The Best Cheap Car Insurance in Iowa for 2021

Factors like driving record, location and age all play a part in determining your car insurance premium. Ideally, you should look around and get quotes from several providers to find the best coverage and save money. MoneyGeek helps you obtain the best car insurance in Iowa by ranking the leading auto insurance providers in the state based on factors like affordability, quality of customer support and more. Comparing car insurance quotes from some of the most affordable companies in Iowa could help you save up to $525.

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A policy that meets the state minimum liability coverage requirement is the cheapest car insurance option in Iowa. A liability-only car insurance coverage only offers basic protection. Those looking for broader protection should consider getting higher levels of coverage.

The following insurance providers are the cheapest options for minimum coverage in Iowa:

  • USAA: $226 per year (only available to current and former military members)
  • GEICO: $232 per year

Allstate is the most expensive car insurance company in Iowa. The provider offers the most expensive rate for minimum coverage, costing $488 per year.

Average Cost for Minimun Liability Coverage
  • Company
    Annually
    Monthly
  • 1.
    $226
    $19
  • 2.
    $232
    $19
  • 3.
    $273
    $23
  • 4.
    Allied
    $300
    $25
  • 5.
    $320
    $27
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These prices are only average rates for the average driver in Iowa and should not be used as a guide for comparing auto insurance premiums.

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Iowa driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

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While a minimum coverage policy is the most affordable option in Iowa, it only includes bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. If you want to have coverage for damages to your own car or are thinking of increasing the amount of liability coverage, a full coverage policy may be better for you.

A full coverage policy with comprehensive and collision insurance is the best option if you are looking for insurance that covers most road and off-road accidents in Iowa. It costs more than the minimum coverage but has higher liability limits and includes expenses for damages to your own car. To get the most accurate policy at a fair price, compare quotes from different insurers.

Based on average rates in Iowa, the cheapest auto insurers for a full coverage policy are:

  • GEICO: $473 per year
  • USAA: $614 per year (only offered to former and current military members)

The most expensive car insurance company in Iowa for a full coverage policy is MetLife, which costs an average of $998 annually.

Average Comprehensive and Collision Rates in Iowa

Auto insurance companies in Iowa have different ways to calculate rates, so your premium will not match any of these examples. These rates are based on a comprehensive and collision insurance policy with $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $100,000 in property damage coverage per accident.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in Iowa for 2021

MoneyGeek evaluated car insurance companies and found the best options in Iowa for most drivers are:

  • Best Overall: Auto-Owners
  • Runner-up: GEICO

USAA received the highest score in Iowa by MoneyGeek's rating system. However, because USAA is only available to military members, veterans and their families, it is not listed as best overall.

To identify the best car insurance firms in Iowa, MoneyGeek assessed multiple factors, including cost, customer satisfaction, financial strength and claims experience. MoneyGeek determined a score for each criterion in part by analyzing information from J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Insurance Study and AM Best’s financial strength ratings, which are highly respected studies for insurance provider ratings and reviews. To arrive at the final rating score out of 100, MoneyGeek gave equal ranking to each study, along with affordability metrics.


1
USAA
Score:100

5/5

Affordability

5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

MoneyGeek ranked USAA as the best car insurance company overall as it has high ratings across all categories. However, only current and former military drivers in Iowa qualify for USAA policies.

More About USAA

USAA is consistently among the most affordable and best car insurance companies in most states, including Iowa. Additionally, it offers many discount opportunities for qualified policyholders. For instance, if you are an active military member garaging their vehicle on base, you can get a discount on your USAA policy.

Read MoneyGeek's USAA auto Insurance Review
2
AAA
Score:100
There are no ratings for this company
3
Auto-Owners Insurance Co
Score:98

5/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Auto-Owners Insurance Co garnered the second best overall score in Iowa. It has high ratings across categories and is the best option for Iowa drivers who are not current or former military members.

More About Auto-Owners Insurance Co

Auto-Owners Insurance Co policyholders have the option to add riders to their auto insurance. The company offers a package that may include optional coverages for identity theft, re-keying locks and replacing the policyholder’s cell phone. Additionally, customers also have access to the 24/7 Road Trouble Service that will help in case you are stranded due to a flat tire or dead battery.

Read MoneyGeek's Auto-Owners Insurance Co auto Insurance Review
4
GEICO
Score:93

5/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

5
Allstate
Score:85

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

6
Travelers
Score:85

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

7
Progressive
Score:85

4/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

8
State Farm
Score:80

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

9
American Family
Score:78

2/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

10
Safeco
Score:78

2/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

11
Liberty Mutual
Score:78

2/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

12
Farm Bureau Ins of MI
Score:75

2/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

13
Nationwide
Score:75

2/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

14
Farmers
Score:73

2/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A-

Financial Stability

While USAA scores highly in many areas, this provider is only available to military members, veterans and their families.

List of the Largest Insurance Companies in Iowa

The largest insurance providers by market share in Iowa are State Farm, Progressive and Nationwide. Market share is determined by dividing the total number of premiums written by an insurance company by the number of total premiums written in the state. Larger companies tend to have higher levels of financial stability, which means they can reimburse legitimate claims.

How to Compare Cheap Iowa Car Insurance Quotes Online

The cost of car insurance in Iowa depends on your needs. In most cases, Iowa drivers can get reasonably accurate quotes on the websites of auto insurance providers.

  • Make sure the quotes have the same coverage levels. For example, if you receive a quote from one company with $50,000 in bodily liability coverage per accident, quotes from other companies should have the same limit.
  • Drivers looking to compare quotes can enter their ZIP code below. You can also use MoneyGeek’s price data to choose the companies you would check out.
  • Based on average rates for the average driver, the most affordable options are USAA, GEICO and State Farm. You can begin your search for the best auto insurance in Iowa by getting quotes from these companies.
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What Is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Iowa?

MoneyGeek determined the average prices for 100/300/100 collision and comprehensive insurance for a 40-year-old male with a clean record driving a Toyota Camry. Your auto insurance costs may be higher or lower than these Iowa averages depending on your age, location, coverage level and driving history.

  • Average Driver: $778
  • DUI: $1,283
  • Speeding Ticket: $966
  • Poor Credit Score: $1,271
  • Seniors: $792
  • Students: $1,781

Severe driving violations in Iowa, including a DUI, will increase your auto insurance rates since insurers find it riskier to cover drivers with violations. The average cost of auto insurance for an average driver with a clean record in Iowa is $778 per year, while the average annual rate for drivers with a DUI is $1,283.

The cheapest options for Iowa drivers with a DUI and full coverage policy are:

  • State Farm: $671 per year
  • American Family: $754 per year

Although GEICO and USAA are the cheapest insurers for drivers without a DUI, State Farm and American Family are the most affordable options for Iowa drivers with a DUI.

Average Car Insurance Rates With a DUI

From 2009-2018, 916 people in Iowa have been killed in accidents involving alcohol. In data collected and published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.0% of residents admitted to driving after drinking too much within the last 30 days compared to the national average of 1.7%. Getting a DUI can have a huge impact on a person’s life, with possible jail time, fines and it can mean no longer being eligible for the cheap car insurance rates.

Getting the best price for auto insurance in Iowa with a DUI can be hard, but it’s not impossible. A DUI can impact rates for as long as it stays on your driving record. Preventing future DUIs can help you maintain the most affordable rates.

Minor driving violations like speeding tickets can raise the auto insurance rate of an Iowa driver. The average cost for a driver with a ticket in the state is $966, which is $188 more than the average rate for drivers with a clean record.

For Iowa drivers with a speeding ticket on their record, the cheapest full coverage auto insurance options are:

  • GEICO: $493 per year
  • State Farm: $671 per year

State Farm offers lower auto insurance rates for Iowa drivers with speeding tickets than USAA, which is the second most affordable insurer for drivers with a clean record.

Average Car Insurance Rates With a Ticket

Distracted driving is a common issue in all states and includes texting or talking on a cell phone, having a conversation with passengers or eating while driving. Getting a ticket for speeding or distracted driving can mean you’re no longer eligible for cheap car insurance in Iowa.

A ticket may mean you can’t get the best rates, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get affordable car insurance in Iowa. Any ticket you get can raise your rates for as long as the ticket stays on your driving record. Distracted driving can have a lifelong impact on yourself and others. Avoiding distractions and maintain safe habits can help save you money on tickets, car insurance and more.

Having low credit scores in Iowa leads to higher insurance rates compared to the premiums of drivers with great credit scores. The average cost of car insurance for Iowa drivers with good credit is $778. Having a poor credit score increases the average annual rate to $1,271.

The cheapest car insurance companies for Iowa drivers with bad credit are:

  • GEICO: $653 per year
  • Allied: $922 per year

While USAA is the second cheapest company for a driver with a good credit score in Iowa, Allied has lower rates for those with bad credit.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Drivers With Bad Credit

Car insurance companies in many states consider credit scores when providing quotes. Iowa is no different. According to Credit Karma, payment history, total debt and length of credit history are the top three criteria used to determine your auto insurance credit score. The average credit score in Iowa is 720, according to Experian, which is higher than the national average of 703. This rate means for most Iowans, getting cheap auto insurance quotes should be easier than in other states.

Drivers with bad credit may not qualify for the cheapest auto insurance rates in Iowa. Improving your credit score can help you get the most affordable car insurance rates with the best coverage.

Senior drivers in Iowa tend to have more expensive auto insurance premiums than young adults and middle-aged drivers. The average cost of auto insurance for senior drivers in Iowa is $792, which is $14 more than the average annual rate for a 40-year-old driver.

The cheapest options in Iowa for senior drivers are:

  • GEICO: $489 per year
  • State Farm: $594 per year

State Farm has a lower average cost for senior drivers in Iowa with full coverage compared to USAA, which is the second cheapest company for a 40-year-old driver.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Seniors

15.3% of the drivers involved in fatal Iowa car crashes in 2017 were people ages 65 and older. Seniors are considered a riskier age group than middle-aged drivers and may see their insurance rates increase over time. In Iowa, the standard driver’s license renewal is eight years. Once you turn 66, it reduces to seven and then lowers annually to two years for every year older you get. Seniors looking for auto insurance in Iowa can expect to pay the following rates.

Due to age, seniors can have reduced reaction time and a higher likelihood of being involved in collisions. Seniors with safe driving records may be able to find special rates on car insurance in Iowa.

Auto insurance carriers in Iowa tend to charge inexperienced student drivers more for coverage. The average cost of auto insurance for a student driver with full coverage in Iowa is $1,781 per year. That is more than double the average annual rate of $778 for a 40-year-old male.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Iowa for student drivers with full coverage are:

  • GEICO: $1,118 per year
  • Progressive: $1,515 per year

Although USAA is the second most affordable company for the average driver who is 40 years old, Progressive has a lower average rate for student drivers with full coverage insurance.

Average Car Insurance Rates for Students

Iowa teenagers can get their learner's permit as early as the age of 14, which advocacy groups like the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety say is too young — even with a licensed driver in the car. With very young teenagers on the road, family premiums increase. Parents will have to take their young drivers' safety into their own hands. Practicing with them, sharing car responsibilities and creating a parent-teen agreement are great ways to keep your teens in good standing and safe.

There are some ways to keep rates low and qualify for cheap car insurance for young drivers in Iowa: maintain good grades, drive the safest car in the household and keep college students on the family policy (unless the car is in their name). Students who go to college more than 100 miles away from home and don’t take a car may qualify for the best rates on a family plan.

The above chart shows what families in Iowa can expect to pay when looking to add a young driver to their policy.

Insurance Rate Information for Military Drivers and Veterans

Most auto insurance companies offer discounts to the hundreds of active-duty military personnel living in Iowa and to the state’s retired veterans. Decide how much coverage you need, possibly greater than the state-required minimum, and then shop around to compare car insurance prices.

You'll need to show proof of insurance before the Iowa DMV will sell plates and register the vehicle. Iowa military residents must register their vehicles like any other citizen, while temporary military families can maintain their registration in their home state, so long as it's up-to-date. Military personnel and veterans can expect to pay the following for auto insurance in Iowa.

Average Rates for Iowa service members

male
25 years$1,136
50 years$860
female
25 years$1,030
50 years$869

Car Insurance in Iowa: What You Need to Know

The Iowa Code states that all cars on the road must be registered and insured. Always check with your local DMV for answers to specific questions about unused or inoperable vehicles.

Proof of Insurance in Iowa

While driving, you'll have to carry a paper version of your insurance card or an electronic version on a smartphone. This proof must include the following information:

  • The driver's name
  • The vehicle identification number
  • Dates for which the policy applies
  • Contact information for the insurer

You must show proof of insurance if you are in an accident or if an officer asks for it.

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements in Iowa

Iowa, like most states, requires drivers to carry insurance to protect other drivers and their passengers. The minimum liability requirements for auto insurance are:

  • $20,000 for injuries to one person
  • $40,000 for injuries per crash
  • $15,000 for property damage

Alternatives to Insurance in Iowa

If you don't want to buy regular insurance, you'll have to find another way to prove that you can pay up to $55,000 to cover injuries and property damage from a crash. You can do so by buying a bond or making a security deposit. If you own a fleet of cars, you can apply for self-insurance.

Drivers with alternative forms of insurance should know that they don't offer great protection. On the contrary, at-fault drivers will still find themselves paying out in the case of a collision. If you have a bond with a lien against your property, you run the risk of losing that property to pay off another driver's medical bills.

How Much Coverage Do You Need in Iowa?

Although Iowa only requires basic liability coverage, drivers can benefit by getting a plan with more coverage. Here are three things they should consider.

First, a three-day hospital stay costs $30,000 on average, according to statistics from the federal government. One can see how a catastrophic accident — including hospitalization, rehabilitation and medication — could quickly add up. That's why industry experts recommend purchasing a policy with $100,000/$300,000 limits for bodily injury liability.

Second, Iowa is prone to flooding due to its location between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. You may want comprehensive coverage to protect your cars from flood damage. Collision coverage will also help in the case of damage caused by other vehicles, including those driven by uninsured drivers.

Finally, insurers automatically sign consumers up for policies to protect them from uninsured/underinsured drivers. You can sign a form to opt-out, but you might want to keep this coverage. Nearly 9% of drivers on Iowa's roadways lack insurance and many of those who do have insurance only purchase the minimum. This means they likely wouldn't be able to cover the full costs of a serious crash.

Average Insurance Rate by City in Iowa

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FAQs About Car Insurance in Iowa

Iowa drivers should consider various factors when looking for auto insurance. The most common questions that drivers are concerned about are those related to the price and which companies are the best.

Expert Advice on Finding Affordable Car Insurance in Iowa

  1. What are the key factors drivers in Iowa should look for when searching for the best auto insurance coverage?
  2. What steps can drivers in Iowa take to find affordable car insurance?
Steve Yerkes
Steve Yerkes

Faculty Instructor and Certified Financial Planner, University of Northern Iowa

Dr. Fan Fei
Dr. Fan Fei

Assistant Professor of Business at Northwestern College

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About the Author


expert-profile

Mandy Sleight is a professional freelance writer and licensed insurance agent. She has her property, casualty, life, and health licenses and has been working in the industry since 2005. Mandy has worked for well-known insurance companies like State Farm and Nationwide Insurance, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator for a start-up employee benefits company.

Mandy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Baltimore and her Master in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She uses her vast knowledge of the insurance industry and personal finance combined with her writing background to create easy-to-understand and engaging content to help readers make smarter choices with their budget and finances.


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