After a car accident, knowing what type of car insurance coverage you have – or what type of coverage the other driver has – can prove critical. Ideally, you should review your car insurance policy long before an accident so that you have a good idea of what type of coverage you have, what type of coverage you might need to have, and how the coverage you carry could impact you following an accident.
Nevada’s Insurance Minimums
Nevada requires relatively high insurance coverage, compared to other states. In Nevada, you must carry minimum liability insurance that offers at least $25,000 in protection for a single individual injured in an accident, $50,000 for two or more individuals injured in an accident, and $20,000 in property damage per accident.
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Understanding Insurance Coverage
When you look at your policy, you may wonder what all those terms really mean. What types of coverage do you have? What types do you need?
Liability-only insurance covers the damage to the other party’s vehicle and any damages associated with the other party’s injuries when you cause an accident. It does not provide any coverage for your vehicle if you cause an accident, which means that it offers protection primarily for other drivers. Liability – only insurance policies may have other riders or subsections that provide additional compensation in some areas or under some circumstances, but often do not offer substantial protection against damage to your own vehicle.
When you have full-coverage insurance on your vehicle, you will receive financial assistance repairing your vehicle from your insurance company even when your negligence actually causes a car accident. Many people carry full-coverage insurance policies when they want to make sure they have the means to repair their vehicle following a collision, often either because they have purchased an expensive vehicle or they worry they will not have the funds to take care of vehicle repairs if they cause an accident. Full-coverage insurance breaks down into two categories: comprehensive and collision.
Collision coverage provides compensation any time damage occurs during an accident. If you cause an accident, you can use your collision coverage to repair your vehicle as well as to pay out damages to the other driver. In many cases, you can also choose to use collision coverage to cover damages to your vehicle when the other driver does not have insurance.
Comprehensive coverage kicks in any time damage occurs to your vehicle, regardless of what happened. Did a tree limb hit your vehicle? Was it stolen? Did you face a natural disaster that caused serious damage to your vehicle? Comprehensive coverage ensures that you can repair your vehicle no matter how the damage occurred.
Other Vital Types of Coverage
In addition to your existing policy, you may have specific types of coverage that cover various challenges you may face with your vehicle. Knowing what type of coverage you have can make it easier to determine what to do after an accident, regardless of who caused it.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance
Uninsured motorist insurance provides compensation when you have an accident with a driver who does not have insurance. In Nevada, around 10% of drivers fail to carry auto insurance.
If you get into an accident with one of the one in ten, you may find yourself with costly out-of-pocket repair costs. Uninsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, will ensure that you can afford to repair your vehicle.
Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Like uninsured motorist insurance, underinsured motorist coverage kicks in when someone else causes an accident: in the case of underinsured motorist coverage, it is when the driver that causes your accident does not carry adequate insurance to take care of your needs. Many expensive vehicles will cost more to repair or replace than Nevada minimum coverage, so carrying underinsured motorist insurance can go a long way toward providing peace of mind.
Unlike many other states, Nevada does not mandate MedPay coverage. However, most Nevada auto insurance companies do make MedPay coverage available to their subscribers. MedPay coverage is designed to help cover the cost of medical treatment after an auto accident, regardless of who causes the accident.
You can select the amount of MedPay coverage you want to carry based on the health insurance you carry and the financial hardships you might experience due to an accident.
When Should I Call My Insurance Company?
Any time you cause an accident, you should let your insurance company know about the accident as soon as possible. The insurance company can then begin processing the accident report, witness testimony, testimony from the drivers involved in the accident, and the cost of repairs, which can help get compensation in your hands–and the other driver’s–faster. You should also call your insurance company after an accident caused by another driver if:
- The other driver involved in an accident does not have insurance
- You suffered injuries in the accident and intend to use your MedPay coverage
- The other driver does not carry adequate insurance
- You intend to process the claim through your own insurance policy first to avoid challenges or a slow process
- You have questions about your auto insurance coverage
You should also contact your insurance company if you need to change or cancel the insurance policy on a vehicle damaged in an accident. Furthermore, if you suffered damage to your vehicle due to non-wreck circumstances, from falling tree limbs to vandalism or theft, you should report those damages to your insurance company as soon as possible to seek compensation.
However, in some cases, you may want to talk to a lawyer first. You may want to talk to a lawyer if liability for the accident is disputed or if you have any questions about your auto insurance coverage and what compensation your policy should offer.
Contact a Nevada Car Accident Lawyer to Learn More
If you need help discovering what your insurance policy covers in the event of an accident, or you have questions about what the other driver’s policy covers, a Nevada personal injury lawyer can help. Contact Pacific West Injury Law today to learn more about your rights after a car accident.