If you are visiting Nevada, a rental car can help you get around while avoiding high taxi fares. Insurance requirements can be confusing, and rental car companies' salespeople will surely try to get you to buy their expensive coverage. However, rental car insurance coverage can be quite simple. If you have the right insurance coverage in your home state, you may not need to spring for the rental company's supplemental insurance.
When renting a car in Nevada, be aware that there may be more charges associated with the rental than the price originally states. Depending on where you rent a car, you will pay a series of concession fees, venue fees, and other fees that can raise your rental car price significantly. One such fee is the insurance upsell, a tactic which is common with Nevada car rental companies. Enterprise and Payless in particular do the hard sell on insurance premiums.
According to Auto Insurance Tips, a website which provides information on auto insurance, the required insurance for driving a car in Nevada is "$15,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident, $30,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one accident, and $10,000 for injury to or destruction of others property." As a visitor, you must have the same insurance coverage expected of a Nevada resident. You don't have to have uninsured motorist coverage, according to Nevada law, but it is recommended.
If you have full-coverage insurance similar to that discussed above, you probably have rental coverage. Most insurance providers, such as Safeco and Geico, automatically offer the same coverage for rentals as they do for the insured vehicle. Check your policy for information about rental coverage. If you meet the coverage guidelines and have rental coverage, you can politely decline the supplemental insurance at the Nevada rental company.
In the state of Nevada, you have to have your insurance information on you when operating a vehicle. When checking in with Nevada rental car companies, a simple insurance card will not suffice. In order to get out of the upsell at Payless, for instance, you have to have a full printout of your coverage limits from your insurance company. If you do not have that printout, Payless at the McCarran Airport in Las Vegas will not let you rent a car unless you pay the insurance upsell. Make sure you bring a full detail of your coverage limits when you show up to rent the car.
Your credit card might cover the insurance for your rental. Most credit cards issued by major companies offer insurance coverage for rental cars. Check with your card provider, but be sure you understand all stipulations—getting a credit card company to pay up after a collision is often a trying experience.
If you don't have sufficient car insurance limits on your policy to rent a car in Nevada, or if you have no insurance at all, you will probably have to go with the supplemental insurance. Supplemental insurance can cost around $9 to $20 extra per day. If you are renting for multiple days, the insurance costs can add up, so make sure you have exhausted all other coverage options before ponying up for the insurance upsell.
Heather Bliss has been writing professionally since 1998, specializing in technology, computer repair, gardening, music and politics. Bliss holds an Associate of Arts in journalism from Moorpark College. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, San Marcos, completed with a focus on music and performing arts technology.