Iowa Car Insurance Laws: How Much Coverage Do I Need? (2024)

Iowa drivers must carry at least $20K of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $40K per accident, plus $15K of property damage liability.
Written by Kornelia Drianovski
Edited by Jessica Barrett
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Iowa’s car insurance
requirements include at least $20,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person, $40,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $15,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.

Car insurance requirements in Iowa

To comply with Iowa’s insurance laws, you’ll need an auto insurance policy that includes:
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Is minimum coverage the most cost-effective option?

While getting the minimum coverage is technically the most affordable option, it could leave you financially vulnerable and cost you more in the long run.
  • Minimum liability coverage likely won’t cover all the damage and medical bills following a serious accident
  • Liability insurance doesn’t pay for your medical expenses or repairs to your vehicle after an accident
  • Liability insurance won’t cover damage resulting from severe weather, vandalism, or theft
Increasing your coverage limits above the minimum requirements will protect you in the long term. 
  • Increase your liability limits to $50,000 bodily injury liability per person and $100,000 per accident—limits of 100/300 are even better if you can afford it
  • Increase your property damage liability to $50,000 or $100,000
  • Purchase collision and comprehensive coverage to pay for damage to your vehicle
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If you’re shopping for insurance with
Jerry
, you can adjust your coverage options to see how increasing your liability limit or adding full coverage options like collision and comprehensive will impact your auto insurance rate.

How much does car insurance in Iowa cost?

The average cost of a state minimum car insurance premium in Iowa is $98 per month or $1175 per year. Upgrading to a
full-coverage car insurance
policy will increase your insurance premiums to $136 per month or $1635 per year. But remember: Car insurance rates are highly individual and depend on your age, driving record, and many other factors. To find the best insurance quotes, you should always compare rates from multiple insurance companies. 
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You can request quotes directly from insurance companies or work with a local agent—or Jerry’s quote comparison app can simplify that process for you with quick custom quotes.
Quotes will range based on driving profile.
Keep in mind: You will likely be required to get more coverage–such as comprehensive and collision insurance–if you finance or lease your vehicle. 

Optional coverages in Iowa

When it comes to financial protection, liability insurance is just the beginning. You may want to consider add-ons and optional coverage:
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Collision insurance
will pay to repair or replace your vehicle after a collision with another car or stationary object—even if it was your fault.
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Comprehensive insurance
will pay to repair or replace your vehicle after vandalism, theft, or weather-related damages. Combine it with collision coverage and you’ve got a full coverage policy.
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Gap insurance
covers the gap between your actual cash value insurance payout and the amount owing on your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled.
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Medical payments (MedPay)
covers the cost of medical treatment for you and your passengers after a car accident.
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Uninsured motorist coverage/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)
covers the cost of medical treatment for you and your passengers if you’re hit by a driver who isn’t carrying any insurance or whose coverage limits aren’t high enough.
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Roadside assistance will provide towing, locksmith services, and more if you’re left stranded on the side of the road.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Iowa

Driving without insurance in the state of Iowa can result in vehicle impoundment, an
SR-22 filing requirement
, and the loss of your vehicle registration. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the penalties:
First offense
  • Loss of license plates and motor vehicle registration
  • Motor vehicle impoundment until
    proof of insurance
    , towing fees, and storage fees are provided
  • $325 fine or community service
  • $15 administrative fee
  • SR-22 filing requirement for at least two years
Subsequent offenses
  • Loss of license plates and motor vehicle registration
  • Motor vehicle impoundment until proof of insurance, towing fees, and storage fees are provided
  • $325 fine or community service
  • $15 administrative fee
  • SR-22 filing requirement for at least two years4

FAQs

Is auto insurance mandatory in Iowa?

Auto insurance is mandatory in Iowa. Every vehicle owner must carry an auto insurance policy with both bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage to drive.

Is Iowa a no-fault state for car insurance?

Iowa is an at-fault state for car insurance. In the event of an accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for paying the damages.

Is it illegal to not have car insurance in Iowa?

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance in Iowa. If you’re caught, your vehicle could be impounded, your registration taken away, and you could be fined $325, among other penalties.

What’s the fine for not having car insurance in Iowa?

The Iowa Department of Public Safety charges a $325 fine if you’re caught driving without car insurance in Iowa. In addition, you could be on the hook for vehicle towing and impound fees; administrative fees; and SR-22 insurance for high-risk drivers for two years.

Can you register a car without car insurance in Iowa?

You don’t need to show proof of insurance before registering your car in Iowa, but you should keep it close by. If you fail to show proof of financial responsibility when asked, you could be charged $325—or $645, if you get into a car accident.

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