top of page
  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Iowa?

It is mandatory for all car owners in Iowa to own and carry insurance for their vehicles. Auto insurance protects the driver’s legal and financial liabilities in case of an accident. Without insurance, the driver may face serious consequences like heavy fines and license suspension.

Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Iowa?

Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver in Iowa?

Auto insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver in Iowa. This means that the insurance will be the main source of reimbursement regardless of who was driving the automobile in case of an accident. Car insurance in Iowa covers personal injury liability, bodily injury liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. In the event you were injured, a vehicle accident attorney in Des Moines can assist.

The standard car insurance policies include the car. However, the insurer may add additional coverage for the owner of the car who drives it. The name of the driver must be included in the insurance for protection against legal and financial liability.

If someone borrows the car owner’s car, and they get into an accident in Iowa, the owner’s bodily injury liability insurance will cover their medical bills as well as those of the other driver and their passengers. That's because Iowa is not a no-fault state. The property damage liability insurance will also cover the cost if the other driver's car is damaged.

When the lender’s policy does not cover the entire cost of the damage caused by the borrower, the liability policy of the borrower will serve as supplemental coverage.

Car Insurance Laws in Iowa

Drivers in Iowa are required to have minimum insurance coverage, which is abbreviated as 20/40/15 and includes personal liability coverage. The following are the policy limits needed in Iowa:

  • $20,000 for each person's bodily harm liability coverage

  • $40,000 for each accident's bodily injury liability coverage

  • $15,000 for each accident's property damage liability coverage

Along with this, drivers must also carry uninsured/underinsured ($20,000/$40,000) motorist coverage according to Iowa car insurance rules. However, this insurance can be declined in writing.

Iowa Liability Insurance

Iowa’s car insurance requirements simply include personal liability insurance. It's important to understand that a basic coverage car insurance policy does not protect the car and does not cover a person’s medical bills if someone is hurt in an accident that the insurance holder caused.

Insurance experts suggest that most drivers get more insurance than is necessary. Minimal coverage insurance does not ensure that all financial and legal obligations in an accident are met. If the other motorist sues the driver, the personal assets could be put at risk, in addition to paying the difference out of pocket. Here's a helpful guide on what constitutes a reportable accident in Iowa.

There are several additional coverage options that people can consider for more protection. Some of the beneficial endorsements include:

Penalties for Driving in Iowa Without Car Insurance

According to Iowa's rules, driving without insurance is legally prohibited. The officer can issue a warning or a ticket if the police stop a car driver who cannot produce any evidence of owning car insurance. In any case, the driver has two days to show documentation of the most recent insurance policy.

If the driver does not have any insurance at all, the officer can take the license plates off the car, cancel the registration, and seize the car in serious cases.

Drivers who commit two or more offenses risk having their license suspended and will be subject to a fine of up to $250. They must pay SR-22 insurance to get their licenses back.

Does a DUI or OWI Impact Car Insurance Premiums in Iowa?

Following a DUI or OWI conviction in Iowa, the insurance rates may generally increase by 85%, which is just a little less than the national average rate increase after a DUI of 87%.

The truth is that most insurance companies will view the person with a DUI or OWI as a high-risk driver; hence, the premium rise is justified. A person should always compare prices from various sympathetic Iowa insurance companies.


It is always risky to lend someone a car because the owner might file an insurance claim because of the lender’s fault. In most circumstances, when someone borrows a car, they also borrow the insurance policy. It is best to seek professional advice from Tom Fowler Law in such circumstances for fair judgment.

93 views0 comments


bottom of page