How much car insurance do I need in Iowa?

Learn about minimum insurance coverage requirements for vehicles in Iowa, consequences for driving without insurance, and more.

Iowa is unique in the sense that it does not have any mandatory car insurance laws in place. However, if you are unable to show proof of financial responsibility following a car accident, your driver’s license and registration will be immediately suspended. While not required, it is a good idea to at least carry liability insurance.

Here are some ways you can establish financial responsibility for a car accident in Iowa (this isn't a complete list):

  • proving that you have automobile insurance
  • posting a bond with the state's Office of Driver Services
  • executing a warrant for confession of judgment promising to pay the other parties’ damages on an installment plan
  • filing evidence of complete settlement of all damages.

Learn more about Iowa's financial responsibility requirement in our article Iowa Auto Insurance Laws and Regulations.

What happens if losses from an accident exceed policy limits?

UIM coverage is an added safety measure if you are in a car accident, and the other driver is (1) at fault and (2) has no (or not enough) coverage to pay for medical bills and/or property damage. Your UIM coverage fills in the gap in most situations. Learn more about uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

What is the penalty for failing to prove financial responsibility in Iowa?

As mentioned above, if you cannot prove financial responsibility following a car accident, you will lose your drivers license and registration. It is worth noting there are a few instances where you will not be subject to those penalties, including:

  • if someone stole your car and was in an accident
  • if the car accident did not cause bodily injury or property damage to anyone besides yourself, or
  • your car was parked (legally) at the time of the car accident.

What if you are in a car accident, and you do not have insurance?

Although Iowa does not require its drivers to carry specific amounts or types of car insurance, most Iowa drivers still maintain some form of coverage. However, for some, it is cost prohibitive to carry car insurance. if you have opted to drive without car insurance, you may have questions about what to do after a car accident when you don’t have insurance.

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