Car Insurance Done the SMARTWAY™

Nebraska has a notably sparse population density, as is common in the Midwest. In fact, almost all its cities have fewer than 3,000 residents. Then there are hundreds of towns with populations below 1,000. This is one factor that helps keep car insurance rates down for Nebraskans; the state consistently ranks in the lower 40% of the country in terms of average premiums.

That certainly doesn’t mean there’s no benefit to proactively working to find low rates. You might qualify for all sorts of discounts—many of which we touch on below—and there are always big savings to be found in comparison shopping for the lowest quotes on coverage that’s tailored to your vehicle, location, and lifestyle.

SmartFinancial offers a cutting-edge platform for doing just that. You can trust our carrier-neutral information and securely use the site—for free!—to efficiently compare quotes from many of Nebraska’s leading auto insurance providers.

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Nebraska Auto Insurance Rates

It’d be nice if there were one carrier that offered everyone the lowest car insurance rates and provided the best policies and customer service. But obviously it doesn’t work that way. However, independent studies can draw general conclusions, and J.D. Power has done just that. Here are its 2016 findings for top three carriers in Nebraska and the rest of the Central U.S. region (see the full list).

  1. Shelter
  2. State Farm
  3. The Hartford

So these might be a good place to start when shopping for coverage. But remember, there are no one-size-fits-all right answers when it comes to car insurance. Too many personal factors affect your policy needs and the premium you’re offered.

Smart shoppers compare policies and quotes from multiple companies. And now that you’ve found us, you don’t have to spend days on email inquiries and phone calls (and sitting on hold!). We let you cover lots of ground efficiently. Just click on your location below, or if you don’t see it, click here instead.

 

Legalities 101

Citizens of Nebraska must meet a certain level of assured financial responsibility when they own a registered vehicle. Typically, this is done by purchasing a car insurance policy providing at least the minimum requirements laid out by state law. However, Nebraskans do have a few alternatives to guarantee financial accountability. More on all this below.

These auto insurance laws are enacted to protect all motorists—including you—by safeguarding financial security in the event of an accident. This helps keep consumers from facing potentially devastating vehicle repair and medical bills, and it helps keep insurance costs down for everyone.

Nebraska Driving Safety

Fatal traffic accidents have been slightly on the rise in Nebraska in recent years. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the state. Rural roads are a particular danger for driving fatalities, as they typically involve higher speeds, poor nighttime illumination, greater susceptibility to road fatigue, and longer travel distances for emergency response units.

For more detailed information about road safety and year-by-year crash data, visit the Nebraska Department of Roads website.

Nebraska Driving Safety Stats

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11,649
Number of traffic crashes involving non-fatal injuries in 2015
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246
Number of crash fatalities in 2015
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22,121
Number of traffic crash involving only property damage in 2015

Driving Green

Going green is all the rage these days, and residents of Nebraska who take an environmentally friendly approach to driving have a variety of money-saving opportunities. Here are just a few examples of ways to save in the state by taking a little more responsibility for your ecological impact:

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicle and Fueling Equipment Loans

    Nebraska taxpayers and businesses are eligible for low-interest loans to help them acquire an alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) and/or equipment for an AFV fueling station. Get more information about this on the Nebraska Energy Office’s web page for its Dollar and Energy Saving Loans program.

  • Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle Rebate

    If you purchase a new compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle, you’re eligible for a $500 rebate from Metropolitan Utilities District (MUD). Rebates are available for both residential-use and commercial-use CNG vehicles, though there are separate applications for each.

  • Car Insurance Discounts for Eco-Friendly Driving

    Green drivers are often rewarded by insurance companies. Maintaining low mileage is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint—and your risk of an accident and your premium; many carriers offer a discount for this. Also, customers who drive hybrid, electric, alternative fuel, or economy vehicles often get a discounted rate, as well.

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

Minimum requirements are set by each state individually. In Nebraska, you must carry car insurance providing bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. You also need a minimum of $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. On top of this, Nebraskans are obligated to carry uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Nebraska drivers have a few other options for assuring financial responsibility should they elect not to buy car insurance. These include a surety company bond or property bond conditioned for payment of up to $75,000 and filed with the DMV, or a State-issued certificate of deposit in the amount of $75,000.

Nebraska is a tort or at-fault state. This means that residents involved in an accident may file a claim through their own insurance company or the other party’s company, and they may pursue compensation for various incurred expenses and losses through a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. No-fault or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is therefore not required in the state.

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$ 25,000
Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious injury or death to a single person

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$ 50,000
Bodily injury coverage per accident

Coverage for multiple people injured in a single accident

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$ 25,000
Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Maximizing Your Return on Investment

Taking out a policy that provides only the minimum coverage required by law is tempting to anyone who wants to keep their premium down. But it’s not always the best way to go. The fact is, minimum coverage only pays for certain expenses in certain circumstances, and it may not be enough to cover the costs resulting from a serious accident. Higher-than-required coverage and optional coverages (keep reading for more on these) are smart ways to protect your financial best interest—and to get a little more peace of mind out there on the roads.

Optional coverage in Nebraska

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Medical Payments
  • Gap Coverage
  • New Car Replacement
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Towing and Labor
  • Custom Equipment
  • Loss of Use
  • Travel Expenses
  • Rental Car

It should be pointed out that sometimes, “optional” coverages aren’t exactly optional. If you finance your vehicle, the lender usually makes you take out comprehensive, collision, and/or other add-ons. Make sure you know the terms of your loan when enrolling in a new policy, and make sure to consider these costs when you’re doing any related money calculations.

Our article called 12 Things You can Do to Lower Your Auto Insurance Premium offers some practical ways you can offset the cost of extra coverage.

Nebraska car insurance companies

Shelter
State Farm
The Hartford
Safeco
American Family
Progressive
Geico
Auto-Owners Insurance
Liberty Mutual
ACSC (AAA)
Travelers
Farmers
Alstate
Farm Bureau Mutual
Nationwide

*This list is based on consumer ratings of the Central U.S. Region in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Ratings are based on five customer service areas: policy offerings, price, interaction, claims, billing. USAA is only open to U.S. military personnel and their families and is therefore not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Nebraska Kids

Nebraska Car Seat Regulations

As the Nebraska Department of Roads explains, there are a few laws regarding child restraint, but these are not necessarily the safest practices; they’re a compromise between best practices and what lawmakers have deemed  most practical and tolerable to the public. So, on top of the laws, there are also recommendations.

Nebraska law states that all children up to age 6 must be secured in an appropriately rated car or booster seat. Then, children 6 to 18 must be secured in an appropriate safety seat or with the vehicle’s factory-installed seat belt system.

That said, age isn’t nearly as important as weight and height in determining what’s safest for any given kid. Here are some recommendations that provide more guidance beyond the minimum safety standards set by law:

Infants and toddlers up to 2 years or 20 pounds should be in a rear-facing car seat, after which they should switch to a forward-facing car seat until they reach its size limit. Then, a belt-positioning booster seat is appropriate until it’s outgrown. Children are generally able to be properly secured in a vehicle’s seat belt once they reach 4′ 9” tall. And remember, kids are always safer in the back seat.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

Young kids left alone in a car, truck, or SUV are at risk of being kidnapped, assaulted, injured while playing around, injuring someone else or damaging property if the vehicle’s left on, and of becoming seriously or even fatally overheated. Interior vehicle temperatures rise dangerously high and fast on hot days, and even on temperate days when sitting in direct sunlight.

Nebraska is one of the few states that has already enacted a law to specifically protect kids from these dangers. It did so by adding a definition to the state’s Child Protection Act that makes leaving a child 6 or younger unattended in a vehicle a child abuse or neglect crime.

Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Nebraska?

It is. That’s good news if you have a good credit score, but it works against you if your score isn’t too hot. Carriers calculate your “insurance score” to figure out how much to charge you for your premium (or even if they want to offer you coverage at all). The insurance score takes a lot of personal factors into account, and your credit score is a significant one.

Does Nebraska offer a good-driver discount?

Car insurance companies love good drivers! Most seek to win them over as customers and to incentivize safe, claim-free driving by offering premium discounts to people who don’t get any tickets for moving violations or get into any accidents for a certain period of time (often, for at least 3 years). Other fairly standard discounts include:

  • Full Pay
  • Multiple Car
  • Multiple Policy
  • Good Student
  • Resident Student
  • Accident Free
  • Vehicle Safety
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Home Ownership
  • New Car
  • Passive Restraint
  • Utility Discount

Does Nebraska allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Yes, it does. Get an official electronic insurance card from your carrier, and you can show it on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device. Consider keeping the original printed card in your vehicle anyway, just in case you experience technical difficulties when you need to produce proof of coverage.

What happens if my coverage lapses?

It’s illegal to drive—or even to have a registered vehicle—with lapsed coverage. If you’re involved in a traffic stop or accident with lapsed coverage, your license will be suspended on the spot, and the attending law enforcement officer may confiscate your license plate. You have a 10-day period in which to show proof of coverage or financial responsibility; if you do, your citation and suspension will be overturned. Otherwise, they stand until you can show proof of coverage and pay a few fees for license reinstatement and registration renewal.

What are Nebraska's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s against the law to operate a motor vehicle in Nebraska at the following BAC percentages:entages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

Per Nebraska’s DUI laws, you can be convicted even without a BAC reading, based on the testimony of the arresting law enforcement officer.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Nebraska?

Nebraska has an implied consent law saying that all licensed drivers must submit to a breath, blood, or urine test at the request of a police officer who suspects drug- or alcohol-related impairment while operating a motor vehicle. Refusing to submit to such a test will result in suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

DUI penalties in Nebraska depend on a number of factors, including the number of previous DUI convictions and aggravating circumstances like whether an accident or death was caused by the impaired driving, or if the BAC was over 0.15% at the time of arrest.

Even first-time offenders without aggravating factors face 7 to 60 days in jail, up to $500 in fines (as well as other fees), installation of an ignition interlock device, and a suspended license.

Does Nebraska offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

The State offers driver education and improvement courses, but it’s up to your carrier whether they offer discounts for voluntarily completing one. Most do, so ask your representative if this is something that’s available to you. If so, choose one of the courses certified by the Nebraska DMV courses certified by the Nebraska DMV.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Nebraska car insurance?

The number one way to limit what you pay for car insurance is to compare quotes from leading carriers when shopping for a new policy. Beyond that, be careful with your credit score and driving record, as both can have a significant effect on your premium. Ask about possible discounts, too, like those mentioned throughout this page, and trade off for a lower premium by taking a higher deductible.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Nebraska?

Nebraska does require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the minimum amounts of $25,000 bodily injury per person and $50,000 bodily injury per accident. This type of insurance pays for damage and medical bills caused by a driver who doesn’t have auto insurance (or enough to cover the costs they cause). Fortunately, Nebraska has one of the lowest rates of uninsured drivers in the country, but the State still mandates this coverage.Arkansas does not require uninsured motorist coverage, but this insurance is an optional and recommended policy addition. Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for property damage or injuries resulting from an accident caused by a motorist driving without coverage.

6%
Uninsured drivers in Nebraska
12%
Uninsured drivers Nationwide

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