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Higher minimum vehicle liability requirements

Since 1981, Nevada drivers have been required to carry auto liability insurance in the amount of $15,000 in bodily injury per person, $30,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $10,000 in property damage (“15/30/10”). In the 2017 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 308 was passed, increasing the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance coverage to $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 in bodily injury per accident, and $20,000 in property damage (“25/50/20”). Nevada drivers who currently have limits lower than 25/50/20 will be required to purchase the 25/50/20 minimum liability coverage by July 1, 2018 to ensure that they are in compliance with Nevada law and avoid penalties.

In addition to the required insurance above, Nevada drivers can purchase Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists (“UM/UIM”) coverage on an optional basis. Nevada law requires an insurance company to offer this protection at a level no less than the minimum liability limits. With the change in liability limits to 25/50/20, effective July 1, 2018, Nevada drivers who have purchased UM/UIM in the amount less than 25/50 will have to re-select (or reject) the UM/UIM coverage.

Many Nevada drivers can expect a change in their auto insurance premiums because the higher limits requirement (for both liability coverage and UM/UIM coverage) results in a higher risk exposure for the insurance companies.  In preparation for the changes to the law, the Division of Insurance has received and approved rate proposals from several auto insurance companies. Some companies have stopped offering the 15/30/10 limits and have begun transitioning their policies to the 25/50/20 limits at renewals of the policies.

The Division encourages Nevadans to review their auto insurance policies and selected limits, and contact their insurance agent or company to determine what coverages and limits are best for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is SB 308 and how does it affect me?  

When does this new requirement go into effect?  

Will the new law affect my Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage?  

Will my auto premium increase with this new law?  

Will my auto premium increase if I already have liability coverage at or above the new minimum limits?  

What additional protection will I get from the higher limits?  

How can I obtain lower auto insurance rates?  

Will my auto insurance company notify me of changes tomy policy?  

Why is my auto insurance company no longer offering 15/30/10 limits even though the law has not yet gone into effect?  

What happens if I don’t purchase a higher minimum liability insurance coverage?  

What can I do if my insurance company doesn’t offer the new minimum liability insurance coverage?

 


What is SB 308 and how does it affect me?  

In the 2017 Legislative session, Senate Bill 308 was passed, increasing the minimum motor vehicle liability insurance requirement from 15/30/10 to 25/50/20. This means that all Nevada drivers who currently have liability insurance with limits of less than 25/50/20 are going to have to purchase the higher minimum liability coverage by July 1, 2018 to ensure they are in compliance with the law. 

 

When does this new requirement go into effect? 

The law requires all vehicles to maintain auto liability insurance coverage at no less than the 25/50/20 level by July 1, 2018.

 

Will the new law affect my Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage? 

UM/UIM coverage is not mandated by law. It is an optional coverage that many Nevadans purchase to ensure that they and passengers in their vehicles have adequate protection if a covered vehicle is hit by an uninsured driver, a hit-and-run driver, or by a driver who does not have high enough insurance limits to pay for medical expenses.

Nevada law requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage in an amount that is no less than the statutory minimum liability amount. If you currently carry UM/UIM in an amount less than 25/50 ($25,000 of coverage per person and $50,000 of coverage per incident for bodily injury), your insurance company will have to increase the offered UM/UIM limits to 25/50 also. To do so, your insurance company or insurance agent will ask you to fill out a new “UM/UIM Selection/Rejection Form”.

Will my auto premium increase with this new law?

 

A premium increase impact from this law is expected primarily for drivers who:

Currently carry the liability limits of less than 25/50/20 and will be required to increase the coverage to 25/50/20.

Currently have chosen UM/UIM coverage in the amount less than 25/50 and choose to continue the coverage at 25/50 (or higher) limits.

Will my auto premium increase if I already have liability coverage at or above the new minimum limits? 

Drivers who currently have auto insurance with liability limits at or above the new minimum limits will not see an increase in their premiums solely due to this law. However, insurers take many other considerations and attributes into account when determining premiums, so consumers may see renewal premium impacts in either direction, independent of Senate Bill 308.

What additional protection will I get from the higher limits? 

Under the new limits, if you cause an accident that leads to injuries to others or damage to someone else’s property, your insurance company will now pay up to $25,000 towards medical expenses for one injured person (instead of $15,000), up to $50,000 towards medical expenses for multiple injured people (instead of $30,000), and up to $20,000 towards repairs to someone else’s vehicle or property (instead of $10,000).

Example: Driver A crashes the car into Driver B. Driver B and the passengers are injured, and the crash totals the vehicle. The injuries to Driver B and the passengers total $40,000. The totaled vehicle’s valuation is $18,000.

Under the existing 15/30/10 law, the insurance company would pay $30,000 for medical expenses of Driver B and the passengers and $10,000 for damage to the car. Driver A would still be responsible for the remainder of the expenses ($10,000 for Driver B and the passengers’ medical bills and $8,000 for damage to Driver B’s car).

Under the new 25/50/20 law, Driver A’s insurer would pay the entire $40,000 towards Driver B’s and the passengers’ medical expenses and the entire $18,000 towards damage to Driver B’s car. Driver A would not be liable for any expenses due to the increased protections arising from the 25/50/20 limits.

How can I obtain lower auto insurance rates? 

Insurance companies look at a number of different factors when determining the cost of your auto insurance. These factors include, but are not limited to:

Driving record

Claims history

Your zip code

Gender and age

Marital Status

Make and model of your vehicle

Credit-based insurance score

Miles driven

 

Nevada has one of the most competitive and healthy auto insurance markets in the country. Shopping for insurance may allow you to achieve competitive pricing. To learn more about how insurance companies determine the cost of your auto insurance, you can read our Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance Rates.

 

Will my auto insurance company notify me of changes to my policy? 

 

Yes. Insurance companies are required to notify their policyholders if there are any changes in their auto policies. If your auto insurance company changes your liability limits to the new 25/50/20 limits, the insurer is required to notify you of the increased coverage amount and explain the reason for any premium increase due to this.

Why is my auto insurance company no longer offering 15/30/10 limits even though the law has not yet gone into effect? 

 

Although this new law doesn’t go into full effect until July 1, 2018, Nevada law does not require insurance companies to offer current minimum liability coverage. Several insurance companies have made a business and logistical decision to start writing new policies and renewing existing policies at the new 25/50/20 limits. The Division has received and approved proposals from insurance companies whereby the companies have eliminated offering 15/30/10 limits and are only offering the new or higher minimum liability limits.

What happens if I don’t purchase a higher minimum liability insurance coverage? 

 

All insurance companies will only offer this new minimum liability (or higher) coverage by July 1, 2018, so your current insurance company will change your coverage at the time of renewal. In the event you don’t renew and decide not to purchase auto liability insurance at the new minimum limits of 25/50/20, you will not be in compliance with the Nevada law and will be subject to law enforcement and DMV actions, including but not limited to cancellation of your vehicle registration, until you purchase at least the mandatory minimum coverage for your vehicle.

What can I do if my insurance company doesn’t offer the new minimum liability insurance coverage? 

 

While all auto insurance companies are expected to offer the new minimum liability coverage by July 1, 2018, it is possible that some companies may not be able to offer the new limits earlier.  Contact your insurance company or insurance agent to find out when your company is expected to offer the new limits.