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  • Car Insurance in Idaho

    Idaho Car Insurance

    ID Car Insurance

    Idaho requires that every vehicle operator in the state have at least the minimum amounts of basic liability car insurance. However, a number of other coverage types are available to drivers to ensure adequate protection in the unfortunate event of an accident.

    Car Insurance Requirements in Idaho

    You are legally required to purchase liability coverage in order to ensure that you can adequately pay for damages and injuries to other parties in an accident that you cause.

    You need to purchase and maintain at least the following minimums:

    • $25,000 for bodily injury to 1 person in a single accident.
    • $50,000 for total bodily injury to 2 people or more in an accident.
    • $15,000 for property damage.

    Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage

    Idaho car insurance companies are required to include uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in your liability policy. This coverage helps you pay for costs you might incur in an accident with a driver who has insufficient or no car insurance.

    The state mandates coverage for bodily injury at the same minimums as your liability coverage (see above).

    There is no requirement for property damage coverage; however, this is often offered and can save you a lot of money in the event of an accident.

    NOTE: You can opt out of uninsured motorist coverage; however, you must do so in writing with your insurance agent.

    Optional Coverage

    While you are only required to purchase the minimum coverage amounts of liability and uninsured motorist insurance, you might find that after an accident, these amounts won’t sufficiently cover your costs.

    There are several optional kinds of coverage that can offer additional protection in the event of an accident. These include:

    • Comprehensive – Pays for damages to your vehicle from non-accident-related incidents like theft, fire, and water damage.
    • Collision – Helps pay for costs to your vehicle occurring from collisions with vehicles and other objects.
    • Medical Payments – Helps cover medical or funeral costs to you and any of your passengers after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
    • Custom equipment –Goes toward paying the cost of custom equipment on the vehicle that was damaged in an accident.
    • Rental reimbursement.
    • Towing.

    Determining Fault

    In Idaho, multiple people can be found at fault for an accident. The comparative negligence law allows for varying “degrees” of fault.

    Essentially, you are awarded damages only if you were less at fault than the other involved parties.

    It is important to note, however, that your damages can be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were deemed to be 30% at fault, your settlement can actually be reduced by 30%.

    Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan

    Drivers with poor driving records or who have a history of filing many claims are often considered too high risk to insure by Idaho insurance companies.

    If you’ve shopped around for car insurance in Idaho and are unable to find a policy on the open market, you can apply through the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan. You can ask any licensed agent to help you apply.

    Remember, insurance policies obtained through this avenue are typically a lot more expensive, so it’s best to exhaust your options with private insurers first.

    Insurance Violations

    If you drive a vehicle in Idaho, you have to have the minimum liability insurance (see above), even if the vehicle is not currently registered.

    When you go to register your vehicle, you must sign a statement certifying that you currently have and will maintain liability insurance.

    If you break the law by driving without insurance (or by not carrying proof of insurance), you are subject to one or more of the following penalties:

    • First offense: $75
    • Second and subsequent offenses: fines of up to $1,000.
    • A requirement to provide proof of financial responsibility.
      • See “SR-22” below for more information.
    • Up to 6 months of jail time.

    SR-22

    The most common way for drivers to prove future financial responsibility after a violation is to hold an SR-22 certificate.

    This certificate is not insurance, but rather guarantees that the driver will hold the required minimum insurance for a finite period of time.

    SR-22 certificates are often required for drivers who have been found driving without insurance or without proof of insurance (paper or electronic). However, they are also often required when a driver has been convicted of certain offenses, including:

    • Driving with a suspended license.
    • DUI.
    • Reckless driving
    • Leaving the scene of an accident.
    • Manslaughter in a vehicle.

    If required to submit an SR-22, you will need to obtain it from an insurance agent, and that agent must submit it to the Idaho Transportation Department.

    Questions and Concerns

    When you’re dealing with insurance, you might encounter a situation where you need help or you have a complaint with your insurance company.

    The Idaho Department of Insurance provides assistance to consumers through its Consumer Affairs Section. You can find general information about Idaho car insurance and request help with inquiries and complaints.

    If you’re unsure whether they can help with your concern, you can call them at (208) 334-4319 or (800) 721-3272. You may also e-mail the DOI at consumeraffairs@doi.idaho.gov.

    Filing a Complaint

    If you wish to file a complaint, please read the DOI’s guidelines for submitting a complaint. When you’re ready you can submit your complaint:

    Insurance Fraud

    Fraud significantly increases costs to insurance companies and they, in turn, pass those costs down to you in the form of higher premiums.

    Reporting instances of suspected or known insurance fraud helps keep low rates for everyone.

    To report insurance fraud, complete the Suspect Fraudulent Claim Report and submit via:

    • E-mail.
    • Fax: (208) 334-4398.

    You may also call the Fraud Report Hotline at (866) 939-7226.

    Determining Your ID Car Insurance Rates

    Idaho auto insurance companies take many factors into consideration when setting the premiums for insurance policies. These include, but are not limited to your:

    • Age and gender.
    • Location.
    • Driving patterns.
    • Driving record.
    • History of claims.
    • Car’s:
      • Make.
      • Model.
      • Year.
    • Deductibles (how much you pay out of pocket).
      • The higher your deductible, the lower your premium.
    • Applicable discounts (see below).

    Insurance Discounts

    Discounts can go a long way toward decreasing your insurance rates. When you are comparison-shopping for the lowest auto insurance quote, remember to ask about discounts for which you may qualify before you decide to buy.

    Typical discounts offered by insurance companies include:

    • Multi-policy.
    • Business or professional group.
    • Good student.
    • Alternative fuel.
    • Howeowner.
    • Anti-theft device.
    • Paid-in-full.
    • Transfer (switching providers).

    Discounts can provide a quick avenue to getting a cheaper premium; however, the best way to get and keep cheap Idaho car insurance is to drive safely and maintain a good driving record.

    Most Cars Stolen in Idaho

    If you own a car that is often a target for theft, you may have to pay higher car insurance rates.

    The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Idaho for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:

    1. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
    2. Ford Pickup (Full Size).
    3. Honda Civic.
    4. Honda Accord.
    5. Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
    6. Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).
    7. Ford Taurus.
    8. Ford Explorer.
    9. Toyota Camry.
    10. Pontiac Grand Am.