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Car Insurance in Iowa
Car Insurance in Iowa
In Iowa, you can choose whether or not to buy car insurance; however, if you get into an accident or you lose your driving privileges, you must be able to show proof of financial responsibility right away.
The easiest way to fulfill this requirement is to purchase an Iowa car insurance policy.
Iowa Financial Responsibility Laws
While there is no specific law stating you must purchase Iowa car insurance, if you get into an accident (or if your license was suspended or revoked), you have to show proof of financial responsibility to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).
If you do not show proof of financial responsibility when required, the DOT will suspend your driving and registration privileges.
In Iowa, if you are driving or own a vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury, death, or total property damage of $1,000 or more, you have to file an Accident Report Form (Form 433002) (even if you weren't at fault) with the Iowa DOT's Driver & Identification Services within 72 hours. The only exception is if the accident was investigated by a police officer and that officer files a report.
You must also prove your financial responsibility or face license suspension. You can do so in any of the following ways:
- Provide proof that you had liability insurance (see “Iowa Car Insurance" below) when the accident occurred.
- Post one of the following payable to “Driver & Identification Services":
- Certified check.
- Cashier's check.
- Bank draft.
- Postal money order.
- Obtain a release from every involved party.
- File a statement agreeing to cover the costs to the injured or damaged parties on an installment plan.
- Get a decision from a civil damage action that excuses you from any liability.
- Complete a warrant for confession of judgment that has an agreement upon payment schedule.
- Submit evidence of a settlement for damages and/or injuries.
EXCEPTIONS: You DO NOT have to submit proof of financial responsibility after an accident IF:
- At the time of the accident, your vehicle was legally standing, stopped, or parked.
- Someone was driving your vehicle without your permission at the time of the accident.
- You were the only person to incur injuries or property damage as a result of the accident.
If your Iowa driver's license was suspended or revoked due to an OWI (operating while intoxicated) offense, you have to show proof of financial responsibility for any future injuries or damages you might cause.
You must have proof of financial responsibility on the effective date of your suspension or revocation; it must last 2 years.
Once you receive your notice of suspension, you'll need to submit future proof through one of the following methods:
- File an SR-22 form with the DOT's Driver & Identification Services. Your Iowa car insurance company will file the form for you.
- This Certificate of Automobile Liability guarantees you'll hold car insurance for a specified period of time (see “Iowa Car Insurance" below).
- File one of the following for $55,000:
- Surety bond.
NOTE: Special circumstances apply if you need to drive a vehicle owned by your employer or by someone who is issued a certificate of self-insurance.
If you are required to submit an SR-22, you'll need to have the at least minimum amounts of liability insurance.
Iowa Car Insurance Options
While you are not legally required to purchase a car insurance policy in Iowa (unless your license was suspended or revoked), many people find that it is the best option for proving financial responsibility.
An insurance policy will include the basic liability insurance for bodily injury and property damage that you may cause to others in an accident.
Additionally, you'll also have the option to purchase one or more of the following types of coverage:
- Medical payments coverage – Helps cover your medical costs after an accident.
- Collision coverage – Helps pay for damages to your vehicle in an accident you caused.
- Comprehensive coverage – Covers costs in an event that is not accident-related, like fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Loan/lease gap coverage – Helps balance the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle after an accident and the amount you owe.
- Rental reimbursement coverage.
- Towing and labor coverage.
Proof of Insurance
When you purchase an Iowa auto insurance policy, the company providing the coverage will send you an insurance card.
Keep this card in your vehicle at all times so you are ready to submit it to the appropriate authorities in the event of an accident.
Iowa Auto Insurance Questions and Concerns
Insurance can sometimes get complicated. If you have issues with your insurance provider or policy, the Iowa Insurance Division (IID) can help. If you have a question, you can contact the IID toll free in Iowa at (877) 955-1212.
You can also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filing a Complaint
If you have a concern and wish to file a complaint with the IID, you can do so*:
- By downloading and completing the Consumer Complaint form.
- Send the completed form to the address or fax number on the form.
* Review the IID's tips for filing a complaint prior to submitting one.
When someone commits insurance fraud, the costs that the insurance companies incur get passed down to you in the form of higher rates.
To keep insurance premiums low for everyone, it's important to report fraud when you suspect it.
You can do so by:
- Filing an online complaint at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.
- Downloading and completing the Insurance Fraud Complaint Form.
- Mail it to the address listed on the form.
What Determines Iowa Car Insurance Rates?
When you choose to buy a car insurance policy in Iowa, the following factors will likely be used to set your rates:
- Your driving record.
- Your claims history.
- Marital status.
- The location of your car's parking spot.
- The main use of your vehicle.
- The make, model, and year of your vehicle.
- Any prior coverage.
- Your credit history.
Car Insurance Discounts
When comparison-shopping for an Iowa car insurance policy, asking about discounts is a great way to save money on your premium. You can often get a discount for:
- Owning a home.
- Insuring multiple cars.
- Paying your premium in full.
- Being a good student (a B average is typically required).
- Switching insurance providers.
- Having an accident-free record.
While discounts can help you get cheap car insurance quotes, the best way to save money is to drive safely! A clean driving record goes a long way to getting and maintaining low-cost auto insurance in Iowa.
Most Stolen Cars in Iowa
Driving a car that is often targeted for theft can mean higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of Iowa's most stolen cars in 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Ford Pickup (Full Size).
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size).
- Honda Accord.
- Ford Taurus.
- Chevrolet Impala.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Honda Civic.
- GMC Pickup (Full Size).
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