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Iowa Car Insurance Guide

Living in Iowa, you’ve heard plenty of dumb jokes about your home state — but you don’t mind. You just smile, because you’re Iowa nice. You know Iowa is a fantastic place to live: It’s safe, it’s beautiful and everything is cheap, from housing prices to car insurance rates.

Why is Iowa Car Insurance so Cheap?

Out of all 50 states, Iowa has the second-cheapest auto insurance. Yep, the average Iowan’s insurance expenditure is half what someone in New York or New Jersey might pay. You can credit low population density and minimal traffic.

So wait. If Iowa rates are the norm in Iowa, then why would you need to compare quotes before you buy? Because you’re not average. Car insurance rates are highly personalized. That means your rates are affected by factors such as your age, your driving record, your marital status, your credit history, and even your job. Insurance companies use this information to determine your risk — but they all calculate it differently, resulting in quotes that may differ by $40 or more per month. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of finding the cheapest possible Iowa auto insurance.

And if you want to skip all the explanations, you can just start comparing free quotes to find the best deal!

How Do You Find the Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance?

The simplest answer: Opt for minimum coverage. Iowa’s minimum insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury liability: This type of insurance pays for other people’s damages (like medical bills, lost wages, legal expenses, or pain and suffering) caused by an accident you’re responsible for. It also can pay for your legal defense, if you’re sued by someone hurt in an accident
  • $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for uninsured motorist bodily injury liability: This coverage pays for injuries suffered by you and your passengers in an accident caused by someone with no insurance
  • $15,000 for property damage liability: This pays for certain damages you may cause to other people’s property or vehicle in an at-fault accident

So if you’re on a tight budget, and you just need super-cheap Iowa car insurance so you can get your car on the road, select state minimum coverage when you’re comparing quotes on Compare.com. The quotes you see will be the absolute lowest we can find.

Should I Buy More Than the Minimum Iowa Insurance?

The short answer: Yes. In 2016, the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $16,110. That would be covered by a policy with a $20,000 limit per person — but that’s just an average. If you find yourself involved in a more serious accident, like that insane 50-car pileup on I-35, you could end up facing claims that far exceed what a minimum-limits policy will cover.

How Do I Find Cheap Car Insurance With Good Coverage?

Using Compare.com’s quote comparison engine can help you find the perfect compromise: insurance that gives you and your car decent levels of coverage, but still is ultra-affordable.

Here’s how: Start low, then increase your coverage levels when you’re comparing quotes side by side. Here’s an example: We ran the numbers for a 27-year-old single guy with a good driving record who’s shopping for auto insurance in Cedar Rapids. For state minimum insurance, his quotes ranged from $43 to $65 per month. Not bad!

But our Cedar Rapids driver drives a two-year-old Accord, which means he needs comprehensive/collision coverage too. (This coverage pays for damage to your own car caused by a crash, hail, a hurricane, etc.) So he upgrades slightly to Basic coverage, which adds comprehensive/collision to the 20/40/15 minimum insurance. This makes his rates go up, of course: now, his quotes range from $135 to $175 per month.

Iowa Fields

(Pro tip: When you’re comparing quotes, don’t forget to factor in the down payment required for pay-as-you-go insurance. You can save a lot if you’re able to pay up front instead.)

The next level up is Plus. Plus coverage includes 50/100/50 limits for bodily injury, uninsured/underinsured motorist and property damage. It also includes $2,000 in medical payments, which pays for necessary medical, dental, and hospital expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter who’s at fault.

The deductible for comprehensive/collision drops from $1,000 to $500, and towing/rental car coverage gets added. Our Cedar Rapids driver gets quotes for Plus coverage ranging from $137 to $178 per month. That’s a lot more protection for just $2 or $3 more per month! See why it’s so important to compare?

Is it Possible to Find Cheap SR-22 Insurance in Iowa?

It’s easy to get cheap auto insurance when you have a spotless driving record. What if you’ve had a few issues, like an OWI and/or a license suspension?

Compare.com can still help you find the best quotes for SR-22 insurance in Iowa. We ran the numbers again for our 27-year-old driver, this time giving him an SR-22 insurance requirement for a recent OWI. Now his best quotes for Basic coverage range from $154 per month (paid up front) to $183 per month (with a $184 down payment). Not as cheap, but still affordable.

What Happens if I Drive Without Insurance in Iowa?

Iowa has a pretty low number of uninsured drivers: just 8.7 percent, compared to a national average of around 13 percent. Don’t be tempted to be one of them! Driving uninsured can get you in serious trouble.

If you’re caught simply driving without insurance, you’ll have to pay a fine of $250 (or do community service); your license plates and/or your vehicle can be impounded; and you’ll have to pay the towing, storage and administrative fees. Not fun.

It’s even less fun if you get into an accident and you’re uninsured. If you cause any injuries or more than $1,500 in damage, your license and registration will be suspended for 12 months, for all vehicles you own.

The only way to avoid this is to prove financial responsibility, which (if you don’t have insurance) means posting a check that’s sufficient to cover all the damages; file an agreement to pay the other damaged or injured parties on an installment plan; or get a court decision relieving you of all liability. There are a few other ways too, but none of them are easy. Getting your license back is almost like getting it for the first time: You’ll have to pass a driving test, a knowledge test and a vision screening.

So don’t drive uninsured! If you’re having trouble finding Iowa auto insurance you can afford, Compare.com can help. We’ll show you accurate, personalized and impartial quotes so you can choose the best one for you. Get started now.

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