Iowa Car Insurance Laws

Learn how much property and bodily liability insurance is required to operate a motorized vehicle in Iowa. Discover if you have proper coverage and if not what the penalties and fines are for continuing to drive without the minimum insurance coverage ...     read more

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Department of Insurance Contact Information

Iowa auto insurance Div.
330 Maple St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

Consumer Hotline

1-515-281-5705 or
Toll Free: 1-877-955-1212

State Department Website

File Complaint Website

State Regulation

You are required to show proof of financial responsibility: In Iowa, you don't necessarily need auto insurance, although it's strongly recommended that you do. If you're in an accident in which more than $1,000 of damage is caused " which isn't very difficult to reach at all (e.g., fender bender, broken-off side mirror, etc.) " you are required to show that you're financially capable of covering the costs of the accident.

Meeting the financial responsibility burden means you have auto insurance, you have cash available, you have a written waiver from driver's involved, a court relieved you of your responsibility, or have a plan to pay for the damage in an installment plan.

Experts agree that auto insurance is the smartest way to retain financial responsibility. By having complete coverage, you're protected in the event of a serious accident. Otherwise, you could be responsible for paying for several people's physical injuries, as well as property damage. This amount could run past hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In some cases, proof of financial responsibility isn't required. These instances include if your vehicle was operated without your permission, the accident occurred while your car was legally stopped, or when no property or persons other than yourself is damaged or injured.

The easiest way to provide proof of responsibility is with an insurance card, which your carrier will provide you. Carry your card in your vehicle's glove box at all times.

Insurance is NOT required on:

Off-highway vehicles

Non-registered nonoperational vehicles


If you fail to show financial responsibility, you could face loss of your vehicle's registration, confiscation of license plate and suspension of your license.

To reinstate your license, you would have to provide proof of financial responsibility by obtaining $55,000 worth of liability coverage. You may also send $55,000 to the Office of Driver Services by posting securities, such as cashier's check, certified check, cash, or surety bond. This filing must be maintained for two years

Requirements Regarding Proof of Insurance: Proof Required - If Involved In An Accident, If Stopped By Authorities When Driving

Penalties For Not Carrying Mandatory Insurance: Confiscation of license plate

Min Coverage:

$20,000 for injury/death to one person

$40,000 for injury to more than one person

$15,000 for damage to property

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