What Is Broad Form Insurance?

secure Editorial Standards

SmartFinancial Offers Unbiased, Fact-based Information. Our fact-checked articles are intended to educate insurance shoppers so they can make the right buying decisions. Learn More

Broad form insurance is a limited type of car insurance that only provides liability coverage for a single driver. You may want to consider broad form car insurance if you don’t have any dependents and are looking for cheap auto coverage that meets your state’s minimum requirements.

Read below to see where and how you can get broad form car insurance and whether it would be an appropriate policy for your circumstances.

Key Takeaways

  • Broad form insurance is a type of liability-only policy that provides coverage only for the policyholder.
  • This type of policy covers you regardless of what car you drive, but doesn’t cover another person who drives your car.
  • Broad form auto insurance is available in 11 states and can meet the minimum coverage requirements in eight of those states.
  • The liability coverage included in broad form car insurance covers someone else’s medical expenses or repair bills after an accident you were responsible for.
  • Since it doesn’t cover your own medical expenses or repair bills, broad form insurance generally costs 20% to 50% less than full coverage.

What Is Broad Form Insurance?

Broad form car insurance, also known as broad form named operator coverage, is a type of auto coverage that exclusively provides liability insurance for a single driver. While most car insurance policies follow the car and not the driver, broad form insurance follows the driver rather than the car.

For example, a broad form insurance policy will not provide coverage for a friend who gets into an accident while driving your vehicle. However, it will cover you if you get into an accident while driving your friend’s vehicle.

Where Is Broad Form Coverage Available?

Broad form coverage is only available in the following 11 states:[1]

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

where is broad form coverage available in the U.S.

Most of these states only mandate liability coverage, meaning you can purchase broad form insurance with high enough coverage limits to meet the state’s minimum car insurance requirements. However, Delaware and Maryland both require personal injury protection while Maryland and Nebraska both require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.[2] As a result, broad form insurance on its own does not meet the minimum requirements in these states.

What Does Broad Form Insurance Cover?

There are two core components of the liability coverage that broad form insurance provides: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.

Bodily injury liability coverage pays for someone else’s medical bills, lost wages and funeral expenses after an accident you were responsible for, along with any legal fees that arise if the injured person sues you. Your bodily injury liability coverage might take effect if you strike another vehicle on the highway or if you run a red light and hit a pedestrian.

Property damage liability coverage pays for someone else’s repair bills after you damage their property with your vehicle. This type of insurance would kick in if you drive into someone else’s car in a parking lot or run over your neighbor’s fence while trying to back out of your driveway.

What Isn’t Covered?

Broad form car insurance won’t cover repairs to your vehicle or medical bills for yourself or your passengers after an accident you are responsible for. Read below for examples of situations that your liability insurance won’t cover but that another type of insurance might cover.



Covered By?

Your medical bills and/or funeral expenses

You need to go to the hospital after you crash into a tree

Personal injury protection (also covers lost wages) or medical payments coverage

Your car or property repairs after a collision you were responsible for

You flip your car over after swerving to avoid hitting another driver

Collision coverage

Your car repairs after an unexpected peril like fire, hail, theft or vandalism

An intruder damages your car’s electrical system in an attempt to hotwire it

Comprehensive coverage

Your medical expenses and/or property repairs after an accident caused by an uninsured driver

Someone without car insurance ignores a stop sign and hits you while you are trying to cross the street

Uninsured motorist coverage

Your medical expenses and/or property repairs that exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits

You rack up $40,000 in repair bills after an accident caused by someone with only $30,000 worth of property damage liability coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage

Outstanding loans on a lost vehicle

Your insurance company pays you $15,000 after your car is totaled but you still owe $20,000 to your lender

Gap insurance

Rental costs

You need to rent a car while you wait for an insurance payout after someone steals your car

Rental reimbursement coverage

Damage from a mechanical or electrical breakdown

Your engine malfunctions due to an internal failure rather than an external cause

Mechanical breakdown insurance

Tows, jumpstarts, fuel delivery, locksmithing services and/or emergency tire replacements

You have to pull over after your tire is punctured by a loose nail in the road

Roadside assistance plan

Belongings stolen from your vehicle

Someone steals your briefcase out of your car

Homeowners insurance

Routine repairs and maintenance

You take your car to a nearby auto shop for a routine inspection

Not covered by insurance

In addition, the liability coverage provided by broad form insurance doesn’t apply to RVs or motorcycles.[1] A broad form policy also generally won’t cover accidents that happen while you are using your car for a commercial purpose.[3]

How Much Does Broad Form Insurance Cost?

Broad form insurance is generally 20% to 50% cheaper than full coverage car insurance, according to Tim Derham, CEO and president of Universal Casualty Risk Retention Group. For example, if you live in Colorado, where the average annual premium for full coverage was $1,329.88 in 2020, a broad form policy might cost you between $664 and $1,064 per year.[4]

“In states where broad form insurance is available, the annual premium can range from as low as $300 to as high as $1,500 or more,” Derham told SmartFinancial via email.

Keep in mind that the amount you have to pay for broad form car insurance will depend on your personal characteristics. Factors that insurance companies may use to calculate your rates include your age, driving history, gender, credit score and deductible.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Broad Form Coverage?

The primary benefit of broad form coverage is that it is one of the cheapest options available for car insurance.

Since it provides a limited scope of coverage, your insurance provider can afford to keep your premiums low, which may be ideal if you’re a safe driver and don’t need the extensive protection provided by a full coverage policy.

In addition, your policy will cost the same regardless of how many vehicles you own since broad form insurance covers the driver and not the car.[1] As a result, it can be a cost-effective coverage option if you regularly drive multiple vehicles.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

While its limited coverage makes it one of the most affordable types of car insurance, this lack of in-depth coverage is also the greatest drawback of broad form insurance. With this kind of policy, you will have to cover any of your own medical or repair bills out of pocket after an accident where you were the at-fault driver.

In addition, this policy is not a good fit if anyone else drives your car since it only provides coverage for the singular person named on the policy. As a result, you probably shouldn’t buy broad form insurance if you have a spouse, children or any other dependents who might reasonably need to drive your car at some point.

How To Get Broad Form Insurance

You can purchase broad form auto insurance from specialty insurance companies like Serenity Insurance and Select Insurance Group. Depending on the state you live in, you may also be able to get broad form insurance from insurance carriers like Dairyland, Kemper and Vern Fonk.

Since broad form insurance is only available in a select few states, you may need to look to a local insurance provider rather than a national one if you are interested in this kind of coverage. Be sure to use an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial to easily compare rates from different companies.

Ready to Shop for Cheaper Car Insurance?


How does broad form insurance work?

Broad form car insurance covers you regardless of what car you’re driving but doesn’t cover someone else when they drive a car you own.

What’s the difference between standard and broad form collision insurance?

Broad form collision coverage is a subset of collision insurance that is unique to Michigan and differs from the broad form insurance available in other states. While standard collision coverage requires you to pay a deductible regardless of fault, broad form collision coverage doesn’t require you to pay a deductible if you weren’t substantially at fault for the accident.[5]

Do I need broad form insurance?

You may need broad form insurance if you live in one of the 11 states where it is available and you want a cheap way to meet your state’s minimum car insurance requirements. However, broad form insurance doesn’t satisfy the minimum requirements in Delaware, Maryland or Nebraska.

Is broad form car insurance worth it?

Broad form car insurance likely won’t be worth it if you regularly let someone else drive your car, but may be worth it if you are a single driver who owns multiple vehicles.


  1. Serenity Insurance. “Broad Form Auto Insurance.” Accessed April 24, 2023.
  2. Insurance requirements were obtained from individual state Departments of Insurance, Motor Vehicles, etc.
  3. Select Insurance Group. “Broad Form SR 22 Insurance for Liability Coverage.” Accessed April 24, 2023.
  4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. “2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report,” Page 25. Accessed April 24, 2023.
  5. Michigan Auto Law. “What Is Collision Insurance: Standard vs Broad Form vs Limited.” Accessed April 25, 2023.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.