In this article, we'll examine some of the key Nebraska car insurance laws that could affect a car accident settlement or lawsuit, including Nebraska's auto insurance coverage requirements.
Nebraska is a "Fault" State
Nebraska is a “fault” state when it comes to liability for damages stemming from a car accident. (“Fault” states are also known as “tort” states). This means that anyone who has been injured in a car accident -- whether a driver, passenger, or pedestrian -- usually has several options:
- file a claim under his or her own health or auto insurance policy.
- file a third party car insurance claim with the insurer of the driver who caused the accident, or
- file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, seeking a specified amount of damages.
(Note: not all states are “fault” states. Several use a “no-fault” system, in which an injured driver must usually file a claim with his or her own insurance company for coverage of medical bills, no matter who was at fault for the accident. If you do most of your driving in Nebraska, you probably won't need to know the details of no-fault insurance. But if you'd like to learn more, see No-Fault Car Insurance and State Laws: The Basics.)
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Nebraska
Nebraska drivers must have the following minimum insurance coverage on their vehicles:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in a crash
- $50,000 for bodily injury in a crash if more than one person is hurt, and
- $25,000 in property damage coverage.
Drivers are allowed to buy insurance with higher limits if they wish, and can get additional car insurance coverage options such as “collision” (for damage to their own vehicle), and “comprehensive” coverage (for damage caused by weather, animals, or other forces).
In Nebraska, every car insurance policy must include uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage unless the purchaser of the policy declines UIM coverage in writing. You can learn more about UIM and how it can protect you in our Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance section.
Nebraska's "Financial Responsibility" Requirement
Drivers in Nebraska are required to prove “financial responsibility” in order to legally register their vehicles. While most drivers meet this requirement by purchasing auto insurance, Nebraska offers alternatives for drivers who do not want to buy a conventional insurance policy.
A driver may meet the requirements of Nebraska law by submitting a surety bond to the state's department of motor vehicles. This bond must cover the driver for at least the minimum amounts of coverage listed above.
Other options for meeting the “financial responsibility” requirement include filing a property bond with the department of motor vehicles or depositing at least $75,000 in cash or securities with the State Treasurer.
More Information on Car Insurance in Nebraska
The state's Department of Motor Vehicles explains Nebraska car insurance requirements in detail on its official website. The information includes guidance on meeting Nebraska's financial responsibility requirement as well.