Nevadans: Heads Up on Another Rate Increase - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Nevadans: Heads Up on Another Rate Increase

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Even if you've never filed a claim and used every discount you can find, car insurance rates in Nevada are about to make a jump when a new law takes effect in a matter of months. As Jeff Shaffer of Reno’s A & H Insurance told us, "It's a big deal, because it helps cover people correctly with more limits."

Last May, Governor Sandoval signed a law that essentially doubles Nevada's minimum liability coverage. Liability's the most expensive part of insurance, and beginning July 1st next year the minimum coverage for injury or death in a crash goes from $15,000 to $20,000. For 2 people, $30,000 to $50,000…and the minimum for property damage jumps from $10,000 to $20,000. On the average bill, that’s an increase of around $8 a month, totaling about $100 a year.

Adding insult to injury, Nevada car insurance was already expensive before that. We're 12th-highest for premiums in the U.S. The average cost of car insurance in Nevada was $970 a year according to the Insurance Information Institute. Judy Dahl at A & H Insurance says it’s because "we're a 24-hour gambling, drinking state. Plus all the storms and all the catastrophes across the United States affect us also."

On top of that, car insurance goes up when the economy is good -- more people, more travel and more driving. And cars are more expensive to fix, which raises repair bills. As Shaffer says, "People are buying more expensive cars. Cars are harder to repair now." Judy adds, “And they don't fix cars anymore. They replace parts."

What can you do, to save money and keep a cap on your car insurance bill? Judy recommends bundling, “Because it's higher if you have just your auto with someone. If you don't own a home, then you have a renter's policy, and that will help bring your auto rates down."

Another way to save: use an insurance broker instead of an insurance company agent. A broker can select from dozens of insurers to fit your plan and budget. And check the insurance rates of a car before you buy it, as different models have a wide variety of premium costs.

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