Iowa’s auto insurance rates fall well below the national average, with the state landing in the bottom ten nationwide for the average cost of coverage. That is good news, but it does not mean you are automatically getting the best deal on your insurance. Shop around to find both a low price and excellent service – the top companies below are a great place to start.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Iowa
Iowa’s car insurance laws require that all drivers either carry an insurance policy or provide proof of financial responsibility by another method. After an accident, the driver will have 72 hours to present proof of financial responsibility, which is most often done in the form of proof of a liability insurance policy.
Car insurance policies written in Iowa must include at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per incident for bodily injury. Additionally, $15,000 in property damage liability coverage is also required on every car insurance policy.
No other additional coverage is required unless you have a loan or lease on your vehicle; in that case, you will need to meet the requirements of your lender. In most cases, that means carrying an insurance policy that includes both comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, and there may also be caps on the amount of the deductible.
If you are not carrying an insurance policy, you must instead provide for financial responsibility in the form of a bond or cash deposit in the amount of $55,000.
Specifics of Iowa Auto Insurance
Since Iowa does use a tort system after a car accident, you can be sued for damages if you are found to be at fault. The cost of injuries, pain, and suffering, and property damage can climb very quickly, and carrying an insurance policy with sufficient limits is the easiest way to protect yourself from those costs. That means not only choosing to carry insurance but also carrying limits above the relatively low legal minimum.
Iowa does not have any form no-fault insurance law, but drivers can purchase medical payments coverage that provides a form of paying out for injuries regardless of fault.
Thanks to Iowa’s relatively low car insurance rates overall, finding a good price on car insurance shouldn’t be difficult – but that does not mean all inexpensive policies are created equal. We looked for companies that offer great rates not only on bare bones coverage, but a good price on a comprehensive policy that provides more than just the basics.
Cheap is often a buzzword in insurance but paying less isn’t always the right call. A cheap policy is not worth it when the company leaves you hanging after an accident, so all of our top picks had to meet our standards for reputation. We used consumer reports and customer reviews to pick the companies that are known for fair claims handling and overall great customer service. Combined with competitive rates, these companies offer not just cheap policies, but real value in the policy.
Finally, every insurance company that made our list offers coverage all across the state. In order for our picks to be useful to the widest possible audience, we avoided companies that have specific eligibility requirements. We always recommend military members and their families check out USAA, which is highly rated and competitive, but our final list includes only those companies open to the general public.
Our Top Picks
These are the top three companies for car insurance in Iowa in terms of overall value – they all offer competitive rates and have a solid reputation.
Ranking near the top in the J.D. Power regional survey of insurance satisfaction, State Farm has a great reputation and the financial strength to take care of their customers. They are the largest car insurance company in the nation for good reason.
State Farm also offers competitive rates in Iowa, along with the personal attention of an agent, which makes them a good value. A great bundling discount also makes State Farm a great pick for those looking to insure their cars and home in the same place.
American Family Insurance comes in as one of the best values for a wide variety of drivers in Iowa thanks to competitive rates across the board. In spite of higher rates in other parts of the country, American Family ranks among the most affordable in Iowa.
The company also has a good reputation for customer service as well as claims handling and also has a great list of available discounts including bundling options to get that rate even lower.
Progressive is known for great rates on their insurance policies, and they make good on that promise in Iowa. They offer highly competitive rates and a lot of available discounts as well to make a solid choice for those on a budget.
That budget does not mean giving up service, though. Progressive recently took over the number three spot nationwide for car insurance market share, and their reputation for taking good care of customers is a big part of the reason for that.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Iowa
Our top picks all offer online quoting tools, so Iowa drivers should be able to compare all of them quickly and easily. It is always worth looking at other highly rated companies as well since the right policy for each individual driver can vary greatly.
Before you start comparing rates, it is important to know what coverage you want to be included in that quote. Check with your lender to see what requirements you need to meet first, and then decide on other optional coverage. The biggest choices will be the limits you want to carry for liability and the amount of your deductible. Some insurance companies will automatically quote low liability limits or high deductibles in order to make their rates appear lower; make sure that every quote you obtain offers the same coverage limits to avoid unfair comparisons.
We always recommend that you carry more coverage than the legal minimum. A serious accident can rise well above Iowa’s legal minimum very quickly. If you are not able to take on the risk of being held financially responsible for major injuries or damage, make sure you carry more coverage.
The Bottom Line
Iowa is one of the least expensive places in the U.S. to own a car in no small part thanks to the low cost of car insurance. Just because it’s affordable compared to other states, however, does not mean you cannot shop around for a rate that’s even better than what the average driver is paying. Make sure you know what coverage you need, and then compare as many companies as possible to find the right deal for you.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.