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Iowa law dictates the minimum requirements for insurance coverage that all drivers must carry. All drivers in Iowa must hold 20/40/15 in liability coverage. Additionally, drivers can pick from a long list of additional coverages for added protection.

Quick Facts
  • Car insurance is required by law in Iowa.

  • Drivers in Iowa must carry 20/40/15 in minimum liability coverage.

  • If caught driving uninsured, drivers face up to $645 in fines.

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Iowa

The minimum car insurance requirements in Iowa[1] are:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury liability for one person

  • $40,000 for bodily injury liability for two or more people

  • $15,000 for property damage liability per accident

Iowa is an at-fault state. That means that if you’re in an accident, the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying the bodily injury and property damages caused to the victims.

Why is car insurance required in Iowa?

Auto insurance protects drivers from financial liability in the event of an accident. Depending on a policy’s specific coverage limitations, car insurance may cover everything from vehicle damage to medical bills.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability is part of your liability car insurance coverage. If you cause an accident, this coverage will help cover the other party’s medical expenses. This type of coverage will not cover your own medical expenses for injuries sustained in a car accident you caused. Bodily injury liability coverage is required in Iowa.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability is the other half of your liability car insurance. It covers repair costs and damage expenses to the other cars involved in an accident you caused. This coverage does not cover damage to your own car in an accident you were at fault for. Property damage liability coverage is required in Iowa.

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Is state minimum car insurance enough in Iowa?

The minimum required car insurance coverage in Iowa provides drivers with a solid foundation of auto insurance coverage, but it may not be enough for everyone.

For example, the minimum required liability insurance only includes $15,000 for property damage. This small amount may not cover the total damages you cause to other people’s cars in an accident, especially if any of them are a total loss.

Optional Car Insurance Coverage for Iowa

Iowa drivers who want to be protected in any situation should consider bolstering the minimum car insurance coverage with the following supplemental car insurance coverages:

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage covers damages to your car after a collision with another vehicle or object. If your vehicle is a total loss, collision coverage will reimburse you for the actual cash value of your vehicle. This is a great addition to the required property damage liability coverage in Iowa, which applies only to the damages to the other driver’s vehicle.

Comprehensive Coverage

Complementing your collision coverage, comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that occurs during an event that is not a collision with another vehicle or object. This may apply in situations of vandalism, theft, weather damage, or a run-in with an animal. Adding comprehensive and collision coverage together creates a full-coverage car insurance policy.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If an uninsured (or underinsured) driver causes an accident and you suffer bodily injury, uninsured motorist coverage will cover your medical expenses. If the at-fault driver surpasses their bodily injury liability coverage limits, your underinsured motorist coverage will cover the rest of your medical expenses.

Other Supplemental Coverage

Buying a policy with supplemental coverage can be a great idea for Iowa motorists. For a slightly higher premium, you can receive services such as rental car reimbursement, which pays for you to rent a car while yours is being repaired after an accident.

Roadside assistance is another supplemental coverage that can be helpful if you’re in an accident. Many insurance providers offer Iowa auto insurance plans that include a number you can call if your car is disabled after an accident. Roadside assistance often includes towing your disabled car to a repair shop.

Average Cost of Car Insurance in Iowa

Average Cost of Car Insurance in Iowa

Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Iowa

It is illegal to drive in Iowa without the minimum car insurance coverage. You can be fined if you are caught. The possible penalties include[2]:

  • A fine of $325, or $645 if you’ve caused an accident

  • The suspension of your registration

  • Having your vehicle impounded

High-Risk Car Insurance in Iowa

High-Risk Car Insurance in Iowa

Minimum Requirements for High-Risk Drivers in Iowa

High-risk drivers face several hurdles to get back on the road, depending on the specific offense they’ve committed. For example, if you’re convicted of driving under the influence, you may have to apply for a temporary restricted license (TRL) and install an interlock device in your car.

If your license is suspended for other reasons, you can meet Iowa’s financial responsibility requirements by filing proof of at least $55,000 of insurance coverage. An SR-22 filing is one way of meeting this requirement. You will have to file this document for two years.

More Information for High-Risk Drivers in Iowa

DUI Insurance in Iowa

SR-22 Insurance in Iowa

Cheapest Minimum Car Insurance in Iowa

Car insurance companies weigh different factors to determine what to quote drivers on their car insurance policies. Minimum coverage generally means lower car insurance rates. It also means low coverage limits, which may cost you if you’re ever involved in an accident. Here are the cheapest car insurance quotes for minimum coverage in Iowa.

Insurance CompanyMonthly Quote for Minimum Coverage
Bristol West$94
Liberty Mutual$95
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.
Best Car Insurance in Iowa

Best Car Insurance in Iowa

How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Iowa

You can find an affordable auto insurance policy in Iowa if you compare auto insurance rates between different insurers. This will help you find a policy that meets the state’s coverage requirements and has low car insurance premiums. Compare car insurance quotes online to see what different insurance companies are charging for similar policies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is car insurance mandatory in Iowa?

    Yes. If you’re in an accident, you will have to prove that you have 20/40/15 in bodily injury and property damage liability coverage.

  • Is Iowa a no-fault state?

    No. Iowa is an at-fault state. If you’re involved in an at-fault accident, you will be required to cover the damages you cause to your victims.

  • Does Iowa require uninsured motorist protection?

    No. Uninsured motorist protection is a good idea, though. It protects you in case you’re the victim of a hit-and-run or an uninsured driver causes an accident.

  • Do you need car insurance to register a car in Iowa?

    Yes. There must be an insurance policy in place for any car you’re driving.

  • How can I find cheap car insurance in Iowa?

    The best way to find insurance you can afford is to compare car insurance quotes. Insurify offers a tool that allows users to easily compare what different insurance companies are charging.

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Data scientists at Insurify analyzed more than 40 million real-time auto insurance rates from our partner providers across the United States to compile the car insurance quotes, statistics, and data visualizations displayed on this page. The car insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers' vehicles, driving records, and demographic information. Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Service's database of auto insurance rates. With these insights, Insurify is able to offer drivers insight into how companies price their car insurance premiums.


  1. Iowa Insurance Division. "State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements." Accessed June 14, 2022
  2. Iowa Legislature. "Penalties for Driving Uninsured in Iowa." Accessed June 16, 2022
Jennifer Pendell
Jennifer PendellInsurance Writer

Jennifer Pendell is a personal finance expert. She specializes in breaking down dense subjects to make them easier for consumers to understand, with a particular interest in homeowners, renters, and auto insurance concepts. She studied at the University of Iowa.

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