Nevada Car Insurance Requirements

Nevada's minimum car insurance coverage requirements, penalties for driving without insurance in the state, and more.

By , J.D. · University of San Francisco School of Law

Car insurance is sure to play a big part after any kind of traffic accident in Nevada:

  • Nevada requires vehicle owners to carry certain minimum amounts of liability insurance in case they cause a car accident.
  • That means an at-fault driver's car insurance company will usually bear a large share of financial responsibility for injuries and vehicle damage after a crash.
  • Nevada drivers face a variety of penalties if they're caught driving without insurance.

"Fault" Governs Car Accidents In Nevada

Nevada follows a traditional "fault" system when it comes to financial responsibility for losses stemming from a car accident: injuries, lost income, vehicle damage, and so on. This means that the person who was at fault for causing the car accident is also responsible for any resulting harm.

From a practical standpoint, this usually means the at-fault driver's insurance carrier will pay car insurance claims and settlements to others harmed by the crash, up to the driver's liability coverage limits.

What Are My Options for Getting Compensation After a Car Accident In Nevada?

In Nevada, you typically have a number of options for getting compensation for your injuries or vehicle damage after a car accident:

  • filing a claim with your own insurance company regardless of who was at fault for the crash, if you have personal injury protection or medical payments coverage (for your car accident injuries) or collision coverage (for vehicle damage)
  • filing a "third-party claim" directly with the at-fault driver's insurance carrier, or
  • by filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver (note that insurance will still play a big part in any court award you might end up receiving, and your case could still reach a settlement at any point).

Note: In no-fault car insurance states, a claimant doesn't usually have this same range of options, but Nevada drivers don't need to worry about no-fault after an in-state accident.

Car Insurance Requirements In Nevada

Nevada requires vehicle owners to carry liability auto insurance that meets at least the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
  • $50,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle, and
  • $20,000 for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.

So, what is liability coverage? It pays the medical bills, property damage bills, and other costs of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or have their vehicle damaged in a car accident you cause, up to coverage limits. You can (and in some situations should) carry more coverage to protect you in case a serious crash results in significant car accident injuries and vehicle damage. Once policy limits are exhausted, you are personally on the financial hook, so higher insurance limits can help protect your personal assets in the event of a serious crash.

Your liability coverage will kick in if any family member is driving your vehicle, or if you've given someone else permission to use it. It will likely also cover you if you get into an accident in a rental car.

Remember that liability coverage doesn't apply to your own injuries or vehicle damage after a Nevada car accident. You'll need different (additional) coverage for that if you're involved in a car accident and no one else's coverage applies to your losses.

For example, collision coverage (optional in Nevada, though sometimes required under the terms of a vehicle lease or financing agreement) can pay for repairs to (or replacement of) your damaged vehicle after a car accident.

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage In Nevada?

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage is not required in Nevada, but it can protect you and your passengers if the at-fault driver has no insurance, or if you're the victim of a hit and run. Keep in mind that UM does not cover vehicle damage after an accident.

Can I Show Digital Proof of Car Insurance In Nevada?

Yes. Nevada drivers can display car insurance information on their phone or other device, if they're asked for proof of insurance by a law enforcement officer. According to the Nevada DMV:

  • the digital proof of insurance must be provided by your car insurance company, and must include all of the information that's contained on a physical copy of the insurance card.
  • drivers assume all liability for any damage to their device, and
  • a law enforcement officer is only allowed to view the digital evidence of insurance, and cannot intentionally view anything else on your device.

Of course, you can still carry a physical copy of your insurance card and produce it when asked for proof of insurance.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Nevada

According to the Nevada DMV, the state has no "grace period" when it comes to lapses in car insurance coverage. Even a one-day lapse in coverage could result in a possible suspension of your registration, plus a minimum $251 reinstatement fee. Beyond that, Nevada follows a tiered system when it comes to fees and fines for driving without insurance, depending on:

  • the length of the current lapse of coverage, and
  • the number of previous lapses.

Check the Nevada DMV insurance lapse penalties chart for more details.

Keep in mind that fines and other administrative penalties will likely pale in comparison to the financial hit you could take if you're in a car accident and you don't have car insurance.

Getting Help After a Nevada Car Accident

Get more details on car insurance in Nevada, straight from the state, by checking out the Nevada Division of Insurance's Understanding Auto Insurance page, and the Nevada DMV's Auto Insurance resources.

After a Nevada car accident, you might need more than just the basics on how car insurance works in the state. Especially if you've been injured, it might make sense to discuss your situation, and your options, with an experienced legal professional.

Learn more about when you might need a car accident lawyer's help, and what to expect from your first meeting with a car accident attorney. And if you're ready to connect with a Nevada car accident lawyer now, you can use the features right on this page.

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