Updated on 06.20.16

Car Insurance in Nebraska

Kailey Fralick

I saved hundreds with just a half-hour of research

Nebraskans can expect to pay 33 percent less (almost $40 per month) than the national average on their yearly auto insurance premiums thanks to the state’s low population density and inexpensive auto repair costs. However, just because your rates might be lower than a fair portion of the rest of the country doesn’t mean you have to be excited about them. I got quotes for Nebraska’s minimum coverage and found out I could save almost $250 by choosing GEICO. The savings are out there, and all you need to do is take the time to find them.

GEICO may have been the best car insurance company for me, but don’t let that influence your thoughts on the matter. Insurance companies weigh a variety of factors when calculating your rate — your age, your driving history, your vehicle’s make and model, your ZIP code. And every company has their own formula that measures those things differently. The moral of the story is to find out which company offers the best deal, you’re going to have to get a bunch of quotes (at least five) and compare them.

And if you’re still not convinced, the Nebraska Department of Insurance put together a rate comparison guide that shows the crazy amount of price variance consumers might experience from different providers.

So, you need to shop around, but you might be a little hesitant. Trust me; it’s a far easier process than you might think. You should be able to get most quotes online in less than five minutes. If you do have to call for a quote, expect that to add 10 to 15 minutes to the process. You’ll know most of the information asked of you by heart, but I suggest looking up the details of any recent accidents you’ve been in and your VIN before you start.

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Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Nebraska

I got quotes from the following seven companies and I’d recommend them to anyone looking for auto insurance in Nebraska. Each one received high financial stability and customer satisfaction ratings from A.M. Best and J.D. Power, respectively. A.M. Best measures a company’s long-term stability and a high grade is a good sign your insurer will be there when you need them. J.D. Power is a well-known organization that assesses customer satisfaction and publishes an annual report on the auto insurance industry. Getting into an accident is stressful enough. The last thing you want is your insurer dragging their feet when it’s time to pay out. With these seven companies, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Insurer My quote
GEICO $270
State Farm $307
Farmers $316
Allstate $328
American Family $459
Shelter Insurance $513
Auto-Owners Insurance $1,345

GEICO was the car insurance option for me at $270 a year, with State Farm $37 behind. Auto-Owners was easily my most expensive quote, but this was largely because the agent I spoke to quoted me coverage limits well above the minimum and also included optional coverages that weren’t a part of my other quotes. If you are looking for more than the minimum coverage (which I highly suggest), Auto-Owners might actually turn out to be a more competitive player.

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Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

When calculating your rates, insurance companies look at more than your level of risk; they also look at how often you shop around. They analyze all kinds of personal data, like your credit score and online shopping habits, to figure out how likely you are to switch insurers and charge you accordingly. This is known as price optimization. Consumers who aren’t likely to shop for a better rate will be quoted a higher price at renewal time than someone that seems likely to leave.

That shows the insurers that you’ll go wherever you can get the best deal. The insurance companies are out to make a profit, but they need to keep your business to do that. So if they think you’re a savvy shopper they’ll offer you a more competitive rates. It’s a sad reality, but it’s the truth.

In the last few years, more than 15 states have banned price optimization, claiming it violates state laws and unfairly discriminates against certain consumers. Nebraska has yet to do the same, but fortunately, it has made an official effort. In January of 2015, The Consumer Federation of America reached out to the insurance commissioner of Nebraska, urging the state to outlaw this practice. Over a year later (February 16th, 2016), a bill on the subject made its way to Washington. This is what Steve Schneider, the Midwest Regional Vice President for the American Insurance Association had to say:

“We are concerned that the inclusion of the phrase ‘including, but not limited to’ is overly expansive, meaning that almost anything could be construed to be the practice of ‘price optimization. Insurers already operate in a heavily regulated environment, so the uncertainty of this vague phrase is troublesome. If enacted, this language could perplex insurers and handcuff the authority of the state insurance department to effectively regulate insurer practices.”

So in the meantime, the responsibility of avoiding price optimization is up to you.

Nebraska’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Nebraska law requires all drivers to have $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident in addition to $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.

The Best Car Insurance Isn’t Just Cheap Car Insurance

Whenever possible, it’s better to purchase more than the minimum coverage. Don’t believe me? Consider these facts:

  • The average driver will file a claim for an accident every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of a disabling, nonfatal injury is $80,700. And that’s not including property damage.

Say I had only the minimum coverage and I caused an accident that led to a costly injury like the one mentioned above. Basic, cheap car insurance is only responsible for $25,000 and that leaves me with a roughly $55,000 bill. I’m likely to end up being sued for the rest and draining my bank account to cover the remaining damages.

That same scenario would look a lot different if I had purchased higher coverage limits initially. Raising my liability limits to $100,000/$200,000/$100,000 would only cost me an extra $37 a year with GEICO. And then I wouldn’t have to pay anything out of pocket because my insurance would cover the full cost of the damages. To me, that’s well worth $3 more on my monthly premium.

If you like your vehicle functioning and in one piece, consider collision and comprehensive coverage as well. These pay for damages to your vehicle, regardless of whether the accident was your fault. Collision deals primarily with accidents involving another vehicle or single-car accidents, while comprehensive takes care of damages resulting from natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and wildlife collisions.

If You Skip Coverage, It’ll Cost You

Driving without insurance in Nebraska will result in hefty fines and suspension of your license and registration. A $50 fee is required to reinstate your operating privileges and you must also file an SR-22, which is a type of liability coverage that covers you, rather than your vehicle. You must maintain this coverage for at least three years.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

There are dozens of ways you can lower your monthly premiums. For example, I only drive a few days a week and I always pay my premium in full. Both of those things earn me some nice discounts with most insurers. Check out The Simple Dollar’s chart below for more ideas about how you can find even more savings.

Nine Ways to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

FAQs

Why Are Nebraska’s rates so cheap?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Nebraska $93
Omaha $96
Lincoln $86
Source: Quadrant

So why do Nebraskans pay 33 percent less than the national average for their auto insurance? First off, the state is largely rural and that looks good to insurance companies because the chances of colliding with another vehicle are less. Theft and vandalism are also less common in rural towns compared to metropolitan areas.

Secondly, the low percentage of uninsured drivers lowers rates. When there’s a lot of uninsured drivers around, there’s a greater risk insurance companies will have to pay for damages, even if you weren’t at fault. Nebraska presents little risk of uninsured motorist claims, so the insurers are willing to give price breaks to Nebraska residents.

Thirdly, Nebraska’s auto repair costs are also among the lowest in the nation. According to CarMD, the average cost for a single repair is just over $300. So when you file a claim, the insurance company can pay less than it would in other states to get your car back up and running. And less money out of the insurer’s pocket means less out of yours as well.

Finally, Nebraska has a 9.2 crash fatality rate — that’s only a few points higher than the average, but lower than some adjacent states. (South Dakota has a 12 and Kansas has an 11.) Honestly, this is kind of an odd statistic for such a rural state because generally speaking, the larger a distance you have between hospitals, the more fatalities you have. It doesn’t seem to affect Nebraska, though, and that translates into lower rates for everyone.

The Bottom Line

To find cheap car insurance that actually protects you, you’re going to have to do the work. Take the time to get some quotes and compare them. Fortunately, that process doesn’t involve a lot of work, and a half-hour of research is all you need to score some pretty big savings. Remember: I was able to find almost $250 in savings in less than 30 minutes.

It’s also super important to invest in not just the cheapest coverage possible; but the coverage that gives you a peace of mind. I can’t speak for everyone, but most of us don’t have $100,000 lying around to drop on a new car and someone else’s medical bills. Upgraded coverages won’t always be comparable to price of minimum coverage, but that’s no reason not to investigate it.

Get Quotes Now

Enter your zip code to compare rates from some of my top recommendations.

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