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Nebraska car insurance laws require all drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage. Failure to carry at least the minimum coverage in Nebraska can result in a range of penalties, including fines, license suspension and even incarceration. To avoid these and other consequences, it’s important to understand how to comply with Nebraska’s insurance laws before you get behind the wheel.
Minimum insurance required in Nebraska
Auto liability insurance provides crucial protection for drivers if they are involved in an accident and are determined to be responsible for injury to others or damage to their property. Nebraska requires that drivers in the state must carry at least set minimum amounts of liability coverage.
Nebraska auto insurance laws require the following:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, meaning for more than a single person
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
As accidents can quickly exceed these limits, minimum coverage likely won’t provide sufficient financial protection for you and your family if you are at-fault in a serious accident. Consider consulting a licensed car insurance agent to discuss how much coverage you need before choosing the right Nebraska car insurance company for you.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Nebraska
If you are convicted of driving without at least the minimum amount of liability insurance in Nebraska, you will likely have your license automatically suspended. In addition, you will be fined and be required to take specific steps to verify your financial responsibility for future driving liabilities. Penalties and fines generally become increasingly more severe with subsequent offenses.
Failure to show proof of insurance
You may be issued a citation for “No Proof of Insurance” if you are the owner of a vehicle and you are not able to produce evidence of insurance when requested by a Nebraska law enforcement officer. If there was, in fact, the requisite insurance in place when the citation was issued and you simply did not have proof with you, there are steps that can be taken to remove the suspension.
You will need to submit a Letter of Verification to the Department of Motor Vehicles showing insurance was in place. Upon receipt, the DMV can choose to withdraw the suspension from your record. With many insurers, you have the ability to produce digital proof of insurance via the insurer app, which can help you avoid this scenario.
Conviction of No Proof of Insurance
If you are unable to prove that you are properly insured upon receiving a citation for “No Proof of Insurance,” you could be convicted of this offense and have your driver’s license suspended. To reinstate your driver’s license, you are typically required to pay a $50 fee and comply with Nebraska’s SR-22 requirements.
In order to reinstate your driver’s license in Nebraska after it has been suspended for driving without insurance you will need to follow prescribed steps to prove your financial responsibility for future accidents. In effect, you need to formally verify that you are properly insured. This requirement may be issued by a judge or DMV.
In Nebraska, the standard means of proving financial responsibility and satisfying the requirement is by filing an SR-22 Certificate of Insurance form with the Nebraska DMV. The SR-22 form will be completed and submitted by your auto insurance company and it must remain on file for three years from the date the citation for “No Proof of Insurance” was issued. It is important to know that a separate SR-22 form must be filed for each vehicle owned by the convicted driver.
Getting into an accident without insurance
Whenever you are involved in an accident in Nebraska, whether you are at fault or not, law enforcement at the scene will ask involved drivers to provide proof of insurance. This is a required step in the officer’s accident reporting process.
If you are unable to provide adequate proof of insurance at the scene, you will generally be given a court date within 10 days, at which time you will be required to present proof that you were insured at the time of the accident. If you can not do so, you could face the consequences outlined above.
Nebraska is an at-fault state, which uses a comparative negligence standard to allocate responsibility among those involved in a car accident. Unlike in a no-fault state, this means that whether insured or not, your responsibility will be set by how much of a percentage each party in the accident was at-fault. With insurance, your carrier will cover the portion of your liability to the other driver.
Drivers who are not insured and involved in an accident in Nebraska will need to pay the portion of liability attributed to the other driver involved in the accident out of pocket. In some cases, a court judgment could hold an uninsured driver financially responsible for additional medical costs and permanent injuries suffered by the other drivers and their passengers, potentially leading to financial distress.
Frequently asked questions
A conviction for driving without insurance in Nebraska could have consequences that take several years to recover from, but providing false information about your coverage to a law enforcement officer could lead to greater penalties. Providing false insurance information is a crime and may lead to jail time and even higher fines.
The average annual car insurance premium for full coverage in Nebraska is $1,624 or $135 per month, based on quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services. The exact premium you will pay will vary from these amounts based upon the factors considered by car insurance companies in setting premiums. These include your age, location, driving history and available discounts for which you qualify.
Deciding whether to file a claim will largely depend on how serious the accident is. For instance, you might file a claim if it will prevent you from paying out of pocket for damage to your vehicle or if people are injured. However, you may decide not to file if no other persons or vehicles are involved, or the damage is extremely minor.
You must register and pay sales tax on vehicles in Nebraska within 30 days of purchase. For specific information about fees in your county, contact your county treasurer. Nebraska also has a motor vehicle tax estimator to help you determine your tax liability.
You might also wonder, “How much does it cost to register a car in Nebraska?” The registration fee in Nebraska is $15 for new and leased vehicles. All Nebraska-registered vehicles are also subject to additional fees, totaling $9.60 per vehicle.