While the rest of the country pays attention to Iowa every four years, Iowans know how special their state is year-round. 

The public education system is regularly rated as one of the best in the country, accounting for the highest literacy rate in the country at 99 percent. Couple that with its low cost of living, low crime rates, and top-notch infrastructure, and you can see why the Hawkeye State is regularly named one of the best states to call home in the U.S.

If you’re a resident, or aspiring resident, of Iowa, this article will show you how to get the best and cheapest car insurance quotes now and in the future—read on to learn more.

And if you’re looking for the greatest thing since sliced bread—invented by Iowan Otto Frederick Rohwedder in 1912, by the way—look no further than Insurify’s quote comparison tool. You can get 6+ real auto insurance quotes in just two minutes. And you can save your profile to receive alerts when prices drop. Simply enter your ZIP code to shop today.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Iowa

Here are the cheapest insurance companies in Iowa based on averaged sample rates for four driver profiles that included varied gender, age, driving history, credit, marital status, prior insurance, higher education, employment, and military service.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Progressive$17/month
State Farm$28/month
Allstate$38/month
Nationwide$65/month
GEICO$71/month

Best Car Insurance Companies in Iowa

Insurance CompanyScoreQuotes
American Family88$90/month
GEICO71$71/month
Allstate86$38/month
Nationwide84$65/month
State Farm83$28/month
Liberty-Mutual80$124/month
Progressive78$17/month

The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors indicating the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings, Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys, mobile app reviews, and user-generated company reviews. The following are the top-rated companies that offer car insurance in Iowa. For the complete list, see Insurify’s best car insurance companies.

Most Popular Car Insurance Companies in Iowa

How does an insurance company win a popularity contest? By writing more policies than other companies. The more policies a company writes, the larger the company’s share of the state insurance market is. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the car insurance companies with the largest share of the Iowa insurance market are:

  1. State Farm
  2. Progressive
  3. Nationwide
  4. Farm Bureau Financial
  5. American Family

Cheapest Car Insurance in Iowa by City

Just as costs can vary state-to-state, costs can vary greatly city-to-city and town-to-town. Common factors that influence price include population, crime rates, and local weather patterns. Generally speaking, the fewer people in your area, the less you will pay for your car insurance policy. Below are the best car insurance rates for the most populated cities in Iowa.

CityInsurance CompanyQuotes
Des MoinesProgressive$27/month
Cedar RapidsProgressive$25/month
DavenportProgressive$31/month
Sioux CityProgressive$27/month
Iowa CityProgressive$28/month

Cheapest Car Insurance in Iowa by Profile

Cheap Car Insurance for Iowa Drivers with a DUI

Called an OWI in Iowa, few offenses can jack up insurance costs like driving under the influence. Plus, higher costs don’t stop with car insurance. Alcohol education classes, ignition lock installation, and court fines are just a few extra expenses incurred by drivers—and add a few extra reasons to shop around for the best price.

If even the lowest rate you can find is not enough to meet your budget, there are several cost-saving measures you can make:

  • Trading in your vehicle for one with lower operating costs.
  • Exhaust car insurance discount programs like low mileage or bundling. 
  • Look into the Iowa Automobile Insurance Plan if you are a high-risk driver (more on this below)

Here are the lowest rates we could find for Iowa drivers with a DUI on their record.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Western National$15/month
State Farm$25/month
USAA$26/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Iowa Drivers with Speeding Tickets

Speeding tickets may not seem like a big deal, but a speeding habit can increase your rates significantly over your lifetime. Slowing down and obeying traffic laws is the first step to ensuring you get a clean driving record in the future and lower prices on your policy. Discount programs like telematics—the installation of a driving monitor in your car—can encourage safe driving habits while helping you save right now. 

The lowest prices we could find for Iowa drivers with speeding tickets are:

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Western National$15/month
IMT Insurance Company$18/month
USAA$20/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Iowa Drivers with an At-Fault Accident

An at-fault accident is one of the most common ways to increase insurance costs. Even a minor fender-bender can affect your rates significantly. Higher rates can last for three, five, even seven years after the incident depending on the insurance company. That’s why it’s so important to comparison shop often to compare your rates. 

Below are the cheapest rates we could find for Iowa drivers with an at-fault accident.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
Western National$15/month
USAA$24/month
Pekin$24/month

Cheap Car Insurance for Young Iowa Drivers

Young drivers pay higher rates due to their lack of experience, and statistically speaking, they’re the most likely kind of driver to make a claim. While it may seem unfair, rest assured that it doesn’t last forever. A great way for young drivers to save is by completing a defensive driving course approved by your insurance provider. For students, good grades can also earn you a discount with many insurance companies

Below are the cheapest rates we could find for young Iowa drivers under the age of 40.

Insurance CompanyQuotes
USAA$15/month
IMT Insurance$16/month
Western National$19/month

Iowa State Insurance Laws

State Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Iowa

Every state has different laws and codes when it comes to car insurance, and Iowa is no exception. In this largely rural state, the laws reflect a lower cost of living. However, minimum liability coverage can be easily met and exceeded in one accident. Be sure to consider carefully how much coverage you need to protect yourself. 

The insurance requirements for financial responsibility laws in Iowa are as follows:

$20,000/$40,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is highly recommended in the state, though coverage can be waived by turning in a signed consent form to your insurance company.

Should I Purchase Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection in Iowa?

Around 8.7 percent of Iowans drive uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Although this is relatively low compared to the national average, it still means that two out of every 25 drivers are operating their vehicles without insurance.

Furthermore, Iowa has relatively low minimum coverage levels for liability insurance. Because those minimums can be hit quickly in the event of a car accident, you may be left with unpaid medical expenses and property damage

Even if you successfully sue for damages, it may be next to impossible to actually collect the money you’ve been awarded. Chances are if a person cannot afford higher liability limits, or an insurance policy altogether, they cannot afford to pay the settlement. This is why underinsured and uninsured motorist protection is so important. At Insurify, we highly recommend adding this rider to your policy.

How Much is a Ticket for No Insurance in Iowa?

Driving without insurance in Iowa comes with a lot of headaches. If you’re caught you can expect both monetary and administrative penalties. These include:

  • $250 fine or community service in lieu of the fine
  • $200 civil penalty
  • License suspension until proof of insurance is filed or up to one year
  • $20 license renewal fee
  • $15 administrative fee
  • Retaking the written and practical driving test

If drivers cause an accident while driving without insurance, they also face vehicle impoundment, a mandatory $250 fine (without the option for community service), a suspended driver’s license for 12 months if damages exceed $1,000, and registration suspensions for all vehicles registered under the driver’s name.

A lapse in coverage, no matter how small, can still cost you even if you don’t get caught. This is because lapses in coverage are associated with higher risk drivers. When you apply for insurance, you will likely be asked about any lapses in the last few years. 

Is Iowa a No-Fault State?

Iowa is a non-no-fault state, also called a tort state. Essentially, this means that the person found at fault in an accident can be sued for abstract damages like pain and suffering, as opposed to concrete damages like property repair/replacement or medical bills.

Iowa drivers may be able to purchase Medical Pay Insurance and may be able to “stack” that rider with bodily injury coverage. Stacking means that you can use both coverages in conjunction to cover costs—for example $5,000 of Medical Pay coverage in conjunction with $20,000 of bodily injury liability will cover up to $25,000 of costs. Be sure to speak with your agent or read your policy documents carefully.

Can I Use a Cell Phone While Driving in Iowa?

Texting while driving is banned for all drivers in Iowa. Recently, the Iowa state legislature passed stricter rules governing the use of cell phones, including making it a primary offense. If you’re caught texting and driving, you face a $100.50 fine, though you won’t suffer from any points on your license.

Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to use cell phones only for hands-free calling and GPS. However, drivers who hold an instructor or intermediate license are banned from any cell phone use unless in case of emergency.

What Special Rules Apply to Young Drivers in Iowa

Young drivers have stricter rules applied to their driving habits in Iowa. Not only is all cell phone use—handheld or otherwise—restricted, but young drivers are also limited as to how many non-relative minors can be present in their vehicle at one time. During the six months following a successful driving test, young drivers are issued an intermediate license. 

During this time they cannot have more than one non-relative minor in their vehicle unless supervised by an adult. And to get that intermediate license in the first place, young drivers must hold an instructor’s permit for at least one year.

Does Iowa Experience Destructive Weather Patterns?

If you’ve never lived in the Midwest or parts of the Southeast, you may not have any experience with tornadoes or thunderstorms. Iowa experiences both throughout the spring and, to a lesser extent, in the summer and autumn. Both weather phenomena are often accompanied by hail and heavy winds, which create excellent opportunities for damage to your vehicle. 

A fallen tree branch or dozens of hail impact marks can easily break the bank, if not total your car altogether. It may be in your best interest to carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle unless your car has no loan, is inexpensive to replace, or you do not care about cosmetic damage. 

Additionally, annual flooding in the spring may be a threat to people living in flood plains. Flooding and water damage are especially insidious when it comes to your vehicle. The most common ailments are electrical damage and mold and mildew blooms. Both generally happen out of sight—mildew commonly grows inside the air duct system for example—making it difficult to recognize. Bear in mind, you may need to purchase a special rider for flood insurance.

What is the Iowa Automobile Insurance Plan (IA AIP)?

If you cannot find an insurance company willing to offer you a policy, or the policies you’ve been offered are prohibitively expensive, you may be eligible for the Iowa Automobile Insurance Program. Designed for drivers with extreme marks on their driving records like multiple DUIs or reckless driving, this program acts as a backup to ensure all drivers can comply with state laws.

Drivers who are unable to find a policy on the voluntary market simply apply to the IA AIP for coverage. Upon acceptance, the state assigns an insurance company to the policy. Every car insurance company that does business in Iowa must participate in the IA AIP, and participation is based on market share. 

Approval lasts for three years, allowing ample time for drivers to improve their records. If drivers still cannot find insurance on the voluntary market, they can reapply to the program.

Iowa Driving Facts

What are the child passenger laws in Iowa?

Passengers under 20 pounds must travel in a rear-facing car seat. From the age of one to six, children must travel in an appropriate car seat or booster, which means it is illegal for them to travel with a seatbelt alone. It is also recommended that any child 12 or under should ride in the backseat of a vehicle. 

Are U-turns illegal in Iowa?

State-wide, u-turns are legal at most intersections in Iowa. However, some towns and cities specifically prohibit them unless otherwise stated. In any case, when u-turns are legal, drivers are cautioned to wait for large gaps in traffic and cautioned against making them on narrow roads or in cars that have a very wide turning radius. 

Alcohol limits in Iowa

Alcohol limits in Iowa follow the national limits. No driver may operate a vehicle intoxicated, which is defined as operating at a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or above. Exceptions include drivers of commercial vehicles who must keep their BAC below 0.04 and underage drivers who must keep their BAC under 0.02.

Iowa DMV Information

The Iowa Department of Transportation, which oversees licensing and registration in the state, is pretty high tech. You can make appointments and find most forms online at the DOT website. 

If you’ve just moved to Iowa, you’ll have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state license. In order to do so you’ll need to provide a few things, according to the Iowa DOT:

  • Proof of identity, like your out-of-state license
  • Proof of residency, like a lease or utility bill
  • Social security card
  • Passed vision test, written test, and driving test
  • Pay licensing fees

You’ll also have only 30 days to transfer your vehicle’s title and registration to Iowa. This requires providing proof-of-purchase or the title from your previous state of residence, an application for a title, and payment of registration fees. 

Conclusion

You don’t need hawk-eyes to find the best rate on car insurance in Iowa.

Finding the best deal on car insurance can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding your choices in coverage options, your needs based on your location, and the discount programs you could qualify for will inform your buying decision greatly. 

Couple that knowledge with Insurify’s rate comparison tool, and you be able to find the best coverage for the best rate in just a few minutes. 

Enter your zip code to get started today, and don’t forget to save your profile to get alerts when prices drop. 

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J.J. Starr is a financial copywriter and enjoys helping readers find the information they need. In addition to her background in banking and financial advising, she is also a poet with an MFA from New York University. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts. You can learn more at jjstarrwrites.com.