What Auto Insurance Is Required by Law?
Auto insurance exists to protect vehicles and their drivers from financial loss that results from theft, collision and damage of any kind to property and human life. Unless you are a resident of Mississippi, New Hampshire or Virginia, the law will insist that you purchase auto liability insurance, and although the exact requirements and minimum amounts will vary from one state to another, the clear majority do require that you carry certain levels of liability coverage against bodily injury and property damage. Some states additionally require the purchase of uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, and if you are financing or leasing your vehicle, you will normally need to add comprehensive and collision coverage as well.
Let’s look at each of these types of insurance in turn.
Auto Insurance and Bodily Injury Liability
If you should find yourself legally responsible for having caused a vehicular accident, bodily injury liability will help handle costs connected with physical harm suffered by other individuals as a result. This form of insurance will cover loss of income; medical expenses; pain and suffering; and funeral costs. It will also take care of your legal fees if you should suddenly find yourself the target of a lawsuit.
All states that require the purchase of bodily injury liability insurance mandate that you carry a minimum amount. Drivers will be personally responsible for paying damages above and beyond the limits of that coverage.
Auto Insurance and Property Damage Liability
While bodily injury liability will help cover the costs of anyone injured in an auto accident for which you were responsible, property damage liability will assist in paying for damages that result from having crashed your car into another person’s vehicle or property.
Among the states that require motorists to carry a certain amount of property damage liability coverage, the minimum limits will vary, and any costs incurred above and beyond those amounts will be payable out of the pocket of the at-fault driver. For this reason, many motorists opt to carry higher amounts of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance.
Auto Insurance and Uninsured or Underinsured Motorists
Despite the laws that mandate against it, the fact remains that one out of every eight drivers you pass on the road is likely to be uninsured. If one of them should run his vehicle into your own car or property, you’ll be left holding the financial bag. There is also the chance that the motorist who caused your accident does carry insurance, but it may not be enough to pay for the damage he has caused.
In either case, you will likely find yourself responsible for covering costs that the other motorist cannot. By making up the difference, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can protect you against financial harm. Nevertheless, currently only 20 states and the District of Columbia require that motorists carry uninsured motorist coverage, and only five require that they carry the same protection against the underinsured.
Comprehensive and Collision Auto Coverage
Although no state forces you to carry comprehensive or collision insurance, your lease holder or lender almost certainly will. Comprehensive auto insurance will protect you against loss due to vandalism, theft, fire, falling objects, natural disasters, civil disturbance and similar disasters unrelated to an actual collision. Collision insurance, on the other hand, will cover the costs of repairing or replacing your car if it should fall victim to damage or destruction through hitting another vehicle or stationary object or if someone should run into it while it is parked or standing still.
If you already own your vehicle free and clear, you may decide against the purchase of either type of coverage. Many who forego it, however, later come to regret that decision.
Auto Insurance for Nevada Residents
The state of Nevada requires its drivers to carry the following levels of auto liability insurance:
- For bodily injury, no less than $15,000 liability per person and $30,000 per accident.
- For property damage, at least $10,000 liability per accident.
It’s important to note that liability insurance only covers bodily injury and property damage sustained by others in an accident for which you, yourself, are liable. It will not provide coverage for injury sustained in that accident by you, your property or any passengers who are related to and live with you.
When you are in the market for auto insurance, the insurance brokers at All Kinds of Insurance are here to help. We understand how the laws apply in the various states, and we will make certain that you obtain the coverage that works for you. Don’t get caught short. Call All Kinds of Insurance today at 702-534-4697 for more information.