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Iowa is one of the few states in the country wherein the government does not require car insurance. However, this does not necessarily mean you should not purchase one for yourself. Doing so will only pave the way for greater expenses, in the event that you find yourself causing a road accident.

As a resident of and car owner in this particular state, it always pays to have a better grasp of how Iowa car insurance works, so that you can protect yourself.


Average cost of car insurance in Iowa

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) claim that the average person pays roughly $572.14 for car insurance in Iowa each year.

They broke this figure down to:

$291.24 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$205.15 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$171.71 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Iowa

The coverage level Hawkeye State car insurance policy holders have dictates how much their premiums are. Our case study revealed that young drivers in the State of Iowa can expect their expenditures to have the following annual averages:

  • $786.8 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $1672.4 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $2763.2 for premium full coverage3.

Auto insurance costs also vary from city to city. You can find better premiums in bigger cities. Residents of Iowa City, with an estimated population of 74,220 (2015, latest data4) can enjoy as low as $35 a month on average.

Female Drivers in Iowa

The methodology5 we used took into account the data of a 35-year-old female driver with 12 years of driving experience in the State of Iowa. Our case study revealed that motorists belonging in this category can expect to pay an average of:

  • $391.6 for state minimum coverage,
  • $801.6 for basic full coverage and
  • $1389.6 for premium full coverage.

The individual quotes you’ll get still depends on several factors though, such as your exact location, how many claims you’ve filed in the past, and your driving record.

Senior Drivers in Iowa

In IA, a 68-year-old male driver with a driving experience of 45 years can expect his premiums to have the following averages:

  • $377.2 for state minimum coverage,
  • $729.6 for basic full coverage and
  • $1231.6 for premium full coverage.

The results of our study point out that motorists aged 65 and above pay less than female drivers and young motorists. However, they can still make their insurance costs lower through maintaining a good record and completing defensive driving courses.

Minimum car insurance requirements

As mentioned above, the decision of purchasing a car insurance program entirely rests on your shoulders. And while it is true that the law does not mandate you to spend money on it, you should still take it into serious consideration, as you never know when you might cause an accident.

This is particularly true since the state’s Department of Transportation will require you to show proof of financial responsibility in the event you get involved in a road accident. The same thing applies when you find your license suspended or revoked.

When you cannot provide what the DOT needs, the organization will immediately suspend all of your registration and driving privileges.

This said, you should already realize just how valuable having a car insurance policy is. You have many different coverage options to pick from, with the most basic already including bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Your other coverage choices include collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, medical payments insurance, rental reimbursement insurance, loan/lease gap insurance, as well as towing and labor insurance.

Violations and Penalties 

When you haven’t obtained any automobile insurance program and the authorities become aware of it because you have caused an accident on the road, you will have to pay for a fine of $250. The authorities can also remove your plates and require you to surrender your registration when they pull you over if they find out you don’t have insurance. Impoundment is another possibility.

Furthermore, when you get into a road accident that leads to injuries or damages amounting to not lower than $1,500 (regardless of the responsible party), you need to head to the DOT for Accident Report Form filing. You need to perform this task within 72 hours from the time of the accident.

Driving safety in Iowa

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that, in Iowa, 92% motorists and front-seat passengers wear seatbelts. This means that it exceeds the 86% national average.

The National Highway Safety Administration also conducted a 2015 study assessing the total driving fatalities in the state. It showed that of the 320 cases, 78 of them (24%) fall under the alcohol impaired driving category.

The CDC placed the total vehicle occupant death rate in the state at 8.7 per 100,000 residents, based on the above-mentioned study.

Final thoughts

Without a car insurance policy to back you up, you can suddenly find yourself in a serious financial pinch after an involvement in a road accident. Even when the state laws do not obligate you to purchase an insurance coverage, you should still do so to avoid costly nightmares.

licensed drivers in Iowa, 2014
privately insured vehicles in Iowa

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source:
5Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
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