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Iowa Car Insurance

The requirement for car insurance in Iowa is governed by the Financial and Safety Responsibility Act – a complicated piece of legislation which offers drivers a number of alternatives to provide financial responsibility when they have been involved in an accident for which they were at fault and which resulted in damage exceeding $1,000 to either person(s) or property.

These alternative methods of providing financial responsibility mostly involve paying the whole amount of damages when you are responsible for causing an injury or damage to property, getting released from your responsibility by all other damaged or injured parties or obtaining a decision in a civil damage action relieving you of all liability. As these alternatives to Iowa car insurance can be time consuming and costly, most residents of Iowa choose to have an auto insurance policy.

Iowa Car Insurance Requirements

Iowa has low car insurance rates due to an excellent record of road safety, low rates of driving under the influence (DUI) convictions and a below national average percentage of uninsured drivers (12 per cent according to the Insurance Research Council versus a national average of 16 per cent). Nonetheless, auto insurance companies in Iowa are required to include uninsured/underinsured motorist cover when they quote you for car insurance in Iowa.

You are not compelled to include uninsured/underinsured motorist cover in your auto insurance policy in Iowa but, if you take car insurance instead of any of the other options in the Financial and Safety Responsibility Act, you are required to have the following minimum liability limits.

$20,000 for injury/death to one person

$40,000 for injury/death to more than one person

$15,000 for damage to property

Iowa Auto Insurance Laws

If you opt for car insurance in Iowa, evidence of your policy must be carried your vehicle at all times. Although there are no immediate penalties for being stopped by an officer of the law and not showing financial responsibility, if you are unable to cover any damages for which you are liable in an accident your license will be revoked for a minimum of a year on top of any civil or legal action taken against you.

The penalties for DUI are exceptionally harsh, and one of the reasons why there are so few DUI convictions. For a first offense, expect to spend anything between 2 days and a year in jail (depending on the level of your intoxication) and face a fine of $1,250. Thereafter, you will have to get SR-22 auto insurance to drive in Iowa or file a surety bond, cash or securities equal to $55,000 with the Iowa Department of Transport.

Recommended Iowa Car Insurance Coverage

In relation to what damages may be accrued in the event of a serious at fault accident, the minimum liability limits in Iowa are particularly low. It is worth remembering that these are also the upper limits which you car insurance company in Iowa will pay in third party damages, and anything beyond these limits you are personally liable for.

Therefore it is recommended that you increase your minimum liability limits to $50,000/$100,000 and have some level of personal injury protection in the event that you are in collision with an uninsured motorist. With cheap car insurance in Iowa available for most drivers, paying a few extra bucks for complete peace of mind is an excellent investment.

Cheap Iowa Car Insurance Quotes

As cheap as they are, it is possible to get even cheaper auto insurance quotes in Iowa by taking steps to protect your car and those who travel in it. Car insurance companies in Iowa look favorably upon car owners who fit engine immobilizers, automatic seatbelts and daytime running lights to their vehicles and park them at night in a private, secure garage.

You can get car insurance discounts in Iowa if you or any young drivers on your insurance policy take advanced driving courses or take advantage of “pay-as-you-drive” auto insurance programs which monitor your car usage, the times of the day in which you drive (avoiding the historically hazardous) and how you drive your car – accelerating and braking gently.

Iowa Car Insurance Ratings

The car insurance quote you receive in Iowa will be based on your car insurance rating. This rating is comprised of historical indicators which auto insurance companies use to calculate the element of risk they are taking when insuring you to drive. As much as owning a safe, secure car and taking defensive driving courses will qualify you for discounted auto insurance rates in Iowa, there are plenty of other factors which are used in compiling your Iowa auto insurance quote.

  • Where You Live – The first question asked by any car insurance company in Iowa is your zip code. This helps them to determine if you live in a rural or urban area, one of high or low vehicle theft (see below) or one which has a history of dangerous roads.
  • Your Age – Young drivers are penalized for their lack of experience, but some car insurance companies offer special deals to those who are starting on the roads for the first time. Ask for young person´s car insurance discounts when applying for a car insurance quote in Iowa.
  • Your Credit Score – Auto insurance companies in Iowa are allowed to review your personal credit history when assessing your risk level. The thinking behind this is that if you are responsible with your finances, you will also be responsible on the road.
  • What Car You Drive – Certain vehicles are targeted by criminals because of their style, functionality or ease of theft. A list below features the most frequently stolen vehicles in Iowa, and if your car appears on that list, you might want to consider changing it!
  • Vehicle Usage – As well as being able to get discounted car insurance rates in Iowa by taking advantage of a pay-as-you-drive program, car owners can also benefit from low auto insurance rates in Iowa if they do not use their car for business or commuting to work.

Most Stolen Vehicles in Iowa

Each year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau publishes a list of the most frequently car by State. Nicknamed “Hot Wheels”, if your car appears on this list you will probably be paying more for your car insurance. You might also consider increasing your coverage to fully comprehensive as your car is more likely to get stolen than any other!

The “Hot Wheels” in Iowa for 2010 were as follows:-

  1. Chevrolet Pick-Up
  2. Ford Taurus
  3. Ford F150 Pick-Up
  4. Dodge Ram
  5. Pontiac Grand prix
  6. Chevrolet Cavalier
  7. Ford Explorer
  8. Dodge Caravan
  9. Chevrolet Lumina
  10. Pontiac Grand Am

Where Your Car May Get Stolen in Iowa

The National Insurance Crime Bureau also publishes a State by State list of locations in which your car is most likely to get stolen. Car theft is fairly low in Iowa (compared to the rest of the country) and this is reflected in the cheap auto insurance rates in Iowa (again, compared to the rest of the country).

Only 9 metropolitan districts in Iowa made it onto the top 360 “Hot Spots”. Their national position is indicated in brackets.

  1. Council Bluffs (64)
  2. Des Moines (184)
  3. Davenport (224)
  4. Cedar Rapids (230)
  5. Sioux City (276)
  6. Waterloo (307)
  7. Iowa City (319)
  8. Ames (332)
  9. Dubuque (336)

Typical Iowa Insurance Rates

Car insurance rates in Iowa can vary widely depending on all the factors mentioned above. Generally however, they are below the national average of $1,440 – in some cases a lot lower. Your own individual Iowa car insurance quote will depend as much on your personal circumstances as where you live, but the following list indicates what the average Iowa auto insurance policy cost in selected cities around the State in 2010.

Car insurance in Iowa City – $909

Car insurance in Ames – $910

Car insurance in Waterloo – $974

Car insurance in Cedar Rapids – $1,005

Car insurance in West Des Moines – $1,051

Car insurance in Dubuque – $1,058

Car insurance in Sioux City – $1,106

Car insurance in Davenport – $1,162

Car insurance in Des Moines – $1,185

Car insurance in Council Bluffs – $1,383

Iowa Car Insurance Companies

Even though auto insurance premiums in Iowa are typically low, there is still plenty of competition between car insurance companies for clients´ business. It is often in your best interests to shop around for the best car insurance rates in Iowa, and to ask for further discounts when you receive your quotes. Some car insurance companies in Iowa will give you a discount if you pay a full year´s premium in advance or if you belong to a certain profession

1st Auto & Casualty Farm Bureau Mutual Pacific Indemnity
Acuity Farmers Partners Mutual
AIG Farmers Automobile Pekin
Allied Property & Casualty Farmers Casualty County Mutual Pharmacists Mutual
Allstate Federal Phoenix
Alpha Property & Casualty Fidelity National Progressive
AMCO First Liberty Safeco
American Bankers Foremost Sagamore
American Family GEICO Secura
American Family Home General Casualty Security Insurance Company
American Fire & Casualty Globe American Sentinel
American Home Assurance Grinnell Sentry
American International GuideOne Shelter
American Modern Hartford Standard Fire
American National Hawkeye-Security State Auto
American Reliable Horace Mann State Farm
American Select IDS Teachers
American Standard Integrity Mutual Travco
AMEX Assurance Iowa Mutual Travelers
AMICA Mutual Le Mars Trumbull
Auto-Owners Liberty Mutual Twin City Fire
Buckeye State Mutual Markel Union Insurance Company
California Casualty MemberSelect of Providence
Celina Mutual Mendakota United Fire
Cincinnati Mendota USAA
Columbia National MeraStar Victoria
Country Metropolitan Vigilant
Dairyland Mid-Century Viking
Depositors Midwest Family Mutual West American
Economy Millers West Bend Mutual
Electric National General Western Agricultural
Emcasco National Interstate Westfield
Employers Mutual National Union Fire Workmens Auto
Encompass Nationwide

The auto insurance providers listed above will give you some idea of the incredible number of companies willing to quote you for car insurance in Iowa. Those which are underlined we have provided reviews for but, in order to make your search for the best auto insurance in Iowa easier, take advantage of the car insurance comparison tool at the top of the page and select from the cheapest car insurance quotes to suit your specific requirements.

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