If you are thinking about disregarding the importance of getting an Iowa car insurance quote, think again! With many busy roads and highways in the state, you need to make sure you’re protected. Brutal winters and harsh weather conditions can lead to unpredictable road accidents..
Without the appropriate insurance coverage you are not only breaking the law but you are also leaving yourself open to potentially life ruining lawsuits. There are many things you need to know about insurance in the state. So keep reading to learn more about how much insurance you need, what type is required and how you can save money on your policy too.
Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Iowa
Every state in the US implements their own specific insurance requirements that motorists are legally required to follow and Iowa is no different. In Iowa you are required to buy standard liability insurance for any and all vehicles that you own and/or operate. Moreover, the state has a minimum amount of liability insurance you are required to have.
They are as follows:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability insurance for one person in one accident;
- $40,000 bodily injury liability insurance for two or more people in one accident;
- $15,000 property damage libailty insurance for damage to other people’s property (not your own) in one accident.
Getting an insurance policy with at least these minimums will keep you 100% legal on the road. However, they may not be enough to protect you in the event of a serious accident. With the price of hospital visits skyrocketing, your $40,000 worth of bodily injury coverage can disappear very quickly. Thus, you should consider buying much higher liability limits, if you want to be protected financially.
Additionally, when you are looking for Iowa car insurance, do not forget to check out the additional coverage options you may need for maximum insurance protection. First among these is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. This protects you if you get in an accident with an uninsured driver and only adds a minimal cost to your insurance policy.
Comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection and collision coverage are just some of the other options available for you. Although these additional elements can increase the rate paid on your insurance premiums, they can actually save you a lot of money in the long run. Get in one bad accident and you’ll be glad you had the foresight to buy enough coverage.
Iowa State Auto Insurance Laws
As you already know you have to buy liability insurance in Iowa. It is all part of Iowa’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. Basically, to legally operate a vehicle in the state you have to show that you are financially responsible to do so.
The reason why this is so important, has something to do with the fact that Iowa insurance law operates under the tort system (sometimes referred to as at fault insurance). You’re most likely already familiar with it, as it is the basis of most property based law in the United States. Now we don’t need to go into detail about the legal system here, but there is one very important thing you need to know about it for insurance purposes.
Under the tort system, the person responsible for an accident has to pay all the costs associated with it. If you have liability insurance then your insurance company has to pay the costs. However, if you get in an accident with an uninsured driver you will not be protected unless you have also purchased uninsured motorist protection (see why it’s so important).
In this example, you can of course seek redress from the courts, but if the other driver doesn’t have the money to pay for insurance, they likely won’t have much money to pay for damages. Moreover, if they had insurance but your costs were higher than their insurance policy you would have to seek the difference from legal action.
Given the high costs uninsured drivers impose on everyone else, the state of Iowa has implemented harsh penalties on those who are caught without legal coverage. You can have your driver’s license suspended, your vehicle registration revoked and be required to file an SR-22 (Certificate of Automobile Liability Insurance) for the next 3 years with the Department of Transportation. Even harsher penalties can result if you get in an accident without insurance.
Finally, for other legal issues surrounding your car insurance you should have a look at the Iowa Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Auto Insurance FAQ. It has answers to some of the more common auto insurance questions asked in the state. You can also ask questions if you can’t find the information you’re looking for.
Iowa Car Insurance Companies
Iowa has a large number of companies licensed to sell insurance operating within it’s borders. The most complete list of companies can be found using the Iowa Insurance Division’s Company Search. Although it provides a complete list of companies, some find it a bit overwhelming.
Therefore, we have two other options for you. First, you can just use out simple quote form to select insurance companies (top and bottom of this page). Second, have a look at the following Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) member companies, who are among the largest in the whole country.
Kemper Corporation (formerly Unitrin)
Now just because the companies listed above are members of the of the I.I.I. does not mean that they are perfect. Before buying insurance from any company you need to do your homework. Your first stop should probably be to look at the complaint ratios for each company. The more complaints, the worse the company.
If you find yourself having your own issues with your insurance company you have two options. The first is to get in contact with the Insurance Division’s Consumer Advocate, who may be able to help resolve the situation before it escalates. The second option is to file a complaint against your insurer if you can’t resolve your differences by other means.
Average Iowa Auto Insurance Rates
I have good news for you if you’re shopping for auto insurance in Iowa. According to the I.I.I. the state has the 2nd cheapest insurance rates after North Dakota. Average annual premiums in 2008 were just $519, over $200 less than the US average.
2011 numbers from CarInsurance.com confirm that the state does indeed have much cheaper than average insurance. Their index claims average premiums for Iowa come in at $792 per year, just a bit over half what their national index says for premiums nationwide.
Still just because you live in a low cost state doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get cheap insurance. You still have to shop around for it just like everyone else. To help you the Insurance Division has published a guide to Buying Auto Insurance In Iowa.
Iowa Car Accident Statistics
In 2009 there were a total of 56,518 crashes in the state. This resulted in 372 fatalities, far too many I’m sure you’ll agree. In relative terms this mean that there were 1.20 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in the state, just above the national average of 1.14. The good news is that drinking and driving only accounted for 26% of all fatal car accidents (the US average is 32%).
The state is slowly getting safer each year, but at a slower rate than the national average. The NHTSA reports that the following 7 counties were the most dangerous in 2009, with at least 10 fatalities each: Polk County, Linn County, Scott County, Pottawattamie County, Johnson County, Woodbury County and Story County.
Yet, not matter where you drive in the state wear your seat belt, don’t speed and never drink and drive. The life you save might just be your own.
Compare Iowa Car Insurance Quotes To Save Money
Here are the most important things to remember when comparing vehicle insurance quotes from various insurance companies in Iowa.
It is not enough to secure a single Iowa car insurance quote and immediately settle for that company. At least you shouldn’t do this if you want to make sure you get cheap rates. If you really want to save money on your auto insurance, compare various insurance policies and find out which among them is worth your hard-earned cash.
Try to visit insurance comparison websites (like ours) where you can compare premium rates of various insurance companies. After comparing their prices, do not forget to check out their terms and conditions and company ratings in order to determine whether they are best for your needs or not.
Shopping for Iowa auto insurance online can be one of the better decisions that you will ever make in your life. Aside from eliminating the hassle from personally visiting various insurance companies, their websites’ can also provide you with free yet accurate estimates of how much your insurance premiums will likely cost.
With an accurate Iowa car insurance quote, you can easily find the best deals without sacrificing the amount of protection that you and your car need. Just enter your zip code to get started now:
Local Insurance Guides For Iowa’s Cities
Iowa Insurance Division
A Consumer’s Quick Guide to Auto Insurance