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What are state minimums for car insurance in Iowa?

Things to remember...
  • Iowa is one of the few states that does not require its drivers to purchase auto insurance
  • Drivers in Iowa must show proof of financial responsibility immediately after being in an accident
  • Your driver’s license and vehicle registration may be suspended if you cannot provide proof of financial responsibility after being in an accident in this state
  • Car insurance is one way for you to prove financial responsibility in Iowa

In many states, drivers are required to take financial responsibility for any damages they cause while driving, and this holds true for drivers in Iowa as well. However, unlike in many states, Iowa does not require its drivers to purchase car insurance to comply with this law.

Nonetheless, while car insurance is not an absolute requirement for drivers in Iowa, it is a convenient and effective way to comply with the financial responsibility law, and many drivers may benefit by purchasing it.

Compare car insurance quotes today to find the coverage that’s right for you at the best price. Enter your ZIP code above to begin.

Table of Contents

How to Read Car Insurance Requirements

Iowa’s drivers are not necessarily required to purchase any amount of car insurance to prove their ability to pay for accident-related expenses.

However, some types of coverage may help you to comply with this requirement may decrease the amount of money that you must pay out of your own pocket.

As you explore the coverage options, consider the benefits that these common auto insurance types may provide to you:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – Bodily injury liability insurance offers benefits that pay for medical expenses and other related expenses for other parties if you cause an accident in Iowa.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) / Medical Payments – Personal injury protection gives you benefits that pay for your medical expenses and other related expenses, and it may be used to complement your major medical insurance policy.
  • Property Damage Liability – This type of auto insurance pays for property damage repairs and vehicle repairs for another person if you cause an accident in this state.
  • Collision – Collision insurance pays for your own vehicle’s repairs or for a full replacement if you are in a collision accident only. It does not pay for medical bills, and it does not pay for any vehicle repairs that are not directly linked to a collision.
  • Comprehensive – Comprehensive insurance pays for your own vehicle’s repairs or a full replacement if your car is damaged by something other than a collision.
  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This type of auto coverage pays benefits to you for vehicle repairs as well as medical expenses if you are in a hit and run accident or if you are struck by an uninsured motorist.

Keep in mind that you can choose which of these coverages you want to buy as well as the limits that you desire.

Any expenses not paid for by your coverage will be your responsibility, so it may be in your best interest to buy the most protective type of auto insurance coverage that you can afford and that makes sense to purchase.

The types of liability insurance mentioned here will help you to comply with Iowa’s financial responsibility law.

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Minimum Coverage for Iowa

Auto insurance is not legally required in Iowa, but many drivers prefer to buy coverage to comply with the state’s financial responsibility law.

The auto coverage that you buy should include benefits that pay for liability expenses, such as bodily injury liability and property damage liability.

You may also purchase additional coverages, such as comprehensive insurance, GAP insurance, and others that can decrease your out-of-pocket expenses related to an accident.

Proving Financial Responsibility

Within 72 hours of being in an accident, in most cases, drivers are required to prove financial responsibility and to file an accident form with the state.

Showing your insurance coverage is one of the easiest ways to prove financial responsibility, but there are other options available. For example, you can bring a cashier’s check or money order in the dollar amount of the accident’s damages to the Office of Driver Services.

In the event you are not able to prove financial responsibility, your driver’s license and registration will immediately be suspended.

You will not be able to legally drive again until you get your license and registration reinstated.

SR-22 insurance may be required to reinstate your license and registration in the future, and this could increase the cost of coverage going forward.

Minimum Requirement vs. Recommended Coverage

Drivers in Iowa should consider the benefits associated with purchasing auto insurance even though it is not a legal requirement. It can be used to help you comply with the financial responsibility requirement as well as to pay for accident-related expenses.

If you choose to buy auto insurance, ensure that your coverage types and limits meet your needs.

If you have never purchased auto insurance in Iowa, you may be wondering what the necessary steps are to get the coverage you need.

Initially, you need to determine what type and amount of car insurance you want to buy, and you should spend time learning more about the coverage types available before you make this determination.

You also need to choose which providers you want to reach out to for a quote. Ideally, you will request quotes from at least three different car insurance companies, and these companies will be financially sound and have a great reputation in the industry.

The internet is a great resource to use when you want to learn more about different auto insurance companies.

You can request car insurance quotes online to save time and effort with this process. When you request quotes for similar coverage types and amounts, you can quickly determine which quote is the best deal available.

Remember to repeat this process every six months so that you can easily keep your coverage updated and avoid paying more than necessary for your auto insurance policy.

Get your free car insurance quotes today to find out how much you could save on auto insurance. Enter your ZIP code below to begin.


  1. http://insuranceca.iowa.gov/home_auto/auto_FAQ.html
  2. http://www.iii.org/article/what-covered-basic-auto-insurance-policy
  3. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists
  4. http://www.360financialliteracy.org/Topics/Insurance/Cars-Auto-Insurance/State-by-State-Minimum-Coverage-Requirements
  5. http://www.iii.org/article/eight-auto-insurance-myths

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