Best Car Insurance Iowa

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 21, 2021

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Do you live in Iowa? You probably already know that Iowa’s got more to offer than farmland — U.S. News ranked Iowa the best state to live in 2018. Make sure you have the car insurance policy you need before you hit the road if you’re an Iowan. 

Best Cheap Car Insurance in Iowa

Iowa Car Insurance Overview

  • Iowans have an average of 2 cars per household. 
  • Minimum car insurance requirements are as follows: 
    • Bodily injury liability coverage: $20,000 minimum per person, $40,000 minimum per accident
    • Property damage liability coverage: $15,000 minimum
  • You can expect to pay between $781 and $1,446 annually for state-minimum coverage, depending on their provider and your driving record. 

Iowa Car Insurance Law Explained

You must have car insurance to legally operate a motor vehicle in Iowa and at least the following coverage to stay on the road in Iowa:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: Bodily injury liability coverage compensates anyone you might injure in an auto accident. You must have at least $20,000 in coverage per person and $40,000 per accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage. Property damage liability coverage compensates anyone whose property you damage during an accident. You must have at least $15,000 worth of property damage liability coverage to drive in Iowa.

You might have noticed that the state minimum coverages don’t afford you any protection as the policyholder. Some additional coverages you might want to add to your policy include:

  • Collision coverage. Collision coverage compensates you for damage to your vehicle after an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage compensates you if your vehicle is damaged in another way besides an accident. Some common examples include damage from hail, a collision with an animal and theft.

You may face a fine and have your license suspended for up to a year if you’re caught driving without insurance. 

Iowa Traffic Laws You Should Know

Whenever you drive a car in Iowa, you must follow local traffic laws and ordinances. You may face a fine or jail time if you’re caught violating local traffic laws. This is true even if you’re just passing through Iowa on a road trip or you just moved to the state. Here are a few Iowa-specific laws you should know before you hit the road.

  • Pedestrians: Pedestrians in Iowa always have the right of way — even if they are jaywalking or illegally crossing the street.
  • Unpaved roads: You may not see a speed limit sign for a number of miles if you’re driving on an unpaved road in Iowa. You can assume that the speed limit on unpaved roads is 50 miles per hour between sundown and sunrise and 55 miles per hour when the sun is out.
  • Headlights: Whenever your windshield wipers are on, your headlights must also be on. 

Iowa Car Insurance Rates per Vehicle

What you pay for car insurance in Iowa can be affected by the type of car you drive. Some of the factors car insurance companies look for when they assign you a premium include:

  • Safety ratings: You’ll pay less for insurance coverage if you drive a vehicle that scored highly on national safety tests.
  • Theft rates: You’ll pay more for insurance if you drive a car that’s more likely to be stolen.
  • Collision statistics: Some vehicles handle more poorly than others. This makes them more likely to be involved in an accident. You’ll pay more for coverage if you drive a vehicle that’s more likely to be involved in an accident. 

Car Insurance Rates by Insurance Credit Score

You might be surprised to learn that your insurance credit score can influence what you pay for insurance. Drivers with lower credit scores are more likely to be involved in an accident, file a claim and even commit insurance fraud, according to data from insurance companies. This means that if you have a lower score, you’ll likely pay more for coverage.

A few states have banned the use of credit scores in insurance calculations. However, it’s currently legal in Iowa for car insurance providers to run a credit check on you before they calculate your insurance premium. Consider reapplying for insurance after you take some time to raise your credit score.

Let’s take a look at how your credit score might affect your insurance expenses.

Credit ScoreCheapest ProviderRate for State Minimum Coverage
Poor 300–579Allstate$2,306
Fair 580–669State Farm$1,789
Good 670–739American Family$1,475
Excellent 740+Nationwide$935

Insurance for Drivers with a Clean Record

It’ll be easier for you to find cheap car insurance if you have a clean driving record. You’re less likely to be a financial burden on the insurance company if you’ve never been involved in an accident or gotten a traffic infraction — this means that they can offer you the most affordable insurance options possible. Avoiding driving distractions, know the local laws and follow speed limitations to help you keep your record clear.

Here are 3 different car insurance policies and what you can expect to pay when you have a clean record.

  • State minimum coverage includes only the bare minimum coverage you need to legally stay on the road in Iowa.
  • Standard coverage: Standard coverage includes state minimum insurance plus comprehensive and collision coverage.
  • Full coverage: This includes state minimum and standard coverage plus some additional endorsements available to add to your auto policy like rental reimbursement for towing (to name a few). 
Insurance CompanyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
21st Century$1,046$1,532$2,292

Insurance Rates with Driving Infractions

You’ll pay more for insurance if you do have infractions on your driving record. This is because if you’ve been involved in an accident or gotten a ticket in the past, you’re more likely to have another incident in the future. Not every type of driving infraction will significantly raise your rates. Some infractions carry a small penalty and others will increase your rates for years to come.

Here’s what you might pay for insurance if you have one of these following common driving infractions on your record:

  • At-fault accident: An accident that authorities determine was at least partially your fault.
  • Speed violation: Driving above the posted speed limit. In some rare cases, a police officer may issue you a speed violation if you’re driving so slowly that it’s creating a hazard for other drivers around you.
  • OWI: In Iowa, the official term for driving under the influence (DUI) is operating while intoxicated (OWI) — and it involves operating a motor vehicle above the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit. An officer may also issue you an OWI if you are under the influence of drugs while driving. An OWI is a criminal charge and one of the most serious driving offenses. 
Insurance CompanyAt-Fault AccidentSpeed ViolationOWI
American Family$2,294$1,521$5,512

Best Car Insurance Providers in Iowa

Now, let’s take a look at Benzinga’s picks for the best providers in the Hawkeye State.  

Best For
  • Drivers with consistently good driving habits

1. Best Overall: Progressive

Progressive offers a wide range of policy choices, including state minimum insurance to full coverage.

Progressive even offers gap policies that you can use when you switch car insurance providers to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Its website is easy to navigate and you can get a few quotes online quickly.

Progressive also offers a host of discounts — 99% of people qualify for at least 1 discount. Progressive is our top choice for insurance in Iowa because of its wide coverage and plenty of ways to save.

Hastings Mutual
securely through Hastings Mutual's website

2. Cheapest Car Insurance in Iowa: Hastings

The answer might be to switch to Hastings — especially if you live in a more metropolitan area.

Hastings returned the most affordable quotes in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids in our review.

Hastings also offers a few discounts that you can use to further lower your premium, including claims-free discounts and good student discounts. 

3. Best Coverage for Multiple Cars: State Farm

State Farm is one of the largest insurance companies in the United States — policies are available for everything from homes to motorcycles.

State Farm
Best For
  • Rideshare drivers

State Farm also offers a generous bundling policy that allows you to save more when you add more than 1 vehicle to your insurance policy.

State Farm also offers tons of discounts so you can save when you stay accident-free, take a defensive driving course and more.

These discounts can help you keep costs low when you insure multiple vehicles.  

4. Best for Military Personnel: USAA

USAA is a unique home, auto and life insurance provider that only provides policies to active members of the armed forces, veterans and select family members.

USAA doesn’t offer policies to everyone, but it does offer some of the lowest rates to those who meet service requirements.

Best For
  • Active military members

USAA claims that its members save an average of $707 when they switch from a standard auto insurance company to USAA.

USAA also offers a wide range of additional coverage options as well as bundling discounts to lower your premiums.

Compare Quotes and Save

The best way to ensure that you don’t overpay for coverage is to get multiple quotes before you choose a policy. Every car insurance provider has its own standards when you pay for coverage. This means that you might be able to get the exact same insurance protections at 10 different price points for 10 different companies. Get at least 5 quotes from competing companies before you decide on an Iowa insurance company. 

Frequently Asked Questions


By law, what types of car insurance do I have to have?


(almost all — not NH) All states require you to carry liability insurance on your vehicle. Your state may require additional auto insurance coverage. Limits are expressed: Amount for injuries per person/amount for injuries total per accident/amount for property damage per accident.


Should I have just the minimum amount of car insurance required by my state?


It’s a good idea to purchase more than the state minimum of any type of insurance. State minimums are set relatively low to keep insurance affordable, but in the case of an accident, you can deplete your minimums quickly with expensive medical and property damage costs. Once your bills extend past the minimums, you’ll personally be liable for additional costs and damage. Get the coverage that makes sense for you here.


What are the major types of car insurance?


Liability: The most basic type of auto insurance you can purchase and is required by (nearly) all states. Liability insurance is what covers the damage caused to other people or property other than your own. To learn more about liability insurance read our full article.

Comprehensive: An optional coverage option that keeps your vehicle protected in case of theft, fire, vandalism, weather, animals, or acts of nature.

Collision: This type of coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or property. If you are leasing or financing your vehicle, you are typically required to pay for collision insurance.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: Covers you and your passengers if you are involved in an accident with someone who does not have coverage or your injuries or property is damaged beyond the other drivers’ insurance limits. The uninsured motorist also covers your vehicle and passengers if you are involved in a hit and run accident. Each state has different mandates on whether you are required to carry this type of policy. For more policy information continue reading our best car insurance policies article.

*Quotes were obtained using the following profile: base 2015 Toyota Camry, male, 40-years-old. Policies reflect state minimum coverage options. We make every effort to provide the most accurate quotes based on the profile above. Due to the many combined variables involved in insurance quotes, the only way to get an accurate quote is to enter your own information through our partners' secure websites.