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Iowa Car Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 12/01/2017

Iowa car insurance is not a requirement in the state of Iowa to be able to drive or register a vehicle.

State Regulator Information 877-955-1212
Insurance Premium Avg. Annual Premium: $ 1,017 National Average: $1,318
Mandatory Car Insurance Coverage No Minimum Insurance Requirements
Iowa car insurance

Iowa is a rare state in the spectrum of car insurance laws.

Yes, that is correct; you are not required to purchase Iowa car insurance to be able to drive in Iowa. Although, purchasing an Iowa car insurance policy is recommended to protect yourself from financial difficulties you may face if you cause an accident.

Instead of Iowa car insurance requirements, the state has another law in place that requires financial responsibility. However, this law doesn’t kick in until the driver or owner of the vehicle has already been in an accident or has been caught driving while intoxicated.

No Mandatory Iowa Car Insurance

There is no mandatory Iowa car insurance for the drivers of this state. There is no bodily injury liability coverage or property damage liability coverage that you have to buy to be able to drive or register your vehicle in Iowa. On top of that, there is no insurance coverage that you have to buy to cover the medical expenses that you may have in an accident either.

However, before you celebrate too much, you still have to be able to provide proof of financial responsibility if you were to get into an accident. That is, you have to provide proof that you can pay for the damages and injuries of the other party if you cause an accident.

Iowa Car Insurance Substitution

The Financial and Safety Responsibility Act is the state’s substitution for Iowa car insurance (sorta). What it does is that it suspends the registration and driver’s license of the driver or owner that could not show they had financial responsibility in place for an accident. This means that they had nothing set up to pay for the damages or medical expenses caused by a car accident.

The Financial and Safety Responsibility Act also requires that anyone who has had their driver’s license suspended due to unsatisfied judgment, violation, or conviction of the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Law to prove financial responsibility in order to drive. This is to protect other drivers on the road from any future injuries or damages that this type of driver may cause.

Proof of Financial Responsibility Instead of Iowa Car Insurance

If you are in a car accident, you have to provide one of the following as proof of financial responsibility:

• Iowa liability insurance

• Post a payment to the Office of Driver Services with cash, certified check, cashier’s check, bank draft or postal money order.

• Be relieved of all liability by decision from a civil damage action.

• Have all other injured or damaged partied provide you with a release.

• File an agreement with the injured or damaged parties to pay restitution on an installment plan.

• File evidence that a settlement for all injuries and damages has been completed.

• “Execute a warrant for confession of judgment which includes an agreement upon payment schedule.” (

Even though it’s not required, buying an Iowa car insurance policy for the liability coverage would probably save you a lot of money in the event of an accident, as compared to some of these other options.


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Michele Wilmonen

Michele's first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she's earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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