Best cheap car insurance in Des Moines for 2021

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In Des Moines, 43% of households have two cars and almost 80% of workers commute alone to work on an average 18 minute drive. Car owners in Des Moines, Iowa pay an average cost of $329 for state minimum and $1,231 for full coverage annually.

To determine the best cheap car insurance companies offering coverage in Des Moines, we reviewed coverages, discounts and price for each. We also compared complaint ratios, third-party rankings for customer service and financial stability to help Des Moines drivers make the best choice for their auto insurance needs.

Best car insurance companies in Des Moines

The following auto insurance carriers are considered by Bankrate to be some of the best in Des Moines, offering cheap car insurance rates, a wide range of coverage and good discount options. Third-party customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index scores were also considered. Finally, each company’s financial stability scores showing their ability to pay claims were also taken into account.

Insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Auto-Owners 868 / 1000 $321 $1,262
Geico 855 / 1000 $273 $1,054
Progressive 849 / 1000 $342 $1,160
USAA* 905 / 1000 $264 $1,009
West Bend N/A $237 $946

*Excluded from rankings due to eligibility requirements

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners offers standard car insurance and specialty auto policies for classic cars and converted or modified vehicles. Des Moines insureds can customize their car insurance needs with coverages like collision coverage advantage, common loss deductible and Auto-Owners tailored personal automobile plus package.

In the Central region, Auto-Owners is ranked #1 for customer satisfaction in the Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. It is also ranked #3 in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. With a superior financial strength rating, Auto-Owners customers can be sure claims will be paid in a timely manner. Another positive for the Auto-Owners claims experience is its NAIC complaint index, which is lower than the average of 1.00 at just 0.89.

Geico

With annual rates lower than the average rate in Des Moines, Geico is one of the best cheap car insurance companies offering coverage in the area. If you struggle with determining how much car insurance coverage you need, Geico offers a calculator to help you make the right choice.

With a host of discount options and an award-winning mobile app with enhanced features, it is not surprising the auto insurer is ranked just below Auto-Owners in the Central region. However, Geico has a just below average claims satisfaction rating and also has a higher-than-average NAIC complaint index, suggesting that while rates are cheap, the claims process may not be the easiest process.

Progressive

Progressive offers a wide range of auto insurance coverages for Des Moines drivers to tailor their car insurance to their specific needs. Optional coverages include gap insurance, custom parts and equipment, rideshare coverage and a deductible savings bank. For those on a budget looking for cheap rates, Progressive’s Name Your Price tool can help you find affordable coverage at a price you can pay.

Customers in the Central region place Progressive fourth in the Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. Progressive has a below average score for auto claims satisfaction and has a complaint index with the NAIC close to Geico’s at 1.70. But, the company has superior financial strength so paying claims is not an issue.

USAA

Offering auto insurance to past and present military, their spouses and children, USAA is a cheap car insurance option for those who qualify. Of the best cheap carriers listed, USAA has the cheapest average car insurance rate for state minimum coverage and the second cheapest for full coverage. USAA offers unique savings options for deploying members that need car storage and extends family and loyalty discounts as well.

In the J.D. Power studies, USAA has the most points but does not meet the criteria for ranking because of membership limitations. With the highest possible ratings for financial strength to pay claims, the place where USAA falters is with a 1.89 NAIC complaint index compared to similar sized auto insurers.

West Bend

West Bend Insurance offers cheap car insurance in a select few states, including Iowa. With the best cheapest average rates for both state minimum and full coverage, West Bend is a viable option for Des Moines drivers. Its Home and Highway policy is a single policy insuring all your auto, home, boat, RV and high-value item needs. With just one deductible per policy, this option is great for those who prefer to keep all their insurance with the same company.

As a small insurer, West Bend is not included in the J.D. Power 2020 auto studies. With a long list of insurance product offerings, West Bend is a mutual insurance company owned by the policyholders and has been in business since 1894 with superior financial strength. West Bend also has a lower-than-average NAIC complaint index of just 0.27, proving its dedication to providing an excellent claims experience.

Cheapest car insurance in Des Moines

On average, Iowa drivers pay less than the national average cost of car insurance coverage. For full coverage, Iowa drivers pay on average $1,260 per year while the national average is $1,674.

The table below shows the cheapest car insurance costs in Des Moines for the carriers with the greatest market share in Iowa. USAA has the cheapest annual rates but is limited to military members, while Geico and Auto-Owners are the next best option for state minimum coverage. Geico and State Farm offer the best cheapest average rates for full coverage in Des Moines per year.

Each company offers multiple ways to file claims either online, over the phone or through an app. Insureds can also pay bills, view their policies and make some changes online or in the app. The most popular auto insurance carriers offer standard car insurance coverages and have additional options and discounts available to create a policy to fit your household needs.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA $264 $1,009
Geico $273 $1,054
Auto-Owners $321 $1,262
Progressive $342 $1,160
State Farm $357 $1,057

Des Moines insurance requirements

Drivers in Des Moines, Iowa must carry minimum liability coverage of:

  • $20,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $40,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage

The state minimum coverages in Iowa may not be enough to cover the full cost of an accident with injuries and property damage. Most insurance experts recommend purchasing as much liability insurance as you can to protect yourself financially if you are in an accident. Lenders of leased or financed cars may also require full coverage and higher liability limits to meet loan requirements.

Car insurance discounts in Des Moines

One way to get cheap car insurance rates with the best companies in Des Moines is to apply discounts to the policy. Here are a few that can have the largest impact on your auto insurance costs:

  • Defensive driving: Drivers over 55 can complete a state-approved defensive driving safety course and receive a potential discount on their car insurance.
  • Good student: For drivers under 25, maintaining a certain GPA may lower the high cost of car insurance for full-time students.
  • Multi-policy: Insuring your car, home and other insurance needs with the same company can earn you a bundling discount.
  • Usage-based: For drivers with good habits and who do not have long commutes, usage-based programs can be a real money saver if you allow the company to track your driving.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company in Des Moines will have the coverages you need, discounts to keep auto insurance rates low and other factors important to you. Getting quotes from multiple carriers can help you find the best cheap car insurance available.

How much does car insurance in Des Moines cost?

The costs for auto insurance in Des Moines vary by coverages, discounts, vehicle type and personal details like your driving history and which zip code you live in.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar, and has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.