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Iowa Car Insurance

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Iowans enjoy comparatively low state car insurance rates, thanks in part to the lack of large urban areas, where drivers tend to crash more and file claims more frequently. Even so, some drivers in areas of Des Moines pays a few hundred dollars more on average than Ames does, just about 40 minutes south. You can see how nearly all ZIP codes in Iowa compare in the map below. You'll see the minimum and maximum rate from among six major insurers for the same policy, which shows how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies. For a customized rate, select the age group and coverage level that best matches your situation.

AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE RATES
by ZIP Code & City

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES in Iowa

MOST EXPENSIVE PER MONTHLEAST EXPENSIVE PER MONTH
52801- Davenport: $34 50455- Mc Intire: $24
50309- Des Moines: $34 50476- Stacyville: $24
52807- Davenport: $34 52144- Fort Atkinson: $24
52804- Davenport: $34 50453- Leland: $24

Cheap car insurance in Iowa

Iowa car insurance requirements

Recommended car insurance coverage

The cheapest car insurance may not provide sufficient protection, so how much insurance should you buy? Bare-bones coverage may be a good choice if you have few assets or have an old car and don’t drive much. But if you have a home and investments, consider buying more insurance. If you don’t, you’re at risk for having your money and house taken to cover the cost of an accident. If you financed your car you will be required to get additional comprehensive and collision coverage.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

For drivers in Iowa, collision costs an average of $391 yearly, comprehensive is $246, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Texas, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

**The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Iowa from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Cheapest car insurance in Iowa by company

Below you'll see average annual rates for Iowa, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

  • State minimum liability requirements
  • Liability limits of $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident and $50,000 property damage
  • Liability of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident and $100,000 property damage, with comprehensive and collision at $500 deductible

Low cost auto insurance for Iowa drivers with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average Iowa driver with a full coverage policy:

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Iowa from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Who has the cheapest Iowa car insurance for drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is more than $991, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Iowa?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In Iowa, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 140 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in Iowa, and how major insurers compare on price. GEICO Cas had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Cheapest Iowa auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

Enter an age from 18 to 25 to see who has the best rates for young drivers in Iowa, by company.

You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Iowa drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy. While comparing car insurance quotes is always one of the primary ways to save on coverage, you can also see if you qualify for a mature driver discount or if you can trim rates by taking a defensive driving course.

Car insurance for Iowa drivers with bad credit

Car insurance for drivers with bad credit costs significantly more than it does for those with good credit. Iowa ranks 37th  among the worst states for drivers with bad credit, as CarInsurance.com's data analysis shows. Compared to good credit drivers, those in Iowa with bad credit pay 61 percent more, on average. The good news is that you can still shave some money off your coverage costs if you compare car insurance companies. You'll see below that the difference among major insurers is nearly $1,348 for a full coverage policy for a driver with bad credit. That's how much you can potentially save by comparing car insurance quotes.

Best car insurance companies in Iowa

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.

 

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Largest car insurance companies in Iowa

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Iowa Car Insurance Laws

Financial and Safety Responsibility Act: Iowa doesn't have a compulsory insurance law. Instead the state's Financial and Safety Responsibility Act requires that if you cause injury or property damage to others you have the financial means to cover the incident.

The easiest way to show financial responsibility is with an auto insurance policy. If using this method, Iowa drivers must buy minimum liability coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury liability and $15,000 of property damage liability.

Those limits are on the low side. If you have savings and a home you'd like to protect, think about going even higher, such as 100/300/50.

Alternatives to insurance: If you don't purchase an Iowa auto insurance policy, Iowa Code also defines financial liability coverage as including:

  • a bond
  • filing a certificate of deposit with the treasurer of state ($55,000); or
  • a valid certificate of self-insurance.

Proof of financial responsibility is still needed: Iowa code 321.20B requires that proof of financial responsibility be provided to a peace officer upon request. If you are unable provide proof, the officer may cite you. Officers also have the authority to remove your plates and registration and even impound your vehicle.

After an accident: The Iowa Department of Transportation explains that if you're in a car accident where damages or injuries of the other party exceed $1,500, and you're unable to immediately provide proof of financial responsibility, your driving and registration privileges will be suspended.

Accident surcharge: In Iowa, an insurer can impose a surcharge on you for accidents you were involved in for the past five years. The rate increase will vary by company, so it pays to shop around if you've been in an accident.

Cancellation: For the first 60 days your Iowa insurance company can cancel your policy for any reason. After 60 days, the policy may only be cancelled for the specific reasons outlined in your policy.

Pay on time: The Hawkeye State's insurance law doesn't give you a grace period for paying your car insurance premiums. Pay on or before your due date or you risk losing your coverage.

Negligence law: If you're in an accident, be aware of Iowa's "modified comparative negligence law." That means drivers in an accident could both be found partially at fault. The threshold in Iowa is 51 percent: If you are 51 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to make a claim for damages from other party's auto insurance company.

Uninsured motorist penalties for Iowa: You may be fined $250, have your car impounded and your plates confiscated.

Driving without a license: Driving without a license in Iowa is a simple misdemeanor and can cost you anywhere from $250 to $1500.

No age restriction for insurance: Iowa has no age restriction for owning a car and getting insurance, but minors will need an Iowa instruction permit and a parent to sign their insurance policy. Iowa is one of the few states that allows a teen driver as young as 14 to get an instruction permit and start to drive.

Proof of insurance via smartphone: Iowa law allows drivers to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop. Thirty-one states total allow this.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Iowa

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

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