A decade ago it was nearly impossible for the law to account for all the drivers in Nevada that did not have the required liability coverage on their vehicles. It was estimated that in 2008 that over 20% of all drivers did not have liability insurance. Back ‘in the day’, the police would only know about this deficit if they happened to pull a driver over for another offense and they did not have a valid insurance card.
What do I do if I am hit by an uninsured driver?
If you are in an accident with someone who does not have insurance it is important to get as much information from them as possible. Take pictures of the vehicles, license plate as well as the driver’s face. If someone was seriously injured call 911 and have the police sort the issues out after the injuries have been attended to by the emergency personnel. There are times when the other driver may have a card indicating that the insurance is valid, when in fact it may have lapsed. Information is your friend, the more you collect the more you may be able to protect yourself as the liability and damage issues need to be addressed. Do not threaten the uninsured driver or provoke them at the scene of the accident, they also may actually be insured but did not have their newer proof of insurance card in the vehicle at the unfortunate time of your meeting.
Nevada’s Insurance Compliance Laws:
The ‘wild west’ method of insurance enforcement, no central data base nor ability to confirm insurance at any time, has all changed. Currently, Nevada has one of the more stringent and efficient insurance compliance systems in the nation. “Insurance companies licensed to do business in Nevada are required to validate the status of Nevada insurance policies”, according to the Nevada DMV website. The system has a series of checks and re-checks, some of them random, with both the insurance companies as well as the vehicle owners.
When a person enters into an insurance contract, the insuring company sends an electronic confirmation to the Nevada DMV along with the VIN of the vehicle being insured. This program is called “Nevada LIVE”. This program only gives details as to the requisite liability coverage as this is the only legislatively mandated coverage. So, UM/UIM, comprehensive, Med Pay, or other types of coverage options are not included in this program.
Periodically the DMV’s Nevada LIVE program will ask companies selling auto insurance in Nevada if a particular vehicle has current Nevada liability insurance coverage. The insurance company only needs to respond with a “Confirmed” or “Unconfirmed.” Additionally, vehicle owners will be sent a post card requesting updated liability insurance information. The owner merely fills in a few blank with the updated information and then sends it back, postage prepaid, to the DMV. There are penalties for failure to send this card back, usually a fine and even driver’s license and vehicle registration suspension.
These fines and penalties increase incrementally, punishing the more recidivistic drivers who seem to have a difficult time keeping the coverage in place. It is important to know where you are with your coverage, as even a single-day lapse could cause suspensions and even require a $250.00 reinstatement fee.
What coverage does Nevada Law require?
“Nevada requires that automobile liability insurance policies carry minimum coverage of $15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one accident; $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons on any one accident; and $10,000 for injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.”
These are the minimum coverage requirements, however, it is recommended that you shop for additional coverage including: Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist, Med Pay and Comprehensive to cover the damage to your own vehicle to name a few. Please speak at length with your insurance agent or company representative so that you have the appropriate coverage for your situation.
Remember to carry your proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times and presented to any law enforcement officer upon request. In addition, you must present your Nevada Evidence of Insurance card to register your vehicle at the DMV. It is also recommended that you regularly review your policy to see that no changes were made without your knowing and that you are protected for your circumstances.