On average, Nevada’s car insurance rates are pretty consistent with the rest of the country. For those living in cities like Las Vegas, however, the state’s relaxed alcohol laws and pumped-up entertainment culture drive up annual premiums to almost $300 higher than the rest of the state. Residents don’t have to take this as absolute, though. According to our research, there are hundreds of dollars in savings on Nevada car insurance just waiting to be found.
While comparing quotes for the state’s minimum coverage, we found price differences of several hundred dollars among four insurance agencies, which underscores why it is worth your while to shop around and compare. Using sample data to get a quote, Geico was the best car insurance company among the four in this list, with an annual premium of $1,546. State Farm was the only provider within a few dollars of Geico. Now, this doesn’t mean that these companies will also be your cheapest option. Insurance agencies use a wide variety of factors to calculate rates, and no two drivers will ever be the same.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Insurance companies use things like location, age, vehicle make and model, and many other factors to produce rates specifically for each customer. The best way to find cheap car insurance is to put in the work. It’s recommended to check five at the very least.
If you gather all of your quotes using online tools, you should find your search to be relatively quick and easy. If you must call the company to obtain a quote, you may find the process extended by a few minutes. One way to keep call time to a minimum is to gather all information pertinent to your vehicle (make, model, year, vehicle identification number, etc.) and your driving history ahead of time.
Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Nevada
The four companies on this list of best insurance companies in Nevada all meet strict criteria for customer service and financial stability.
No one needs the additional stress of squabbling with their provider after an accident. That’s why this list includes insurers that have the highest J.D. Power rankings for the Southwest region of the country and an A.M. Best rating of “Excellent” or greater. J.D. Power is a global marketing information firm that gives grades based on customer service, and A.M. Best is an organization that scores insurance companies based on their financial solvency. So between the two, you can rest assured you’ll be treated well and that your provider actually has the money to pay your claim.
When you gather your quotes and look at the data, you can find a huge range in the amount you’re quoted. It just goes to show how volatile the market can be and how important it is to shop around.
When you find the best price for your insurance needs, think about using some of those possible savings to upgrade your coverage and become better insured. Not only do companies often reward you with discounts for choosing better policies, but you will also probably find yourself fully appreciative of having the extra coverage in the event of a collision.
Nevada’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Nevada requires a relatively low amount of liability insurance on any registered vehicle. Drivers need $15,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $30,000 bodily injury coverage per accident, and $10,000 property damage coverage (that’s 15/30/10 in insurance-speak).
Why are Nevada’s rates so expensive?
There are two main factors driving up the cost of Nevada’s car insurance: relaxed alcohol laws and Las Vegas. There are no mandated cutoff hours for the sale of alcohol. There’s even an acceptable level of blood alcohol content (.02 percent) for people under 21 years old, which is interesting given the state’s legal drinking age is 21 years old. Between those two regulations, or lack thereof, it’s easy to understand why companies find Nevada residents more risky to insure.
The good news is that there is hope for Nevadans. In the past decade, premiums have become more affordable compared with the national average, thanks to new traffic laws about texting and driving and a small increase in seat belt use (up by 4 percent).
What if I’m not a full-time resident?
According to AAA, Nevada insurance laws go into effect once you become a resident. You must register and insure your vehicle in accordance with those laws within 30 days of becoming a Nevada resident. Residency is obtained once you have a legal residence there, operate or are employed in business there, or simply declare residency to gain benefits not offered to non-residents.
If you’re simply visiting one of the state’s many scenic attractions, you don’t have to worry about vehicle registration unless you plan to be on location for an aggregate of 30 days. The only exception to this rule is for active military.
Is it worth it to pay more for higher coverage?
Maintaining higher coverage than the state’s minimum policy is actually a very good idea. Here’s why:
- Every 17.9 years the average driver will have an accident. It’s safe to assume you are not an exception to that statistic.
- The average cost of an accident that causes a disabling but nonfatal injury is roughly $93,800. Hitting a more expensive car or causing more extensive bodily damage can send this number through the roof.
Let’s imagine that a driver hit someone and injured that person. Nevada’s bottom-of-the-barrel cheap car insurance requirements could leave a $60,000 bill hanging over that driver’s head — and that’s assuming only one person in the wreck was injured. Any property damages that exceed $10,000 become the driver’s responsibility, as well. Coverage worth its salt starts at 50/100 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage. If the worst happens, things will be far more manageable when you have more than the minimum state-mandated coverage.
Some states have a no-fault insurance option, where bills are paid by insurance companies regardless of who caused the accident. However, Nevada isn’t one of them.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
What if you don’t have insurance coverage in Nevada?
Like some other states, Nevada has a database of all registered cars in the state and cross-references them against their proof of insurance. If the database finds a vehicle without coverage, a letter will be sent to the vehicle owner. The individual will have 15 days to reply to the letter with proof of insurance or their registration will be revoked. Reinstatement of registration will cost $250 the first time. If this happens more than once, rates will keep increasing up to $750.
If that person were to be caught driving that vehicle with suspended registration and no insurance coverage, he or she could be fined up to $1,000, depending on how long from that point the insurance had lapsed. In the event of a third violation, that driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days.
Worse yet, if you are involved in an accident totaling more than $750 worth of damages, your license and registration can be terminated on the spot, no matter how many violations you have.
Getting your license back can require you to file an SR-22 certificate with the state that proves that you have sufficient car insurance. Drivers who need that certificate often search for SR-22 insurance, meaning insurance that is affordable even though you need that SR-22 form. Unsurprisingly, drivers with an SR-22 requirement are charged higher premiums since their past driving record doesn’t speak well to insurance providers about their level of risk.
Ask your insurance provider to reassess your rate when three years have passed since your last traffic violation. Each insurer has different criteria for quantifying risk, but you should be able to get a reduced rate after three to five years of a clean driving record.
Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
You should shop around for car insurance every couple of years or so, depending on how much things have changed in your life. Moving to a new town and improving your credit score are examples of things that can lower your rate. If you’re a young driver, you might be able to reduce your relatively hefty insurance premiums by taking advantage of a good student discount. Completing a driving skills class is another way to receive a discount on car insurance. Insurance companies differ in the discounts and incentives they offer, which is why it makes sense to look at several of the available options to see which one will save you the most money while providing the level of coverage you need.
In the past few years, insurance providers have begun to calculate rates based on much more than a driver’s risk. The practice, called price optimization, is a profit-maximizing technique that allows an insurer to estimate the likelihood its customers will shop for better rates. One study found that 68 percent of strategic price changes (over the course of a year) were directly related to maximizing profits. Insurance companies analyze a tremendous amount of your data, such as credit score, online shopping habits and social media activity to predict how likely you are to shop for better rates. Then, they can charge you just enough to maximize profit, but not so much that you find the payment uncomfortable.
Price optimization is one of the greatest incentives to shop around for better coverage each year. Not only will it help you find potential savings — it will keep your current provider from attempting to gouge you with incremental price hikes. Think about it: Insurers take notice when you apply for quotes, and they definitely don’t want to lose you as a customer.
If you are concerned with price optimization on your policy or have noticed incremental or unexplainable increases in your premium, contact your agent and see what’s up. Even better, you could address a letter to your U.S. senator.
States like Washington and Florida (15 in total) have released bulletins addressing the use of price optimization based on based on factors not related to risk. Unfortunately, Nevada has not taken any official steps to thwart price optimization by car insurance agencies. So, for now, it’s up to the drivers themselves to avoid becoming a victim of this practice.
You don’t want to pay more than you have to for car insurance coverage, especially since averages are already high. Take the time to shop around, compare quotes and investigate more than the minimum coverage. It’s the only way you’re going to find the best car insurance for you.
Best Car Insurance in Nevada
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual