Nevada has surprisingly low insurance premiums, ranking as the 13th cheapest state in the country for auto insurance. The average policy costs just $1,300 per year, making coverage substantially more affordable than in neighboring California but somewhat more expensive than nearby Arizona. The average cost of auto insurance in a state is determined by several factors, and any individual’s insurance policy may cost more or less than the average depending on his driving history and type of vehicle insured.

How are car insurance rates calculated in Nevada?

On a personal level, car insurance premiums are calculated based on an insured’s risk of being involved in an accident. Individuals with a history of traffic violations, DUI convictions or accidents will pay more for auto insurance. People with bad credit or without an established driving history will also pay more for insurance.

Auto insurance is also determined by demographic and geographic features of an area. A state’s weather, crime rate, amount of traffic and number of uninsured motorists all play a large role in determining the insurance premiums of a location.

Approximately 15 percent of drivers in Nevada are uninsured!

This is higher than many states, but lower than both California and Arizona. Whenever an uninsured driver is responsible for an accident, the other insurance company must recover the lost money through premium increases. This means that the fewer uninsured drivers in an area, the cheaper premiums can be.

Nevada also has a surprisingly low number of drunk driving accidents, with just 121 DUI-related fatalities in 2009. In a state largely recognized for wild Las Vegas parties, Nevada drunk driving laws are very strict and reduce the number of claims filed for drinking and driving. The prevalence of taxi cabs and the easy-to-walk character of Nevada’s major cities also reduces the number of drinking-related accidents in the area.

Auto theft is also not as large of a concern in Nevada as it is in other nearby states. Although theft usually occurs in states along country borders and metropolitan areas, Nevada ranks nowhere on the top 10 list of states with heavy theft rates. Arizona and California rank 7th and 1st, respectively. Nevertheless, Nevada does have some auto theft issues, especially in Las Vegas and Reno; 90s-model Japanese cars are the most common targets of theft in the area.

Car insurance requirements play another important role in determining the cost of insurance in an area. States with high insurance requirements will have a higher average cost than those with lower requirements. When identical policies are compared, however, the gap between premiums narrows tremendously.

Car Insurance Requirements in Nevada

Nevada has fairly low limits of liability. To operate a vehicle in Nevada, a person must carry liability insurance of at least $10,000 for property damage and $15,000 per person in bodily injury coverage, up to $30,000 per accident. If a driver causes more injuries or damage than his insurance limit, he will be responsible to pay the remainder out of his pocket. In order to protect your assets from lawsuits, it’s a good idea to carry as much liability insurance as you can afford.

Drivers in Nevada can also choose whether or not to buy collision and comprehensive coverage. Together with liability, these make full coverage auto insurance. Full coverage is necessary for vehicles that are leased or financed, but people who own their cars outright may choose to carry full coverage policies if the vehicles are new or valuable. Older vehicles may not require full coverage insurance if the owner does not believe that they’re worth repairing after an accident.

Other coverage is available to drivers in Nevada if they wish to add it. Drivers can purchase uninsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection, rental reimbursement and towing coverage. These are all purchased separately from regular full coverage auto insurance, so it’s possible to personalize a policy with only the coverage a driver desires. For example, a driver can choose to carry only liability and uninsured motorist coverage if he wishes. Additional coverage does cause the cost of insurance to raise, so it’s the driver’s prerogative to decide what coverage is necessary and what is a luxury.

Whether you’re a current Nevada resident or are looking at moving in from another state, it’s possible to get the best deal on auto insurance coverage by comparison shopping online. By looking at multiple companies offering the same coverage, you can choose the best value for your needs. After you receive a free quote, a representative from the insurance company will contact you to confirm your policy purchase and answer any questions that you may have.