Since 1958, residents of Nevada have been required to carry vehicle liability insurance with limits of liability of at least $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $10,000 property damage per accident in order to register and operate a vehicle on Nevada roads. Also denoted as 15/30/10, this requirement represents the maximums the insurance policy is required to pay out in case of an auto accident claim. As of July 1, 2018, these requirements will be increasing to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $20,000 property damage per accident, or 25/50/20.
In 1958, $15,000 would buy almost four brand new, top-of-the-line Ford vehicles. $30,000 would buy a new house, gas was 24 cents per gallon, and the average household income was less than $5,000 per year. So, for the time, 15/30/10 was more than enough to cover most vehicle accidents and injuries.
Certainly, a lot has changed since 1958. Today, $15,000 will barely buy one not very well-equipped new sub-compact car. The average price of a new home is pushing $280,000 in the valley, a gallon of gas is more $3.00, and the average income in Las Vegas is over $60,000 annually. In today’s world, 15/30/10 doesn’t go too far. $15,000 may cover the medical expenses of a relatively minor injury, $30,000 only represents a 10% down payment on a house, and $10,000 may repair most vehicles with minimal to moderate damage.
Drivers Are Required to Upgrade Liability Coverage
Nearly two-thirds of Nevada drivers carry higher coverage than the current state minimums already, due to the realities of living in 2018. The one-third of Nevada drivers who carry the state mandated minimums, about 600,000 drivers, will face an increase in premiums of about 9% in order to convert to the new state mandated minimums of 25/50/20. Your insurance carrier has probably already communicated with you regarding options for upgrading coverages to conform to the new requirements. If not, you should contact your agent before July 1 to upgrade your insurance coverage.
A driver who fails to convert to the new minimums, or who drops insurance coverage, is required to cancel registration of any vehicle covered by the insurance policy and surrender license plates to the DMV. According to the DMV, driving in Nevada without carrying the state mandated liability insurance minimums is illegal and will subject that driver to suspension of registration. If you are stopped by law enforcement, ticketed for driving without insurance, and convicted, your driver’s license will be suspended by the Nevada DMV.
Other Insurance Options to Consider
Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, packaged together as UM/UIM, protects you if you are injured in an accident caused by another motorist who is driving either without insurance or who has only minimum coverage. This coverage will be offered in an amount equal to your liability coverage. For example, if your limits of liability are 25/50/20, you may purchase UM/UIM coverage of $25,000. It is usually inexpensive coverage but can have a significant effect on benefits available to you if you are injured in a car accident. UM/UIM coverage provides additional coverage that will pay benefits to you, in addition to the liability insurance that the at-fault driver carries.
Medical Payments coverage, otherwise known as MedPay, is another option to consider. MedPay pays benefits for medical bills if you are injured in a vehicle or by a vehicle regardless of who is at fault. It provides coverage even when you are riding in someone else’s vehicle or you are a pedestrian or bicyclist hit by a vehicle. MedPay can pay for gaps in other insurance you carry, such as health insurance deductibles, co-payments, or expenses not covered. It is offered in at least $1,000 increments.
Your insurance agent will be able to explain these coverages in greater detail.
The Richard Harris Law Firm is Your Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer
Our firm’s goal is to protect responsible drivers. While we are not insurance agents, nor do we offer insurance products, we believe it is important that drivers know of changes that will affect their ability to drive and what options are available. Insurance can be a difficult subject to understand, and we believe consumers should make informed decisions regarding insurance coverages available to them. If you are injured in an automobile accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, we are fully prepared to represent your interests and see to it that you obtain a just and fair settlement from all parties. If you’ve been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own, call our firm to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.