When it comes to getting cheap car insurance in Iowa, shopping around is key. Even though Iowa’s rates are relatively affordable compared with national averages, prices for a single policy can still differ by hundreds of dollars a year, depending on the company. It pays to compare as many estimates as possible.
NerdWallet has done much of the heavy lifting already. We researched rates from the eight largest insurance companies in the state and found the three cheapest options for a variety of driver types.
Below you’ll find the best deals for:
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» FIND YOUR MATCH: Who’s the cheapest carrier for you?
Cheapest for good drivers
For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations.
The average for good drivers among the three cheapest large companies in Iowa was $749 a year. American Family and Nationwide tied for the lowest rate in our study, with Farm Bureau nearly $100 a year more. Drivers with clean records should have discounts available to cut costs even more, such as a discount for going without an accident for a long period of time.
Cheapest for young drivers
For drivers in their early 20s.
Drivers in their early 20s can typically get by with less car insurance than older drivers and can find pretty cheap car insurance in Iowa. This category had the smallest price range of any we analyzed — only about a $400 difference between the lowest and highest rates. It’s hard to go wrong choosing from any of the three cheapest companies above; all had rates of $33 a month or less.
Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault accident
In our analysis, causing an accident added about $250 a year to a driver’s lowest available rate, with State Farm having the cheapest price by a wide margin. Even Iowans with spotty records would do particularly well to shop around.
Cheapest for drivers with poor credit
For drivers placed in the lowest credit tier as determined by the industry.
Frustrating as it may be, having poor credit can mean paying more for Iowa car insurance. Our research found that the lowest average rate for drivers in this category was $264 higher than the best deal for drivers of the same age with good credit. Nationwide was the most affordable choice. Insurance from Wadena, based in the Des Moines area, rounded out the cheapest three companies and makes a good choice for those who want a smaller, regional insurer.
Cheapest for retired drivers
For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting.
A big reason retired drivers can find cheap car insurance in Iowa is that they typically use their vehicles less than drivers who regularly commute, so they have lower mileage and less chance for accidents. All three of the cheapest companies for retirees in Iowa had rates lower than the lowest prices we found for good drivers.
Minimum car insurance requirements in Iowa
Iowa drivers must carry liability insurance with the following minimum limits:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $40,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 property damage liability per accident
If you’re ever found at fault in a crash, liability insurance kicks in to help cover others’ property damage and injury bills. Since any damage that exceeds your insurance limits will have to come out of your own pocket, it’s usually wise to purchase more than the legally required minimum. You may also want to consider common optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist insurance.
To learn more about coverage options for your Iowa plan, visit NerdWallet’s state-by-state guide to state car insurance requirements.
Alternative car insurance in Iowa
Drivers who are denied car insurance because of a spotty driving record or other reasons can get coverage through the Iowa Automobile Insurance Plan.
NerdWallet is here to help Iowans find the insurance that’s right for them. Our car insurance comparison tool offers a view of side-by-side rates.
Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance in Iowa, by category:
Cheapest car insurance in Iowa
|Good drivers||American Family, Nationwide (tie)|
|Drivers with one at-fault crash||State Farm|
|Drivers with poor credit||Nationwide|
|Retired drivers||Farm Bureau|
For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
- $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
- Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
- Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible
We used a 2013 Toyota Camry in all cases. Our sample retired driver was age 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups. Our sample young driver was age 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.