If you want to learn about auto insurance in Nebraska, we’ve got all the information you’ll need right here. Keep reading for information on required coverage, penalties for driving uninsured, usage-based insurance coverage, and more.
Nebraska is a “tort” state where state law requires all drivers to have insurance. You’ll have to prove you’re insured when you:
Nebraska law has certain standards for car insurance policies. Those standards require every policy to include a minimum amount of liability coverage. The following table breaks down the requirements.
|Required coverage types||Minimum amount of coverage|
|Bodily injury liability||$25,000 for each person’s injuries in an accident
$50,000 total for all injuries in an accident
|Property damage liability||$25,000 total per accident|
When someone driving your car causes an accident, it pays for victims’ medical and repair bills. However, it only pays up to a certain amount. Minimum policies include $50,000 worth of coverage for medical bills and $25,000 for property damages. If you get the minimum amount of liability insurance, you may see it referred to as 25/50/25 coverage. You can buy more than the minimums to be better protected.
Remember, liability doesn’t cover the driver’s medical bills or your car’s repair bills. It only covers those expenses for victims of an accident.
If you break the law and don’t buy coverage, it could cost you. You could get stuck having to pay other people’s medical and repair bills if someone crashes your car. You could also have your license and driving privileges suspended.
|No. of offenses||Fine||License & registration suspension|
|Any||$1,000 maximum||Until you pay $50 reinstatement fee & prove you’re insured|
In addition to liability coverage, there are optional coverages you can add. They’ll raise the cost of your insurance, but they’ll also provide greater protection. The following are the most widely available coverage add-ons in the state.
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured car if it’s damaged by something other than a collision. Some examples of this type of damage are vandalism, hail damage, and theft. Almost 7 out of every 10 drivers in Nebraska bought this coverage in 2011, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
It pays for repairing or replacing the insured vehicle after an accident. In 2011, 2 out of every 3 drivers in Nebraska bought this coverage, according to data from the NAIC.
It pays your medical bills and the medical bills of your family and passengers after an accident. It does so when the driver who caused the accident either:
If you need to cover car repairs from an accident with an uninsured/underinsured motorist, you’d use collision coverage if you added it to your policy.
It pays your medical bills after an accident. Coverage also applies to your passengers. It provides coverage no matter who caused the accident.
It pays for towing and labor due to a mechanical breakdown.
Nebraska is regularly hit with hail, and hail claims can be expensive. The average car insurance claim for hail damage in Nebraska is around $2,900, according to a a 2012 report from the Highway Loss Data Institute.
Hail claims are pretty common in the state. Nebraska has the 5th-highest frequency of hail claims under comprehensive coverage in the entire nation, according to the Institute’s report.
Comprehensive coverage protects you against hail damage. It also covers weather-related events like flooding or tornadoes. Without comprehensive coverage, those repair costs might be on your own checkbook.
Auto insurance prices in Nebraska are some of the cheapest in the entire U.S. The average cost of a policy in the Cornhusker State was almost 20% lower than the 2011 national average, according to data from the NAIC. That’s the 11th-lowest statewide average in the U.S.
If you drive safely, infrequently, or both, you may want to look into a usage-based discount program. These programs use a device you install in your car to track how far it’s driven and/or if it’s driven safely. Depending on how you drive, you could potentially get a discount of up to 30%.
The following major insurers offer usage-based discounts in the Cornhusker State:
Nebraska uses a “tort” system for car insurance claims. That means if someone injures you or wrecks your car, their liability insurance pays your medical and repair bills.
But in some cases, the other driver won’t be 100% responsible for the accident. Your actions could have contributed to the accident, and you could be partially responsible. This makes things a little more complicated.
If you’re partially responsible, it reduces the amount you can get from the other driver’s insurer. Nebraska uses modified comparative fault to sort this out. Here are the details:
If you’re at least 50% responsible for the accident: The other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay any of your bills. You have to completely rely on your own policy.
If you’re less than 50% responsible for the accident: The other driver’s insurer will pay your bills. But the amount they pay will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you’re 20% responsible for an accident, the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay 100% of your bills. Instead, it pays only 80%, since you were 20% responsible. So in this example, if you have $10,000 in bills from an accident, the other driver’s insurer has to pay only $8,000.
So what if the other driver’s insurer doesn’t pay your bills? You use your own policy. Medical payments can help pay your medical bills. Collision will help pay your repair bills. But both of those coverages are optional. You’ll be on your own if you didn’t add them to your policy.
If you’re buying from a small insurance company you’ve never heard of before, you may want to make sure it’s licensed to do business in your state. If you buy a policy from an unlicensed company, your coverage may be worthless.
Check the state database for licensing information on an agent and/or company before you buy coverage.
Still can’t settle a dispute with your car insurer about a claim? The Nebraska Department of Insurance can review your consumer complaint and help your insurer and you with a solution.
If you’ve had a hard time finding a car insurer who will cover you (usually because of marks on your driving record), you can still turn to the Nebraska Automobile Insurance Plan. The Plan is the car insurer of last resort for the state’s high-risk drivers.
Nebraska has some of the cheapest average rates in the country. According to 2011 data from the NAIC, the average premium for a car insurance policy in the state was 20% lower than the national average.