Living in Nevada means you can enjoy snow-capped mountain views, lovely, basin-formed lakes, and plenty of room to breathe. While Las Vegas can be a fun “Oasis,” much of the state is desert, with plenty of rural areas between cities. Nevada is also home to one of the deadliest stretches of road in the country. That’s why it’s crucial to drive safely, obey traffic laws, and always carry enough car insurance to keep you protected.

Car insurance in Nevada can be expensive. On average, residents pay over 25% more than the national average for their policy. That means in order to find the cheapest car insurance, you need to compare quotes from a variety of insurance companies in your area.

But before you shop for insurance coverage, you need to understand the legal requirements and how liability insurance protects you. You should also decide what other policies you’ll need based on your finances. Only then can you choose an insurance company and find the policy that’s right for you. So what are the legal minimums? And how much coverage do you need?

Minimum liability car insurance in Nevada

State law requires you to maintain liability coverage on your vehicle at all times. As of July 2018, the Nevada legislature increased the required amount of liability coverage to provide protection that more adequately reflects the average claim size. The new minimums are as follows:

  • $25,000 Bodily injury Coverage per person to pay for medical or funeral expenses from bodily injury caused by a car accident you’re at fault for.
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per accident with multiple injuries, so long as it doesn’t exceed the per person limit.
  • $20,000 Property Damage Liability per car accident. This will pay for property damage to another vehicle or standing structures in an at-fault accident.

Nevada has no grace period for driving without car insurance, and your coverage will end at 12:01 am on the expiration date. That means you only have one minute of coverage for that day. Letting it lapse can result in a suspended registration, which means paying a $251 reinstatement fee, as well as other possible tiered fines (check this table for more info).

When choosing an insurance policy, keep in mind that although liability coverage will satisfy the Nevada car insurance laws and financial responsibility requirements, it will not provide any coverage for injuries to you or your passengers or damages to your own vehicle. It is also quite easy to exceed the limits in a serious accident, and even if you’ve exhausted your policy limits, the damages are still your financial responsibility. If you can’t afford these possibilities, you should consider raising your limits and adding additional policies to protect you and your assets.

Additional protection

Before you start shopping for insurance, you need to determine what additional policies you may need to keep you protected in an accident. While adding them will increase your insurance premiums, the cost of skipping them could add up to a lot more.

Collision and Comprehensive

If you’re driving a leased vehicle or still making payments to your lender, they will require you carry full coverage on the vehicle, which includes Collision and Comprehensive coverage. But even if you own your vehicle outright, the benefit of carrying the added protection may far outweigh the cost - especially if your vehicle has a high dollar value.

Collision coverage will pay to repair or replace your vehicle after a car accident, no matter who is at fault. It will also cover damages caused by hitting a tree or a standing structure. Comprehensive coverage expands it further to cover you from damages due to storms or fires, or even if your vehicle is vandalized or stolen.

Uninsured Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This policy will take the place of uninsured motorists’ bodily injury policy if you’re injured in an accident. It can also combine with their liability policy if your injuries exceed their maximum limits. The state requires that car insurance companies offer you coverage equivalent to your bodily injury policies, but you are free to reject them if you wish.

Medical Payments Coverage

Also known as MedPay, this is a kind of no-fault insurance that will help you pay medical expenses due to bodily injury in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. This can be especially helpful if your health insurance has a high deductible. Service providers are required to offer you a minimum of $1,000 MedPay coverage, but you are free to reject it.

What determines your car insurance rates?

Car insurance companies use a combination of personal factors and the kind of vehicle you’re insuring to determine the risk to insure you. Insurance companies may use your age, sex, credit score, driving history, and location to determine your risk factor. High-risk drivers will always pay higher insurance premiums, and some insurance companies may deny you coverage if they’re worried you’ll affect their bottom line.

Some vehicles are more expensive to insure because of the cost of repairs and the likelihood they will be stolen, while others are cheaper to insure because of safety features. Your annual mileage and whether or not your vehicle will be used for work purposes will all affect your insurance premiums.

Of course, your rates will also be determined by the amount of coverage you carry. The maximum limits you set, the size of your deductibles, and any additional policies you choose to add will all affect your annual rate. But you shouldn’t skimp on car insurance to lower your car insurance rates. It could leave you with thousands of dollars of debt and no vehicle to drive.

Comparing car insurance quotes

Before the internet, you would have to contact companies individually and talk to insurance agents to compare rates. But with, Nevada residents can quickly compare car insurance companies in a fraction of the time. You’ll only need to answer our questionnaire once to see multiple rates from 15 different leading companies. Although your online quotes are free and come with no obligation to buy, you can purchase your policy online and receive proof of insurance within minutes.

Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Driver information: This will include your address, date of birth, driving history (including accidents and violations), credit score, gender, and marital status. Quotes can be obtained without personal information such as social security numbers or driver’s license numbers.
  • Vehicle information: This includes the year, make, and model of your car. (Having the VIN will help determine the exact model.) Post factory safety features and anti-theft devices can get cheaper rates, but you may have to provide proof of installation.
  • Level of Coverage: Feel free to experiment with different coverage to find the best value.

Choosing the right carrier means finding a reputable company offering low premiums for the needed protection. The cheapest policy won’t always be the best deal. Always take into consideration other important factors, such as financial strength, payment plans, and customer satisfaction before you buy. Through our network of companies, shoppers may receive policy rates from quality carriers such as Progressive, AIG, Esurance, Safeco, Travelers, and many more.

The Nevada Division of Insurance provides a helpful PDF-formatted Nevada 2011 Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance Rates that can provide additional details on many subjects such as rating factors and other related information.

The bottom line

If this is the first time you’ve purchased car insurance, it’s imperative you avoid the common mistakes and take the time to understand your policy before you buy. Compare as many quotes as you can and choose the coverage that helps you feel secure. Even if you already have coverage, comparing quotes from other companies can help you find an even better deal on your car insurance. Start comparing rates today, and don’t overpay for your coverage.