. By upping your deductible to the highest amount you can reasonably afford, you can receive a lower rate as well. Finally, as your vehicle gets older, you may want to re-evaluate the cost-effectiveness of maintaining damage coverage on your vehicle.
If a rate quote sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Remember to make sure that the company is permitted to do business in Nevada. If you are suspicious about any insurance company, call the Nevada Division of Insurance at 1-888-467-4195 to verify licensure or to see if any actions have been taken against that company.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
Insurance agents with insurance companies aim to sell policies for commission. Insurance brokers, on the other hand, do not represent a company. Instead, they work with individual clients, assessing their clients’ needs and finding different insurance options to fit those needs. Like agents, however, they also receive a commission for the sales they make from different insurance companies.
In Nevada, qualified insurance professionals include independent agents, exclusive agents, and direct writers, according to the Nevada consumer auto insurance guide. Independent agents sell insurance for a variety of insurance companies, while exclusive agents work for one particular company. Direct writers don’t use agents at all as an intermediary, opting to go to the consumer directly.
Whether you use an agent, broker, or direct writer, make sure that they are licensed with the Nevada Division of Insurance. You can request information from the Division to see if complaints have been filed against a particular agent, broker, or direct writer. The Division can also tell you if agents or insurance companies have faced disciplinary actions. You can also see if an agent, company, or agency is licensed in Nevada by using the license look-up tool provided on the Division’s website.
If you have had issues with an insurance company that cannot be resolved through the company itself, you can file a complaint. Complaints can be filed online or by submitting the form by mail. You can request information on why your claim has been denied, why your insurer cancelled your policy, or simply ask a question about your policy. The Division will investigate the matter, send a copy of your complaint to your insurance company, and get back to you if any formal disciplinary actions will take place.
After an Accident
Accidents happen, even to the most responsible drivers. If you have been involved in a collision, you must immediately notify local law enforcement. If the other driver is seriously injured, it is your duty to render aid by requesting emergency medical services. Drivers should stay at the scene of the accident until released by a police officer, and make every effort to move their vehicle to where it does not obstruct traffic. To expedite procedures, be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the collision to responding law enforcement members, and also take down information such as the names of the police officers and witnesses you spoke with for your own accident report.
Nevada state law requires those who have been involved in an accident to provide their name, address, and registration number of the vehicle to the other driver involved in an accident, as well as present their driver’s license, if requested.
In addition, you must also report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible, closely following your particular company’s procedures for filing a claim. If your collision involved another driver, you must obtain their name, address, phone number, insurance information, driver’s license number, and the make and model of the car they were driving during the collision. You should also be prepared to report the extent of the damage to both cars, how the accident happened, what occurred during the accident, and the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene. Any police report filed must also be copied and sent to your insurance company.
When all of your information has been received, your insurance company will investigate your claim and approve or deny it within 30 days. If approved, the insurance company will pay your claim according to the terms outlined in your insurance policy. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company must notify you every 30 days until it is processed. If your claim is denied, your insurance company will notify you in writing.
Your insurance company may also seek subrogation, which typically happens when someone else was at fault for an accident you were in. Your insurance will cover the costs of any medical or repair bills you had, but your insurance will then reach out to the at-fault driver’s insurance company for compensation. During this process, you should provide your insurance company with full cooperation to ensure that this process goes smoothly. If you intend to settle with the at-fault driver or their insurance company, be sure to notify your insurance company.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Your driving record may prevent you from receiving the insurance coverage, especially if you have a lengthy history of accidents, tickets, or drunk driving. However, the state of Nevada makes it possible for every driver to find insurance opportunities by offering the Nevada Automobile Insurance Plan through the Western Association Automobile Insurance Plan. This plan specifically covers drivers in Nevada who cannot find coverage in the voluntary market due to their driving records. In order to qualify, be sure that you meet the following criteria:
- Possess a valid Nevada driver’s license.
- Be free of debt to any previous auto insurance company.
You may also be asked to file an SR-22 to the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of financial responsibility if you were caught driving without insurance, caught driving under the influence, cause an accident without insurance, have too many traffic violations and tickets within a short time span, or have had your license suspended or revoked. In Nevada, high-risk drivers must maintain this SR-22 for three years from the date your driver’s license is reinstated. Your insurance company should do this for you, but not all companies provide this service. Therefore, be sure that the insurance company you choose will do this for you if you are required to file an SR-22.
The Nevada Division of Insurance offers assistance to anyone shopping for insurance. They will answer inquiries related to insurance, look into complaints with specific agencies, agents, or brokers, educate consumers on insurance law and procedures, and enforce insurance law on the consumer’s behalf if needed. You can contact them at 1-888-467-4195 or see further contact information here.