Best car insurance in Iowa for 2021

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As of 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, Iowa had over 2.3 million licensed drivers. With so many drivers on the roads, it is not surprising that accidents caused by distracted driving are on the rise. If you live in Iowa, having proper auto insurance coverage is crucial for protecting yourself against financial hardship if you are in an accident. Iowa has some of the lowest auto insurance costs in the country, with full coverage costing $1,260 per year and minimum coverage costing $252 per year.

If you are in the market for car insurance in Iowa, you should consider several factors before choosing a company. Making an informed decision based on a company’s average rates, customer satisfaction scores, available coverages, discount offerings and financial stability could help you to feel more comfortable with your auto insurance policy.

Best car insurance companies in Iowa

To determine the best car insurance companies in Iowa, Bankrate used Quadrant Information Services to obtain current rate information. We then analyzed the average premiums, customer service scores, coverage options, discount options and financial stability to choose the five best companies for Iowa drivers. Although their full coverage premiums are above the state average, the companies below make up for the higher rates by providing a multitude of coverages and discounts, along with appealing customer service and financial strength scores.

Provider Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
(Central region)
Allstate $2,302 832/1,000
Geico $1,421 55/1,000
Farmers $1,931 827/1,000
Nationwide $1,423 815/1,000
State Farm $1,453 849/1,000

Allstate

Founded in 1931, Allstate is one of the oldest auto insurance providers in the U.S. It is also one of the top car insurance providers as the fourth largest insurance company in the nation. Allstate offers standard insurance coverages, with options for collision, comprehensive and liability coverages, as well as options to customize your policy with add-ons such as personal injury protection, accident forgiveness, rental car reimbursement after an accident while your vehicle is repaired and roadside assistance.

Geico

Geico is the second largest car insurance provider in the U.S. with just under 13.8% of the market share. Geico is known for affordable premiums, with the average annual rate for full coverage in Iowa being $1,421. Geico also offers a long list of discounts such as good student, defensive driving and new vehicle, as well as more unique savings opportunities like seat belt use, vehicle equipment and military discounts. Geico also has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, indicating that the company is financially sound.

Farmers

Farmers started out selling coverage for farm vehicles in 1928. Since then, it has expanded its policy offering to include coverage for most automobiles. Farmers is not available in all states, but Iowa drivers do have access to its coverage options. Farmers offers basic auto coverage plans in addition to some extra coverage options such as New Car Replacement coverage.

Nationwide

Nationwide is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. The company offers one of the lowest full coverage premiums on our list. Although its customer satisfaction score was below industry average, Nationwide did receive an above-industry-average score in J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Nationwide offers a long list of discounts, and provides even more savings for safe drivers through its Safe Driver program.

State Farm

State Farm is the biggest insurance company in the U.S. One of the best features that State Farm offers is its array of local agents. Since they are familiar with the area, these agents can help policyholders choose coverage options that fit their needs. The company also offers two safe driving programs and boasts an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

Average car insurance cost in Iowa

Drivers in Iowa pay, on average, significantly less than the average driver in the United States, where average premiums are $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage. Large swaths of Iowa are rural and sparsely populated, which lowers the risk of vehicle-to-vehicle collisions and could be a factor in the state’s low cost of insurance.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Iowa Average annual premium for full coverage in Iowa
$252 $1,206

There are many factors that go into a car insurance premium, including your age, your ZIP code, the coverages you choose and your driving history. Your premiums may be higher or lower than the state averages.

State minimum insurance requirements in Iowa

Like almost all other states, Iowa requires mandatory minimum levels of auto insurance. If you live in Iowa, you must have the following minimum liability insurance coverages:

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

State minimum coverage limits may not be high enough to cover the full cost of damages if you cause an accident, leaving you with out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance agents generally recommend that you purchase higher limits of liability coverage if you can afford to. Additionally, if you have a loan or lease on your car, your lender will likely require that you carry full coverage.

How to get the best car insurance

In order to find the best car insurance, you may want to evaluate your needs and consider your geographic factors. Since each individual brings a unique mix of factors to their car insurance search, the best car insurance company for one person will not be the best car insurance for you:

  • Evaluate your needs: Everyone has a different set of needs that they should consider when shopping for car insurance. You may be looking for the cheapest premium possible. Perhaps you are more interested in high customer service scores or having several discount options. Maybe you have a DUI on your driving record and need to find an insurance company that will file an SR-22 form for you. Understanding what you want from an insurance company might help you to narrow your options. Once you have chosen companies that fit your needs, you can request quotes from each company to compare the premiums and coverages they offer.
  • Consider state factors: Each state has different geographic and environmental conditions to consider when shopping for car insurance. Since Iowa is located in the north western hemisphere, it receives heavy snow falls in some areas. If you reside in an area that receives more snow, it may be a good idea to get roadside assistance as an add-on. Roughly 11% of drivers in Iowa are estimated to be uninsured. Uninsured motorist coverage is a good add-on option if you want to protect yourself against an accident with an uninsured motorist.

Car insurance discounts in Iowa

Although auto insurance in Iowa is relatively inexpensive when compared to nationwide averages, most companies still offer discounts to help drivers control their insurance costs. The table below shows what discounts that the best companies in Iowa offer:

Discount Allstate Geico Farmers Nationwide State Farm
Anti-lock brakes X X X X
Anti-theft devices X X X X X
Automatic payment/paperless billing X X X
Defensive driving course X X X X
Early signing X X X
Full payment X X
Good student X X X X X
Green vehicle X
Loyalty X X
Low annual mileage X X X
Military X X
Multiple policies X X X X X
Multiple vehicles X X X X
Occupational or organizations X
Safe driver/accident free X X X X X
Safety features X X X X

Frequently asked questions

What information is needed in order to get car insurance in Iowa?

To get auto insurance, you will likely need:

  • Your vehicle’s information including the make, model, year and vehicle identification number (VIN) that can be found on the dashboard of the driver’s side of the vehicle
  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license details
  • Insurance premium payment in the form of a check, debit or credit card

Every company has its own quoting process and may ask for additional information.

What is the state-required amount of auto insurance I need in Iowa?

If you live and drive in Iowa, you must carry at least the minimum required levels of liability coverages:

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

State minimum levels of coverage are quite low and are often not adequate to pay for the full cost of injuries or property damage if you cause an accident. Minimum limits also do not provide any coverage for damage to your own car. Most insurance professionals recommend purchasing higher liability limits or even full coverage to better protect your finances.

How can I get the best rate on my auto insurance?

Car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts to earn your loyalty. To get the best rate on your auto insurance, review the car insurance discount comparison table above and comparison shop at least three companies to find the best price. Maintaining a clean driving record, choosing appropriate coverage levels for your budget and driving an affordable vehicle are also steps that you can take to help keep your car insurance costs low.

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
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.