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:-
- Chevrolet Pick-Up
- Ford Taurus
- Ford F150 Pick-Up
- Dodge Ram
- Pontiac Grand prix
- Chevrolet Cavalier
- Ford Explorer
- Dodge Caravan
- Chevrolet Lumina
- 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.
- Council Bluffs (64)
- Des Moines (184)
- Davenport (224)
- Cedar Rapids (230)
- Sioux City (276)
- Waterloo (307)
- Iowa City (319)
- Ames (332)
- 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|
|Allied Property & Casualty||Farmers Casualty County Mutual||Pharmacists Mutual|
|Alpha Property & Casualty||Fidelity National||Progressive|
|American Family Home||General Casualty||Security Insurance Company|
|American Fire & Casualty||Globe American||Sentinel|
|American Home Assurance||Grinnell||Sentry|
|American Modern||Hartford||Standard Fire|
|American National||Hawkeye-Security||State Auto|
|American Reliable||Horace Mann||State Farm|
|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|
|Depositors||Midwest Family Mutual||West American|
|Economy||Millers||West Bend Mutual|
|Electric||National General||Western Agricultural|
|Employers Mutual||National Union Fire||Workmens Auto|
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.