You carry a good motor vehicle liability insurance policy. As a Nevada resident, you are acutely aware that there are quite a few tourists and unsafe drivers, including those who may have overindulged at local casinos, creating risk on the roads. If you have a top-notch insurance policy on your vehicle, you will probably feel safer about driving in general.

What you may not realize is that even a good insurance policy could leave you vulnerable in certain circumstances. While you may carry a great policy, not everyone is as responsible on the road. The better you understand how motor vehicle liability insurance works in Nevada, the easier it will be to make sure you have enough coverage to protect you and your passengers in the event of a crash.

Your policy protects against liability, not losses

The biggest disconnect between what insurance on your vehicle provides and what people expect is that many people don’t understand they are only insuring themselves against financial losses that stem from liability. Your insurance won’t necessarily pay for your expenses. It is only active if you caused the crash.

Your motor vehicle could cause catastrophic levels of property damage and severe, even fatal injuries to other people. Those damages could be financially devastating for you and your family. Your insurance policy protects you from the financial liability you incur if you cause a crash with another person.

That means that your policy will cover their property damage and their medical costs or lost wages. If the other driver is the one that caused the crash, your insurance company will expect their policy to cover your costs.

As many as one in 10 Nevada drivers don’t have insurance

Uninsured drivers may not seem like a major risk, but they are far more common than you might assume. In the most recent analysis of active insurance coverage by the Insurance Information Institute in 2015, Nevada had 10.6% uninsured drivers out of the total pool of driving adults.

That means that a little more than one out of 10 drivers you encounter on the Nevada roads at any given moment may not have insurance or may have a lapsed policy that offers no protection. If a driver who does not have an active liability policy causes a crash, there won’t be insurance to cover your financial losses.

Uninsured/underinsured riders protect you from irresponsible people

Although the law mandates insurance coverage on registered vehicles in Nevada, drivers are still willing to break the law and put you at financial risk. Invest in a rider that expands your insurance policy to include protection from crashes caused by those without insurance or with inadequate insurance for the amount of damage they cause.