While most people are eligible for driver's licenses, driving privileges can easily be taken away. Auto insurance is designed to minimize the risks that people take while being on the road. Most people understand the importance of having car insurance and buy it fairly willingly. In most stats, it's required by law. Iowa is a glaring exception. Indeed, there are no compulsory auto insurance laws on the books in the Hawkeye State. Still, that doesn't mean people can safely go without coverage. While shopping for insurance, drivers can save a lot of money by collecting quotes first. Even before doing that, though, they should learn more about the people with whom they will share the road.
Due to the fact that there aren't any auto insurance laws in Iowa, people are more inclined to go without coverage. However, insurance does more than help people obey the law in certain states. In fact, drivers are encouraged to buy policies with more extensive limits than what is normally required. In the event of an accident, a driver could easily end up owing thousands of dollars. With decent insurance, however, he won't have to worry about that.
Who Drives in Iowa?
For a state that has so many drivers, it's surprising that Iowa doesn't require people to maintain valid insurance. According to the United States Census Bureau, Iowa had an estimated population of 3,074,186 in 2012. TheFederal Highway Administration, which keeps track of driving-related statistics, reports that there were 2,191,715 licensed drivers in Iowa in November 2012, which means that 71.3 percent of the population can legally operate motor vehicles. 1,020,499 of those people, or 49.3 percent of all licensed drivers, were men; 1,111,216 of them, or 50.7 percent, were women. The FHA also notes that 716 out of every 1,000 residents is licensed to drive while 906 of every 1,000 people who are of driving age are licensed to drive.
Many factors are considered by insurance companies while determining auto insurance premiums. One really important example is age. Young drivers have a lot less driving experience than older drivers, so they tend to be riskier to insure. For that reason, they pay higher premiums. In Iowa in November 2012, there were 178,617 drivers aged 19 or under, which equals 8.1 percent of all licensed drivers. The largest group in terms of age consists of people between the ages of 50 and 54. There are 209,074 people in that group, and they make up 9.5 percent of all licensed drivers in Iowa.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Iowa
As mentioned a few previous times, there aren't any compulsory car insurance laws on the books in Iowa. What's confusing, however, is that drivers who are caught operating vehicles without insurance or proof of financial responsibility can be penalized. In Iowa, the basic auto insurance requirements are:
- At least $20,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $40,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $15,000 in property damage coverage
In other words, people who want to use liability insurance to maintain proof of financial responsibility need to make sure that their policies meet these minimum requirements.
There are other ways to show proof of financial responsibility in the Hawkeye State. Drivers can obtain legal releases from other parties in an accident to avoid being sued or owing money. They can also set up installment plans in the event that they are held liable and don't have the cash that's needed to pay the other driver's bills. Another option is for a driver to pay his share of the costs of an accident to the Office of Driver Services. None of these options is very practical for most people, which is why most people opt for liability insurance instead.
A driver who gets into an accident and can't provide proof of financial responsibility of any kind faces the suspension of his license and registration. Additional penalties may also be assessed, so it is best to collect auto insurance quotes and buy insurance before getting behind the wheel in Iowa.