How Much Is Iowa Car Insurance?

Ever wonder how much drivers in Iowa pay for car insurance? Check out the average price that most people pay and see if you can find a cheaper rate.

Get Quotes in Less Than 3 Minutes

Affordable Car Insurance in Iowa

Iowa is a land of classic Midwestern beauty, with rolling hills, expansive prairies, and plenty of agricultural land. It’s the only state in the country with its eastern and western borders formed completely by rivers; to the west, it’s the mighty Mississippi, and to the east, it’s the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers.

One of the big draws to the state is its relatively low cost of living. This extends to car insurance, as Iowa residents pay some of the lowest average rates in the nation. Of course, you don’t have to be satisfied with the first quote you get, even if it sounds pretty good. There are still considerable monthly savings to be had by comparison shopping for the lowest possible premiums on just the right level of coverage for your needs. SmartFinancial’s carrier-neutral information makes it fast and easy to compare quotes on our secure platform.

Cheapest Auto Insurance Rates in Iowa

Carriers look at multiple variables when determining your insurance rate. Your age, location, driving history, and state requirements are all factors in determining the price you pay. We used our in-house reporting to determine the companies that offer the cheapest car insurance rates in Iowa. USAA came in with the lowest rate currently available in Iowa at $63.42 per month. Followed by Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group) at $68.83 per month and Hastings Mutual Insurance Co at $77.33 per month.

Lowest Rate


Highest Rate

Dairyland Auto

Average Rate


RankCompanyAvg monthly rate
1 USAA $63.42 / month
2 Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group) $68.83 / month
3 Hastings Mutual Insurance Co $77.33 / month
4 Pekin Insurance $79.33 / month
5 IMT Insurance Company $90.50 / month
6 State Farm $91.58 / month
7 Nationwide $95.92 / month
8 Auto-Owners Insurance Co $100.00 / month
9 Partners Mutual Insurance Co $105.92 / month
10 Allied $107.42 / month
11 Travelers $113.33 / month
12 American Family $114.67 / month
13 Donegal Mutual Insurance Co $125.00 / month
14 Cameron Mutual Group $135.67 / month
15 Western National $139.33 / month
16 Grinnell Mutual $144.50 / month
17 Allstate $147.58 / month
18 Farmers $151.00 / month
19 Metropolitan $158.17 / month
20 Liberty Mutual $219.97 / month
21 Dairyland Auto $224.75 / month

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Car Insurance

If you are lucky enough to live in one of these cities you are likely paying some of the lowest car insurance rates available in Iowa. According to our data, Maquoketa comes in at the cheapest at only $68.96 per month. Other cities that made the top 10 list include Fairfield at $71.05 per month, Burlington at $75.71 per month, and Keokuk at $77.00 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Maquoketa, IA$68.96 / month
2 Fairfield, IA$71.05 / month
3 Burlington, IA$75.71 / month
4 Keokuk, IA$77.00 / month
5 Fort Dodge, IA$78.41 / month
6 Storm Lake, IA$79.61 / month
7 Clinton, IA$80.35 / month
8 Mason City, IA$81.02 / month
9 Spencer, IA$81.11 / month
10 Indianola, IA$81.90 / month

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Car Insurance

These top 10 cities ranked as the most expensive places in Iowa for car insurance. Location is a big factor when determining the price you pay for car insurance and these cities came in at the top. Waukee is the most expensive city in Iowa at $105.75 per month. Second and third place goes to Altoona at $103.19 per month and Council Bluffs at $100.44 per month.

RankCityAvg monthly rate
1 Waukee , IA $105.75 / month
2 Altoona , IA $103.19 / month
3 Council Bluffs , IA $100.44 / month
4 Norwalk , IA $99.59 / month
5 Davenport , IA $95.92 / month
6 Johnston , IA $95.23 / month
7 Oskaloosa , IA $95.02 / month
8 Des Moines , IA $94.88 / month
9 Denison , IA $94.48 / month
10 Dubuque , IA $92.83 / month

Average Quotes by Top Companies

Rates can vary wildly from company to company. Here is a quick look at a few rates from some of the top car insurance companies in Iowa.

Compare Recent Car Insurance Quotes in Iowa

SmartFinancial helps thousands of drivers every day find and compare the best car insurance rates available. Here is a list of some recent quotes that we recently found for drivers in Iowa.

CompanyMonthly rateVehicle
Mercury $1532020 Subaru Impreza
Foremost Auto $1442020 Subaru Impreza
Dairyland $1522020 Subaru Impreza
Liberty Mutual $1682020 Subaru Impreza
ClearCover $692016 Kia Forte
Dairyland $862013 GMC Terrain
Foremost Auto $1062002 Chevrolet Blazer
Mercury $742017 Nissan Sentra
ClearCover $1652018 Chevrolet Malibu
Liberty Mutual $1932018 Ford Fusion
Infinity $1492018 Ford Fusion
Safe Auto $1522018 Ford Fusion


The statistics listed on this page are from our own in house reporting. We track and record quotes that carriers have provided based on various criteria. The rates and averages shown on this page should only be used as an estimate.

Minimum Car Insurance Coverage in Iowa

As noted above, Iowa does not require that drivers have auto insurance coverage. But if they don’t carry it, they must show the financial means to pay for injuries or damage they cause in a traffic crash. This is addressed by the Financial Safety and Responsibility Act under Iowa Code 321A.

The vast majority of Iowa motorists simply opt to carry the minimum required coverage. This includes $20,000 bodily injury coverage per person, $40,000 bodily injury to more than one person per accident, and $15,000 property damage coverage per accident.

If you choose not to carry car insurance, you can demonstrate financial responsibility by filing a surety bond, cash, or securities equal to $55,000 with the state treasury. You may also drive a vehicle covered under a certificate of self-insurance from the Office of Driver Services.

In Iowa, you’re also automatically provided with uninsured motorist coverage in the minimum amounts of $20,000 bodily injury per person and $40,000 per accident. You have the right to waive this coverage by submitting a written letter of refusal to your carrier, though. This is a fairly common approach to this type of coverage in the US.


Bodily injury coverage per person

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to a single person


Bodily injury coverage per accident

Maximum payment for serious or permanent injury or death to multiple people


Property damage per accident

Maximum payment for all damaged property in an accident caused by you

Minimum car insurance coverage gets you by, but it doesn’t necessarily spare you from the many potential out-of-pocket expenses associated with accidents under different circumstances. Check out the types of optional coverage listed below. They can save you a great deal of money in the future, so they are often a worthwhile investment.

Optional Coverage in Iowa

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Gap Coverage
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Custom Equipment
  • New Car Replacement
  • Loss of Use
  • Medical Benefits
  • Travel Expenses
  • Rental Car

Some exclusions will apply, but Iowa motorists can select from these and other optional coverages, depending on what their carrier offers. While add-ons increase your premium, they provide peace of mind and greater financial protection than you get from just the legal minimum coverage. Also, collision and comprehensive coverage are generally required by lenders if you finance your vehicle.

Iowa Car Safety

The law’s a little different in Iowa than in other states; you don’t legally have to carry car insurance. However, if you don’t buy at least the minimum required coverage, you still have to demonstrate financial responsibility—the means to cover damage or injuries you cause in an accident. There are a few ways to do this, which we detail below in the section called Car Insurance Laws.

Iowa saw a significant spike in traffic fatalities in 2016 over the previous year. Major factors contributing to crash-related deaths in the state include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and driving along the state’s many rural roadways, where speed limits are higher, lighting is lower, and distances for emergency response vehicles to travel are longer.

Car Safety for Iowa Kids

The Iowa child restraint law outlines how to safely transport children in a vehicle. It states that children under 1 year old and weighing less than 20 pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat. From 1 to 6 years of age, and once the child weighs more than 20 pounds, an appropriately rated forward-facing car seat or booster seat should be used. From ages 6 to 18, all children must be secured in either an appropriately rated booster seat or the vehicle’s own restraint system.

Adhere to all manufacturer instructions about properly securing a child in a car or booster seat and weight/height limits for safe use. Children are always safer in the back seat in the event of an accident, including because they are at risk of injury from airbag deployment.

Failing to properly secure a child is probable cause to be stopped by a law enforcement officer in Iowa.  Violation of the state’s restraint laws may result in about $200 in fines. If the child is under the age of 14, the driver will receive a citation as well.

Fewer than half of US states currently have laws enacted specifically addressing leaving a child unattended in a vehicle; Iowa still doesn’t. But it’s still a serious and dangerous situation, as children suffer grave and permanent injuries and even die when left alone in a hot vehicle. The same happens frequently to pets, incidentally.

The inside of a car, truck, or SUV heats up quite quickly on a hot, warm, or even temperate day (the latter if parked in direct sunlight). Iowa does have two sets of laws that could be applied if authorities choose to prosecute a parent, guardian, or caregiver who leaves a child unsupervised in a vehicle; this would be most likely in the event of injury or death. These include Iowa’s child neglect laws and child endangerment laws.

Please don’t leave a kid (or pet) unattended in a vehicle, not even for a brief time. Even without weather-related risks, children can hurt themselves or be targeted by strangers if they’re alone.


Number of traffic fatalities in 2016


Number of 2016 fatalities who were motorcyclists


Increase in crash fatalities since 2015

Driving Green in Iowa

Unfortunately, Iowa doesn’t yet offer the same eco-friendly driving incentives found in many other states. That’s not to say there are no opportunities for environmentally conscious drivers to save a little money, though. Here are a few places besides the state itself to look:


Green Driver Auto Insurance Discounts

Lots of car insurance companies serving Iowa residents offer premium discounts if you drive one of many qualifying alternative fuel, hybrid, or economy vehicles. Also, going green by keeping your mileage down also means decreased risk of an accident, so plenty of carriers extend low-mileage discounts. Ask a representative from your insurance provider if you’re eligible for any such savings.


Federal Tax Credits for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

All-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles purchased during or after 2010 qualify for a federal tax credit from the IRS. These credits go up to $7,500, depending on the battery capacity. While many states offer similar incentives, Iowa does not.  Learn more and see how much of a tax credit your auto qualifies for at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy website.


What About Emissions Testing Exemptions?

Many states waive emissions testing at vehicle registration and registration renewal for certain classes of eco-friendly vehicles. However, if you’re a new driver, you may not be aware yet that Iowa is one of the states in the minority to not require any emissions testing.

Iowa Car Insurance FAQ

Is my credit score a factor when obtaining car insurance in Iowa?

It sure is. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on your score, obviously. Auto insurance companies associate a low credit score with an increased likelihood of filing a claim. Low scores mean higher premiums, and high scores mean lower rates.

Does Iowa offer a good-driver discount?

A clean driving record makes you a desirable insurance customer. That’s why so many carriers offer good-driver discounts, which also incentivize customers to be more careful on the road. It’s win-win for consumers and insurance companies. Ask your carrier if they offer this discount, as well as any of the following possibilities that might apply to you:

  • Accident-Free
  • Claims-Free
  • Teen Driver
  • Multi-Car
  • Distant Student
  • Alternative Fuel
  • Homeowner
  • Defensive Driver
  • Good Student
  • Anti-Lock Brake
  • Anti-Theft Device
  • Multiple Line
  • Passive Restraint
  • Vehicle Safety

Does Iowa allow the use of digital insurance cards?

Yes, it does. Iowa motorists are no longer forced to rummage through their overstuffed glove compartments, searching for their printed proof of coverage under the impatient stare of a police officer. Simply request an official digital proof of coverage from your carrier (almost all of them provided these now), and you can show it on your electronic mobile device.

Note that if you’ve opted not to buy car insurance and instead have otherwise demonstrated financial responsibility, you must have official documentation of having filed a bond with the state (or of whichever other method applies).

What happens if my coverage lapses?

Failing to continuously carry car insurance or otherwise demonstrate financial responsibility puts you at risk of penalties. You may face a $250 fine or compulsory community service, and your tag and registration receipt will be removed or your vehicle impounded. Proof of insurance is required for reinstatement of your driving privileges, which also comes with associated fees. Penalties are more severe if you’re caught without coverage in an accident.

What are Iowa's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentage limits under the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It’s illegal to drive in Iowa at the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ at 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.02%+ at under 21 years old

Iowa law enforcement aggressively monitors for OWI, or operating while intoxicated or drugged. The laws don’t only apply to alcohol-related impairment; it’s also illegal to operate a vehicle when you’re impaired by any controlled substance, legal or illegal. There are more than 9,000 OWI arrests annually in Iowa.

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Iowa?

Like most states, Iowa has an “implied consent law,” which means that anyone driving in the state—nonresidents included—has agreed to take a breath, urine, or blood test when requested by a law enforcement officer who suspects them of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Refusing the test results in a 1 to 2-year revocation of their driver’s license (the duration depending on the individual’s prior record), a mandated course on driving under the influence, and substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment.

What are the consequences of being convicted of a DUI?

If you’re found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the consequences depend on a variety of factors. For example, your number of prior offenses within the past 12 years, whether or not you caused an accident, what your BAC percentage was, and whether you’re of legal drinking age (21) affect the penalties.

First-time offenders may face a temporarily revoked or restricted license, a 48-hour jail sentence, installation of an ignition interlock device, a compulsory drunk driving education class, substance abuse evaluation and/or treatment, and possibly other penalties.

Does Iowa offer driver improvement courses to reduce my insurance premium?

Residents who voluntarily complete a course offered through Iowa’s Driver Improvement Program (DIP) may be rewarded by their carrier with lower car insurance rates. Check with your auto insurance provider and, if such a discount is available to you, find a state-approved course (online or in-person) through your local DMV or your county.

Is there any way I can reduce the cost of my Iowa car insurance?

Over the course of this page, we’ve covered a variety of potential discounts on auto insurance in Iowa. Remember those green driving incentives, good-driver discounts, defensive driving course completion, and others listed; ask your representative what’s available. Also, for the long run, work to raise your credit score and keep it high, as this is an important factor in calculating your rates. Pay upfront rather than monthly and you’ll get a better deal too, and take on a higher deductible in exchange for a lower premium. And, most importantly, when shopping for a new policy, make sure you compare quotes to find the lowest on the right coverage for you.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Iowa?

Uninsured motorist coverage (and the similar underinsured motorist coverage) protects you in the event of an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance. In Iowa, 1 in 10 drivers don’t have auto insurance. Drivers in Iowa are automatically provided with this type of coverage in the amounts of $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident when they purchase a policy. However, they may turn down this coverage in writing if they prefer to go without it.

Compare Car Insurance Rates in Iowa for Free

Answer a few questions and let Penny find the best rates in your area.