Driving without insurance in Iowa

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In Iowa, driving without insurance is risky business. Not only could you be facing numerous fines and fees, but you might also lose your driving privileges. If you cause an accident without insurance, you’ll be personally responsible for the cost of the injuries and damages you cause. Iowa requires that drivers purchase at least certain minimum coverage types and limits, so if you want to stay on the right side of the law, car insurance is a must.

Minimum insurance required in Iowa

The minimum amount of liability insurance Iowa state law requires is 20/40/15. Written out, this means that each driver must have the following liability coverage limits:

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

Iowa car insurance companies are also required to offer you uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage, although you have the option to reject these in writing.

Though these are the state mandated amounts, most insurance agents encourage drivers to purchase higher liability limits. State minimum limits are relatively low and can leave you with hefty out-of-pocket expenses if you cause an accident. You may also want to consider purchasing collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, which add coverage for damage to your vehicle. Adding these coverage types means you have “full coverage,” which is generally required if you have a loan or lease.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Iowa

Driving without insurance in Iowa is likely to result in one or more penalties. Your specific penalties will likely depend on the circumstances of your citation, including whether or not you caused an accident.

If you are pulled over for driving without insurance in Iowa, you’ll likely be ticketed and have to pay a fine. Your license may be suspended and that usually means you’ll have to pay an additional fine to have it reinstated. You may also need to purchase a car insurance policy and show proof of insurance before being able to reinstate your license.

Additionally, you might have your vehicle registration suspended and your vehicle could be impounded, both of which may require additional fees to remedy.

Getting into an accident without insurance

If you get into an accident and are not insured, your situation is even more complicated. Along with all the penalties already listed for not having car insurance, you’ll also be financially responsible for all damages and injuries you cause. If you are unable to pay, you may find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit and could risk having your assets seized.

Frequently asked questions

What if you provide false insurance information?

Driving without insurance in Iowa has its share of consequences, but lying about insurance is even worse. Providing false insurance information constitutes fraud. If you are charged with insurance fraud, you could face criminal charges and even jail time.

How much is car insurance in Iowa?

The average cost of car insurance in Iowa is around $1,260 per year, or $105 per month, for full coverage. Minimum coverage costs an average of $252 per year, or about $21 per month. Iowa drivers pay less than the national average for car insurance. Currently, most Americans spend around $1,674 per year for full coverage and $565 per year for minimum coverage.

What is the best car insurance company in Iowa?

The best car insurance company in Iowa will depend on your unique situation, needs and wants. You might be looking for the cheapest coverage possible, certain discounts, high customer service scores or a mobile app. All these attributes, as well as your personal rating factors like the type of car you drive and your age, could affect which company you choose. Getting quotes from several carriers might help you choose the right provider for you.

How can drivers lower their insurance premiums?

Even if your budget is tight, you are still legally required to carry car insurance if you own and operate a vehicle. If you need to lower your premium, you might want to start by shopping around. Different companies charge different rates even for the same coverage, so you might find a lower price. Maintaining a clean driving record, taking advantage of discounts and evaluating your coverage needs are also strategies to help you save on car insurance.

Written by
Lauren Ward
Insurance Contributor
Lauren Ward has nearly 10 years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar, and Reviews.com. She covers auto, homeowners, and life insurance, as well other topics in the personal finance industry.
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