Most residents of Nevada are aware of their legal obligation to purchase a policy of auto insurance if they intend to operate a motor vehicle in the state. Beyond that rudimentary fact, Nevadans do not have much detailed knowledge of the terms of their auto insurance policies. Auto policies are complicated contracts between the insurer and the insured, and each party has strictly defined legal obligations.
Types of insurance
Insurance companies operating in Nevada sell many different types of policies that insure against different types of risks. Life insurance policies provide coverage in case the beneficiary dies while the policy is in effect. Property insurance policies provide coverage for damage to the policy holder’s real and personal property. Health insurance, of course, pays for all or a portion of the policy holder’s medical care. Automobile insurance policies cover damages caused by an automobile accident involving either the covered vehicle or the owner of the policy. The state of Nevada requires all persons operating motor vehicles to purchase a liability policy that will pay at least $25,000 per person for damages for bodily injury and $50,000 for bodily injury for the same accident. The same policy must also provide at least $20,000 in benefits for property damage. The policy owner (the person who is paying the premiums) can negotiate with the insurer for higher limits on coverage, but the additional coverage will result in a higher premium.
Other types of coverage
A policy holder can also purchase “collision” insurance, which pays for damages regardless of which party is at fault. A “comprehensive” policy will provide other types of damages that are not the result of a collision. Policy holders can buy coverage for injuries suffered in an accident in which the at fault driver does not have liability insurance or insufficient coverage to pay for the total injuries suffered by persons injured in the collision. Nevada insurers must also offer “MedPay,” a type of coverage that pays for the medical costs of injuries suffered by the policy holder and any passengers without regard to fault.
Auto insurance claims
Insurance companies are required to fully and accurately explain the terms of any policy that they sell. If any representation is false, the company could lose its license to sell insurance in the state. Anyone with questions about the scope of their automobile insurance policy may wish to consult a lawyer who is knowledgeable about insurance coverage.