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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Iowa for 2019

Jan. 2, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

Cheapest for good drivers

American Family had the cheapest rates we saw for good drivers in Iowa with good credit, at $71 per month, on average. State Farm and Iowa Farm Bureau followed closely in second and third, respectively.

InsurerAverage price
*Iowa Farm Bureau is not rated because there is not enough data to evaluate it against larger companies.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$857/year

$71/month
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$862/year

$72/month

NerdWallet Rating: *Not rated

$871/year

$73/month
For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. With the exception of age, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including state-required coverage.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

IMT had the cheapest auto insurance rates we found for Iowans with spotty credit, at $107 per month, on average. Nationwide came in just $2 more per year, on average, and American Family was third-cheapest.

InsurerAverage price
*IMT is not rated because there is not enough data to evaluate it against larger companies.

NerdWallet Rating: *Not rated

$1,282/year

$107/month
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$1,284/year

$107/month
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$1,470/year

$123/month
Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent accident. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record, poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

American Family was the cheapest auto insurer we found for drivers with one at-fault accident, at $72 per month, on average. State Farm and Auto-Owners round out the cheapest three companies.

InsurerAverage price
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$864/year

$72/month
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$1,016/year

$85/month

4.5 NerdWallet rating

$1,205/year

$100/month
To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with one recent at-fault crash and the typical "full coverage" insurance. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

State Farm had the cheapest auto insurance quotes we found for drivers in Iowa who clock few annual miles, at $64 per month, on average. Iowa Farm Bureau and American Family complete the list.

InsurerAverage price
*Iowa Farm Bureau is not rated because there is not enough data to evaluate it against larger companies.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$771/year

$64/month

NerdWallet Rating: *Not rated

$795/year

$66/month
4.0 NerdWallet rating

$803/year

$67/month
Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Cheapest for minimum coverage

Auto-Owners was the cheapest company we found for minimum coverage car insurance in Iowa, at $19 per month, on average. IMT was only a couple bucks more per year, and Iowa Farm Bureau came in third.

InsurerAverage price
*IMT and Iowa Farm Bureau are not rated because there is not enough data to evaluate them against larger companies.

4.5 NerdWallet rating

$229/year

$19/month

NerdWallet Rating: *Not rated

$231/year

$19/month

NerdWallet Rating: *Not rated

$277/year

$23/month
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more.

Minimum required auto insurance 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 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

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversAmerican Family
Drivers with poor credit
IMT
Drivers with one at-fault crash
American Family
Low-mileage driversState Farm
Minimum coverageAuto-Owners
For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $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 the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.