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You’ve probably seen more than a few companies claiming to offer the best auto insurance quotes in Iowa. But the truth is that each insurance provider takes a different approach to calculating premiums, and some companies try to gain an edge by offering affordable rates to certain driver types such as safe drivers, drivers with a DUI, or senior drivers. To reduce the hassle of finding low cost car insurance, our Geeks analyzed quotes from some of the leading insurance providers in the state.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Iowa
If you want the lowest auto insurance premiums in Iowa, you need to compare quotes from multiple providers. We suggest you start with the companies below:
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|State Farm||Low Annual Mileage|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Iowa
Our Geeks looked at customer reviews and complaint data to identify Iowa’s best auto insurance companies. The table below is a summary of our findings:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Iowa
In the state of Iowa, drivers must carry auto insurance that covers $20,000 for bodily injury to one person, $40,000 for bodily injuries per accident, and $15,000 for property damage.
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Iowa
In the state of Iowa, all registered motorists must be able to show proof of financial responsibility. If you are unable to do so and you are caught driving without auto insurance, you will face a $250 fine or community service, as well as removal of your license plates and registration receipt or vehicle impoundment. You may also have to pay for vehicle towing and storage fees, as well as a $15 administrative fee for reinstatement.
If you cause an accident while you are driving without insurance, the $250 fine is mandatory. Also, your vehicle could be impounded, and if the other party incurs $1,500 or more in damages, your license and registration will be suspended for 12 months. You will also have to pay a $200 civil penalty during reinstatement.
Iowa Car Insurance FAQs
What Optional Car Insurance Is Available in Iowa?
A minimum policy will ensure you are legal to drive in Iowa and will help cover some of the basic costs in the aftermath of an accident, up to the limits defined in your policy agreement. But the minimum required limits may not cover all the costs incurred, especially if your crash causes wide-ranging, extensive damages.
This is why Iowa car insurers offer higher limits and additional coverage options. Two of the most popular forms of additional insurance include uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury cover. These will apply if you are involved with a driver who does not carry the proper insurance and cannot pay for your costs, or if you are unable to identify the driver who caused the crash, such as in the case of a hit-and-run.
What Is the Iowa Automobile Insurance Plan?
Drivers with either many traffic violations on their records or even a few very serious ones, such as driving under the influence or operating with a suspended license, may be considered high-risk prospects by Iowa auto insurers. This means they might have trouble securing insurance in the regular market. The Iowa Automobile Insurance Plan (IA AIP) can help. Formed in 1969, the IA AIP requires all state-licensed insurers to take on a number of high-risk drivers, in proportion to their share of the insurance market.
If you find you cannot secure the proper insurance on your own, ask your broker how to apply for coverage through the plan. While you may not be assigned your preferred insurer, you will be covered for at least three years and will be able to drive legally. You may also use those three years to improve your driving record so that you might be able to apply for a preferential insurance rate in the future.
To apply, you must first prove you have tried and failed to find insurance within the previous 60 days. You will also need a valid driver’s license and a properly Iowa-registered vehicle. You may not be successful, however, if you owe a previous insurer an unpaid premium.
What Determines Car Insurance Rates in Iowa?
You may feel you are a safe and responsible driver who deserves low insurance premiums as a result. But your insurer will look a lot deeper than that. In Iowa, insurance companies may investigate a wide range of criteria to calculate your risk profile, in order to gauge how you might fare as a customer in the future.
Factors they may consider include:
- Your age, gender, and marital status;
- Your history of claims with previous insurers;
- The location of your home, and your car’s parking space;
- How often you use your vehicle, and for what purpose;
- The make, model, and age of your car;
- Your driving record, including the number and nature of violations; and
- Your credit score.
What Car Insurance Discounts Are Available in Iowa?
If you are a good and defensive driver with a clear history of traffic violations or are financially responsible in other areas, Iowa car insurance companies may attempt to attract your business. They may do this in the form of discounts on your premium.
You can qualify for a discount on your insurance for:
- Owning a home;
- Applying to have multiple cars insured;
- Paying your premium in full;
- Maintaining a good student record;
- Deciding to switch insurance providers; or
- Avoiding dangerous driving behaviors.
What UM/UIM Coverage and Should I Buy it?
Let’s say you were rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light, causing whiplash and a few thousand dollars’ worth of damage to your vehicle. You pull over to the side to assess the damage but the at-fault driver speeds away. There are plenty of reasons why someone would try to evade responsibility, including the lack of auto insurance.
Under normal circumstances, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would pay for your legitimate claims. But if the at-fault party lacks insurance or engages in a hit-and-run, you could be left holding the bag. If your injuries are severe, you also may be on the hook for lost wages and the cost of physical therapy and other related costs.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is intended to fill this void. So if the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured (i.e. doesn’t carry the minimum required by law) – or simply leaves the scene of the accident – you’re still covered.
Iowa law doesn’t require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but it’s a good idea to add it to your policy.
How Does an OWI Affect Car Insurance Rates?
You can expect to pay more for auto insurance if you’re convicted of driving under the influence in Iowa, even if it’s your first offense. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing the risk of any asset they insure; therefore, a customer with a history of drunk driving will be considered “high risk” and thus placed into a corresponding risk category.
Before having your driver’s license reinstated after a suspension (following an OWI or some other traffic-related crime), you will be required to obtain an SR-22 form from your insurer. This certificate informs the Iowa Motor Vehicles Department that you’ve purchased the required minimum insurance.
This form is required for two years, although the conviction will stay on your criminal record for 12 years. However, you may be eligible for a deferred judgment on your OWI offense if it’s your first offense, you haven’t received a deferred judgment in the past (in any state), the accident didn’t result in an injury, and your BAC was below .15 percent. If you comply with the terms of probation, the conviction will go away and won’t appear on your record.
The increase in rates for convicted drunk drivers and other high-risk drivers varies by insurer, but you could be considered high-risk (and pay accordingly) for as long as the conviction is on your record.
How Does Iowa’s Points System Work?
In Iowa, a traffic ticket comes with points. How many points you receive will depend on the severity of the crash. The more serious the violation, the more points will be added to your record. Accumulating too many points can have severe consequences.
The Iowa Driver & Identification Services (ODS) will suspend your license if you are convicted of at least three moving violations within a 12-month period, or six moving violations or more in two years.
How long will you be without your license? That depends how many points you have been assigned, which in turn depends on the nature of your offenses.
Driving with a suspended license, for example, will add two points to your record, while driving with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more will land you with four points. Accumulating up to seven points within a 12-month period could lead to a two-year suspension, while on the other end of the scale, 10 points or more within a year can keep you off the road for up to six years.
Points on your record also give car insurance companies a reason to hike your premium. Avoiding risky driving behaviors and keeping within the laws of the road will help keep your record clean and your rates as low as possible.
What Are the Most Important Traffic Laws for Drivers to Know?
Iowa’s Distracted Driving Laws
In 2017, Iowa implemented a distracted driving primary law. This means a law enforcement officer may stop any driver who is visibly texting, or using any other kind of portable electronic device, while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. Before this law came into effect, you had to be violating another traffic rule at the time, in order to be pulled over and charged.
You may, however, use a cell phone to make or receive a call or to use the GPS function while in the car, provided you are over the age of 18.
If you are caught texting while driving in Iowa, you could face fines totaling over $100, and if you are convicted of causing a crash due to becoming distracted while texting, you could be sentenced to u to 10 years in prison.
Drunk Driving Laws in Iowa
Iowa classifies driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs under one heading, known as the Operating While Intoxicated Law. You will be arrested if you are tested and your blood-alcohol concentration is over 0.08 percent, or if you are under the age of 21 and your BAC is 0.02 percent or more.
Iowa’s implied consent law means that you may be pulled over and ordered to undergo a blood, urine, or breath test to gauge how much alcohol is in your system. If you fail this chemical test, the DOT will suspend your license.
First-time OWI offenders will lose their license for 180 days, while second and subsequent offenses will see your license suspended for anything between one and six years. In addition, you will most likely face criminal charges.
By the Numbers: Car Accidents in Iowa
There were 2,284,337 licensed drivers in Iowa in 2017, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation. In total, 55,032 accidents were reported for year, which caused 18,705 injuries and 330 fatalities.
A total of 404 people were killed in road accidents in Iowa in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is an increase of over 26 percent from the year before.
Between 2003 and 2012, 968 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Iowa, reports the Centers for DIsease Control and Prevention.