In Nevada, whether you live in Vegas or Boulder, high risk drivers may find it hard to obtain auto insurance coverage in the voluntary market. “Voluntary” is the insurance industry's lingo for the “regular” insurance market where drivers find coverage by getting auto quotes directly from companies. If you have a record of traffic accidents or DUIs, you might be turned down by the top auto insurers; one option is to apply through the Nevada Automobile Insurance Plan. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria described below, this plan will ensure that you are covered. All Nevada drivers must carry at least the minimums of liability auto insurance coverage in the amounts of 15/30/10.
What is the Nevada Automobile Insurance Plan (NV AIP)?
Nevada’s Automobile Insurance Plan became effective back in 1950. Its purpose is to help cover as many drivers as possible in the state of Nevada, especially those who cannot find insurance coverage on their own; it is also known as the Nevada high risk pool. It is part of the joint operation of the Western Association Automobile Insurance Plan. All licensed NV auto insurers must agree to participate in the Plan. When you have been turned down by any number of Nevada auto insurance providers, you may consider applying for coverage through the NV AIP as your last resort to drive legally in the state.
The NVAIP is not an insurance company. Rather than writing insurance policies on its own, the Nevada AIP actually assigns high risk motorists to existing auto insurers in the state. That is to say, when you require coverage and claims assistance, it’ll be coming from the insurer you are assigned to rather than the NV AIP. Assignments are made based on the market share of the auto insurers in Nevada. So if The General auto insurance has 1% of the total market for auto insurance in Nevada, then it must agree to take up to 1% of the state’s high risk drivers. This way, no one company is overwhelmed by any losses that such drivers may incur.
Every licensed auto insurance agent in Nevada, whether exclusive or independent, is familiar with the Nevada AIP and can help you submit an application. Once you are assigned an insurer through the Nevada AIP, the insurer will guarantee coverage for 3 years as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. If your driving record improves during this time, your risk profile may improve to the point where you can return to the better auto insurance rates in Nevada’s voluntary market. If you are still unable to return to the voluntary market after 3 years, you may reapply to the Nevada AIP and receive a new assignment.
Nevada AIP Eligibility
In order to be able to apply for insurance through the NV AIP, you must first attest on your application that you have tried to find auto coverage in the voluntary market in Nevada, and been refused. You must also have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle that is registered in Nevada.
Coverage through Nevada’s Plan may still be denied if you:
- Have an unpaid bill from any previous auto insurer
- Have had your auto insurance cancelled within the last 12 months because you did not bring your vehicle to your insurance company for a requested inspection
- Were found to have purposefully filled out your application falsely
The good news is that for the most part, if you correct the mistakes – pay the bill and present your vehicle for inspection – your application through the Nevada AIP can proceed immediately. However, know that if you have omitted or falsified important facts on the application related to your eligibility, you may be denied coverage and barred from reapplying to the NV AIP for a year.
Nevada AIP Coverage
If you are a high risk driver in Nevada, you receive the same coverages as all other drivers – they may just cost you more. Nevada’s mandatory coverages required by the laws are shown in the table below. Note that while you can drive legally while paying the minimums for Bodily Injury and Property Damage, you may want to consider paying a higher premium in order to have a higher level of coverage. Accidents can be costly, and depending on your financial situation, your insurance agent can advise you on what’s appropriate.
|Mandatory Coverage||Nevada Required Min. Limits||Nevada AIP Maximum Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident||$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$10,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
Your policy through the Nevada AIP may also provide optional coverages. These include Medical Payments Coverage that can cover your medical bills – regardless of fault – or your deductible from a Nevada health insurance policy. Your insurer will offer you this coverage, and you can accept or reject it. Similarly, your Nevada insurer will offer you Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury coverage, which again you can purchase – or not.
Last but not least, you may want collision or comprehensive coverage (difference here) to help pay for your own car repairs. These two coverages are offered much more at the discretion of your insurer, and you will be asked to choose a deductible of $100, $200, or $250. This is the amount that you must first pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Be aware that in Nevada, you may NOT be able to get this coverage if your car is an antique (older than 25 years), or if it has an actual cash value greater than $25,000.
|Optional Coverages||Nevada AIP Min. Limits||Nevada AIP Maximum Limits|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||$1,000 per person / accident||$5,000 per person / accident|
|Physical Damage Insurance (Collision and Comprehensive)||Actual cash value of your car, to up to $25,000||No higher limit|
|Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI)||$15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident||$100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident|
Nevada AIP Premiums and Payment Plans
The Nevada Division of Insurance indicates that high risk drivers pay more for their auto insurance because high risk drivers, as a group, tend to file more claims. Because there are so many auto insurance companies in the state – each with their own ways of considering you as a risk – there is no “magic formula” for knowing how much higher your premium might be. While you are covered through Nevada’s AIP, it might pay to become familiar with the many factors that auto insurers consider when assessing and pricing your policy. By understanding them, you may take actions over time to reduce your insurance premiums.
If you find coverage through the Nevada AIP, you may pay for your auto insurance in one of 2 ways. You may pay 40% of the entire annual premium up front with your application, and the remaining 60% within 30 days of the start of your insurance coverage. Or you may elect to pay in installments. In this case, you still must pay 40% up front, and then you will be billed for the rest in 5 equal monthly installments. If you choose the installment plan, you will also pay a $4 surcharge with each monthly bill.
How to Apply to the Nevada Automobile Insurance Plan
In Nevada, you can approach any licensed insurer to learn more about auto insurance options for high risk drivers. You can find a list of the top Nevada auto insurers here.
For more information about the Nevada AIP, call Nevada’s Division of Insurance at (888) 872-3234. You can also visit Nevada’s AIP website.
Last Updated: January 2016