Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Idaho?
Yes, it is. Insurance companies calculate your insurance score—a number they use in determining your premium—based on a variety of personal factors. Your credit score, which is believed to provide insight into the odds of your filing a claim—is one such factor.
Does Idaho offer a good-driver discount?
Carriers obviously appreciate customers with a low risk of filing a claim, so good drivers with clean records frequently have opportunities to save through insurance discounts. Other discounts commonly offered by Idaho auto insurance companies include:
- Full Pay
- Multiple Car
- Multiple Policy
- Good Student
- Resident Student
- Accident Free
- Vehicle Safety
- Anti-Lock Brake
- Anti-Theft Device
- Home Ownership
- New Car
- Passive Restraint
- Utility Discount
Does Idaho allow the use of digital insurance cards?
Not only is it allowed, but Idaho started the trend! Back in March of 2012, Idaho became the first state in the country to enact legislation allowing its resident drivers to show electronic proof of coverage.
What happens if my coverage lapses?
Under Idaho law, all registered vehicles must have financial accountability with the legally mandated minimum coverage at all times. First-time offense penalties in Idaho are fairly lenient compared to those in many other states, but driving without insurance puts you and other motorists at risk and should never occur.
The first time you drive without insurance, your license will be suspended until you can show proof of coverage and pay a reinstatement fee. Also, you’ll face fines of up to about $130. Fines may increase as much as tenfold on your second infraction, though, and you may also be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail (or face less jail time and additional fines).
What are Idaho’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?
It’s illegal to drive in Idaho at the following BAC percentages:
.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old
Idaho enforces stricter penalties for drivers registering a BAC of 0.20% or higher. In such situations, the penalties are increased to match what they would be if the driver had an additional prior offense within the last 10 years (i.e., a first-time offender would face second-time offender penalties, and a second-time offender would face third-time offender penalties). Learn more about DUI consequences two questions down.
What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Idaho?
In Idaho, you aren’t allowed to refuse a breath, urine, or blood test requested by a law enforcement officer who suspects you of a DUI. Officers may also require additional drug testing if you are believed to be impaired by any substance. Refusing a test results in revocation and a 1-year suspension of your driver’s license and a $250 civil penalty.
What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?
More than 10,000 drivers are arrested for DUI in Idaho annually. The first offense is a misdemeanor violation that can carry up to a 6-month jail sentence, up to $1,000 in fines, and a 90 to 180-day license suspension.
A second offense within 10 years is also a misdemeanor. There’s a minimum of 10 days in jail, but the sentence may go up to 1 year depending on the circumstances. Your license will be suspended for 1 year, not starting until you’re released from jail, and fines may reach up to $2,000. You’ll also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed at your own expense.
A third offense within 10 years, which is a felony, carries a minimum of 30 days and up to 5 years in jail. Fines may reach up to $5,000 and installation of an ignition interlock device is mandatory. Your license will be suspended for at least 1 year, and possibly up to 5 years, beginning at the time of your release from jail.
Does Idaho offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?
Some car insurance carriers offering coverage in Idaho reward drivers who complete a state-approved defensive driving course with a discount. Ask your representative if such an incentive is available. Check with your county to locate an approved course in your area (or one that’s available online).
Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Idaho car insurance?
We’ve already covered a variety of discounts and incentives above that can reduce your premium, so be sure to ask your carrier which ones you qualify for. Also, you can cut the cost of your coverage by skipping the monthly installments and paying upfront. Another effective strategy is to opt for a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium. Don’t forget that your credit score and driving record matter when it comes to your car insurance costs, so be careful with them. Finally, when you’re looking for a new policy, be smart and shop around for the lowest rates on coverage that’s just right for you.