When driving a State of Nebraska registered vehicle, you must have valid auto insurance, and one must carry proof of that insurance in their vehicle at all times.
Nebraska minimum car insurance requirements are:
Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 25/50/25 – meaning:
- Liability coverage in the amount of:
- $25,000, for bodily injuries to or death of one person in an accident
- $50,000, of bodily injuries or death of two people in an accident
- $25,000, for injury to or destruction of others’ property in an accident
Nebraska relies on a Tort system to resolve collision claims, meaning one party will always be found at fault. Because of this, many drivers upgrade their auto insurance policies to include personal injury and property damage, even though it is not required by the State of Nebraska, in order to cover expenses when they are at fault.
Alternative Options to Insurance:
Self-insurance certificates are available in Nebraska to cover the cost of bodily injury, death, and property damage if the following requirements are met:
- Own a minimum of 26 registered vehicles
- Qualify by application through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Call (402) 471-3918 or email the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
- Submit for review a copy of their most recent audited financial statement, and a comprehensive list of all the vehicles they own
Surety companies that are legally authorized to issue bonds in Nebraska can do so for individuals in the amount of $25,000 for damages to one person, $50,000 for damages to two or more people, and $25,000 for damages to others’ property.
Individuals who can obtain a bond with a least two individual sureties who own real estate in Nebraska, and have it approved by a Nebraska court of records judge can be exempt from carrying liability insurance.
Certificate of the State Treasurer:
Individuals can make a deposit $75,000 in cash or securities with the State Treasurer’s office as an alternative to carrying liability insurance. Certificates must bear the seal of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Contact the Nebraska State Treasurer for more details.
Required Proof of Insurance in Nebraska
Copy of insurance policy or an insurance card provided by an insurance company authorized to do business in the state of Nebraska that must include all of the following:
- Name of insurance company
- Insurance policy number
- Effective date/expiration date of policy
- Year, make, and model of registered vehicle
- Name(s) of insured driver
Self-insurance certificates are issued by the state and must include the following:
- Certificate Number issued by Department of Motor Vehicles
- Effective date of certificate
- Accurate description of year, make/model of registered vehicle
- Name of driver covered by certificate
- Certificate of Deposit
- Certificate number issued by State Treasurer
- Name of driver covered by certificate of deposit
- Liability Bond
- Name of company issuing bond
- Bond number
- Name of driver covered by bond
Office of the Insurance Commissioner – Bruce R. Ramge
Nebraska Department of Insurance
941 O Street, Suite 400
Obtaining a Driver’s License
Nebraska has a graduated process by which individuals under the age of 18 obtain their driver’s license, starting with a school learner’s permit and school permit at the age of 14, progressing to the learner’s permit at the age of 15, and then qualifying for a provisional operator’s permit at the age of 16, according to the Nebraska DMV. Individuals seeking to obtain a driver’s license who are under the age of 18 must:
- Be at least 16 years old (provisional permits are not issued until individuals turn 16, but they can apply for and take the driver’s tests up to 60 days prior to their 16th birthday.
- 1.) Pass a driver safety education course approved by the Nebraska DMV and pass a written and driving test given by the course instructor OR
- 2.) Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed adult (at least 21years old), 10 of which being conducted at night, and submit a certificate form signed by that adult verifying completion of driving hours
- Hold a learner’s permit, school permit, or school learner’s permit for at least 6 months
- Have no more than three points on their driving record within 6 months of applying for license
- Pass vision test
Note: After an individual has held a provisional permit for 12 months, they qualify for an operator’s license, i.e., a full driver’s license. A provisional permit expires on the licensee’s 18th birthday.
Here are the requirements to obtain your first operator’s license (full driver’s license), according to the Nebraska Driver’s Manual:
- Be at least 17
- Those under 18 or between the ages of 18 and 21 who have held a provisional permit must only take a vision test
- Those 18 or older who have never held a provisional permit must complete vision, written, and road tests
The following documents are required for application:
- One form of proof of identity and age
- Two forms of proof of principal address in Nebraska
- Proof of Social Security number or valid US Citizenship and Immigration Services I-94 or I-94A document (in a valid foreign passport)
Completing Driver Education
Individuals who wish to obtain a school permit or provisional operator’s permit have the option of either completing a DMV-approved driver’s safety course or completing 50 hours of driving with a parent, guardian, or other licensed driver 21 or older. The DMV routinely audits all approved schools to make sure they are meeting state standards for training drivers effectively. You can access an alphabetized list of DMV-approved driver’s safety schools here. Many of them are offered through public schools or school districts, but some courses are offered by commercial driving schools.
Nebraska also has a separate list of approved driver training schools here, some of which offer routine car driver training that teaches rules of the road and driving skills, but many of which are described as serving specific needs, such as the physically disabled and older adults, providing truck driver training, and driver education in Spanish.
Most driver’s safety courses entail 20 to 30 hours of classroom instruction and three to six hours of behind-the-wheel training in a training vehicle. It is recommended that you research any driver-training program that you enroll in and make sure they meet the following standards:
- Instructors are licensed and certified to teach driver’s education in Nebraska
- 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
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Nebraska provides their rules of the road online in Chapter 60 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes. Carefully obey these rules to quality for the lowest possible car insurance rates.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: NRS 60-6,196
- Flashing signals: NRS 60-6,125
- Motor vehicle accident, duty to stop: NRS 60-696
- No-passing zones: NRS 60-6, 137
- Obedience to peace officers: NRS 60-6,110
- Obedience to signal indicating approach of train: NRS 60-6,170
- Obedience to traffic-control devices: NRS 60-6,119
- Operation of vehicles on approach of emergency vehicles: NRS 60-6,151
- Operator’s license required: NRS 60-484
- Overtaking and passing rules: NRS 60-6,133
- Overtaking and passing on the right: NRS 60-6,134
- Proof of financial responsibility: NRS 60-528
- Reckless driving: NRS 60-6, 213
- Registration required: NRS 60-362
- School crossing zones: NRS 60-6,134.01
- Speed limit violations: NRS 60-682.01
- Turning to proceed in opposite direction: NRS 60-6,160
- Unattended motor vehicles:NRS 60-6, 168
- Use of restraint system or occupant protection system: NRS 60-6,267
- Vehicle equipment and violations:NRS 60-6,220
Nebraska residents are encouraged to think carefully about how much auto insurance they need and how much they can afford to pay, as an auto insurance policy is a legal contract. If you let the contract lapse, it could disqualify you for low cost car insurance in Nebraska. While Nebraska only requires drivers to purchase minimum liability coverage, and cheap liability car insurance in Nebraska is available, and uninsured/underinsured motorist 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: collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payments, towing, and rental car 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 more likely to be involved in 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 this increased risk. Also, those older than 65 are considered greater risks as well because their reaction time and overall physical ability tends to slow down.
- Gender. Statistical evidence suggests that men under the age of 25 are involved in more 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 this reason, those who don’t have clean 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. Unsurprisingly, safe drivers enjoy the lowest auto insurance rates in Nebraska.
- Marital status. Statistics prove that married couples tend to have far fewer accidents than those who are unmarried, so married couples may be offered the best car insurance rates in Nebraska when compared to single drivers or unmarried couples.
- Location. As a general rule, urban drivers pay more for auto insurance than those in small towns or rural areas because the greater concentration of vehicles makes them more likely to get into an accident. Those in high-crime areas will likely see higher auto insurance rates as well, as their car is more likely to 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. Your credit history may play a part in the rates you receive, and the better your credit score, the higher your chance will be of getting the best auto insurance rates in Nebraska.
- 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.
- Gaps or lapses in insurance coverage. If you let your insurance lapse, you could experience a rate increase.
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 the Nebraska Department of Insurance’s Rate Guide. That said, it’s still important to compare auto insurance quotes in Nebraska by shopping around at a number of different insurance companies, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 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 affordable auto insurance in Nebraska include: bundling your auto and home insurance under one provider, insuring multiple vehicles under one policy, and installing safety and anti-theft devices, Nebraska’s auto rate guide points out.
Longtime customers of an insurance company may be able to call in and request a lower rate after many years of 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, the Nebraska rate guide notes.
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 Nebraska. If you are suspicious about any insurance company, call the Nebraska Department of Insurance at (877) 564-7323 (toll-free; for consumers only) or (402) 471-2201 (switchboard) to verify 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.
Whether you use an agent or broker, make sure that they are licensed with the Nebraska Department of Insurance. You can conduct an agent search using the Department’s Company and Producer (Agent) search tool. This database is updated every Friday to include new licensees or changes of information. You can use this tool to find out how long an agent has been licensed as an indication of how much experience they have. In addition, you can request information from the Department about how many complaints have been filed against a particular agent or broker. The Department can also tell you if an agent or company has faced disciplinary actions or you can browse a list of actions taken against specific agents and agencies here.
If you have had issues with an insurance company that you cannot resolve through the company itself, you can file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. You can request information on why your claim has been denied, why your insurer cancelled your policy, or report any other complaint. The complaint process can be done online or by mail. The Department has detailed instructions on how to file a complaint in an online brochure. The Department will review your complaint, assign an investigator to your case, and write to you saying that your case is under investigation. The investigator will also request information from the 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, immediately notify local law enforcement. If you or someone else is injured, request emergency medical services if necessary. Under Nebraska law, drivers must provide their name, address, telephone number, and operator’s license number to the other driver involved in the accident. Drivers should stay at the scene of the accident until released by a peace officer and move their vehicles so that they are not obstructing traffic, if possible. To expedite procedures, be prepared to give a thorough account of the events leading up to the accident 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.
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, even if they have no car insurance in Nebraska. 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 and pay your claim according to the terms of your auto insurance policy. If your claim is delayed, the insurance company should notify you periodically 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 cooperate fully with your insurance company 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 Nebraska makes it possible for every driver to find insurance opportunities by offering the Nebraska Automobile Insurance Plan. This plan specifically covers drivers in Nebraska 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 Nebraska driver’s license or be eligible to obtain one through a filing.
- Applicants must declare and certify that they have tried and been unable to get auto insurance in the past 60 days
You may also be asked to file a SR-22 form with the Department of Motor Vehicles for proof of insurance if you were caught driving without insurance, caught driving under the influence, caused an accident without insurance, have too many traffic violations and tickets within a short time span, or have had your license suspended or revoked. You or your insurance company must mail or hand-deliver this filing completed in full. Those who are required to complete this form and have additional questions are encouraged to contact their insurance agent.
The Nebraska Department of Insurance, Consumer Affairs Division 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 (877) 564-7323 or by email at DOI.ConsumerAffairs@nebraska.gov.