Idaho car insurance laws

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If you are an Idaho-based driver, you may already know that you are required to carry a minimum amount of auto insurance to drive legally in the state. Idaho car insurance laws require you to have at least 25/50/15 worth of liability insurance.

The average cost of an Idaho minimum-coverage policy is $274, which is well below the national average of $563 a year. Full coverage in Idaho, which includes collision and comprehensive insurance, averages $1,048.

If you can afford it, it is a good idea to consider buying more than the minimum required so you will be protected financially if you are in a serious accident. Idaho minimum car insurance may not be enough to adequately cover you in some cases. Additional liability coverage, as well as other, optional coverage types, are worth considering so that you will not be stuck with out-of-pocket costs after a driving mishap and will have the best possible car insurance in Idaho.

Car insurance laws in Idaho

Here is a summary of what you are required to carry:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, per accident. In other words, if you carry the minimum required, your insurer will pay a maximum of $25,000 toward the injuries of the other driver or their passengers in an at-fault accident.
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability total per accident. If more than one person in the other car is injured in an at-fault accident, the total cost that your insurer would pay with this coverage is $50,000.
  • $15,000 in property damage liability. This coverage pays for damage to the other car, as well as any property you damage, such as fences, light posts or buildings.

Liability insurance in Idaho

Idaho auto insurance requirements are put into place to protect the other driver in case you cause an accident. The state’s liability requirements are similar to those of other states. But that does not mean they are adequate, and you should consider purchasing more than the minimum requirement.

In a serious accident that includes injuries, the 25/50 minimum coverage might not go far. Surgery, post-operative care and physical therapy can eat through thousands of dollars quickly. If the other driver were to file a court case against you, legal costs would also be high.

Or consider the $15,000 property damage minimum. Most cars today cost considerably more than $15,000 when new or even used. If you were to hit a luxury sedan and total it, you might be facing out-of-pocket costs in the thousands.

Liability costs would only be for the other driver’s injuries or property damage. If you were also injured or your car damaged, you would face even greater costs unless you also carry optional coverage such as collision and comprehensive to protect your financial situation.

Is Idaho a no-fault state?

Idaho is not a no-fault state. In the 12 states that are considered no-fault, you make your claim to your own insurer, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. Because that is not the case in Idaho, you would file a claim with the other driver’s insurer if they were at fault.

Because Idaho is not a no-fault state, you are able to sue the other driver if necessary to recoup losses or pay for your pain and suffering.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Idaho

Idaho drivers are required to carry proof of their liability insurance with them at all times when behind the wheel, and to be able to present it to a police officer if they are stopped. If they do not have their insurance card or other proof, they have 30 days to provide it, at which point their registration will be suspended.

Failure to present insurance proof will also result in a $75 fine for the first infraction, while second and subsequent infractions can result in fines up to $1,000 or six months in jail. If a driver regains their license and registration, they may be required to get an SR-22 insurance form as proof they meet the legal requirements.

Additional auto insurance coverage options in Idaho

In addition to liability coverage, there are a variety of other, optional types of insurance that you can purchase in Idaho to give you more robust and comprehensive protection. Here are the most common types of optional insurance for Idaho drivers:

  • Collision: If you cause an accident, your liability insurance will pay for damage to the other car, but unless you have collision coverage, you will have to pay for damage to your own car out of your pocket.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive covers you for damage to your car from non-accident mishaps. This includes theft, vandalism and acts of nature.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 8.2% of Idaho’s drivers are on the road illegally with no insurance. If you are in an accident with one of them, this coverage will help pay for your injuries or damage to your car. It will also help if the other driver does not have enough insurance to cover all your costs.
  • Medical payments (medpay) or personal injury protection (PIP): If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, these coverage options will help pay for the medical costs and may also pay for other expenses such as lost wages or childcare.
  • Gap insurance: If your car is totaled in an accident or stolen and you file a claim, you should receive a check — but it will be for the car’s depreciated value. If you owe more than that on your car loan, this coverage will make up that gap so you are not forced to pay out-of-pocket.
  • Rental reimbursement: If you need to hire a rental car while your own car is being repaired after an accident, this coverage will pay for it, up to the limits of the coverage.
  • New car replacement: Some insurers offer this coverage which provides enough in your payout to buy a new car of the same model as your old one, if the car that you totaled is two years old or less.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company in Idaho?

There are a number of insurance companies that are writing good policies in Idaho at a competitive price. To find the right one for you, we recommend starting with our Best Idaho Car insurance Companies 2021 list. Look for the company that offers you the best price along with superior customer service and a broad range of coverage options.

What is the cheapest car insurance in Idaho?

There is no single company that is always the cheapest car insurance company in Idaho for everyone. Your premium rate may be very different from your neighbors because it is based on a variety of factors, including the type and age of your car, your own credit rating and even your marital status. A good place to start your search for inexpensive car insurance is with our Cheap Car Insurance Companies of 2021 listing.

Are Idaho insurance laws enough to keep me covered in the case of an accident?

Possibly not, depending on how serious the accident is and whether there are any injuries. Medical costs in Idaho are high, and a simple hospital stay of a few days can run into the thousands of dollars. If surgery or extensive rehab is required, the minimum liability might not be enough to cover you. We suggest that you purchase as much liability insurance as you can comfortably afford, such as 100/300/50, to be adequately covered.

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has five years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com and Thesimpledollar.com. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including reviews.com and myslumberyard.com. Prior to that she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.