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Best Cheap Car Insurance In Iowa

Find the best coverage to fit your needs in the Hawkeye State.

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09/19/2023 04:22 PM

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Although Iowa is one of the most affordable states for auto insurance in the U.S., it’s still important to know how to find affordable coverage. Our team researched the top insurance providers in the state based on cost, reliability, coverage, and service to help in your search for the best cheap car insurance in Iowa. 

Based on our research, we found that the best car insurance in Iowa can be found through State Farm, IMT, Nationwide, Geico, and Auto-Owners Insurance. Rates vary based on personalized factors, so we recommend getting free online quotes from providers to determine which insurance company is the right fit for you.

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Cheap Car Insurance In Iowa

According to our estimates for full coverage policies, State Farm tends to be the cheapest option for car insurance in Iowa, with an average cost of $843 per year. West Bend and Nationwide follow close behind with averages of less than $1,000 per year.

Car Insurance Provider in IowaEstimated Annual Cost
State Farm$843
West Bend$980
American Family Insurance$1,205

How Much Is Auto Insurance In Iowa?

Iowa drivers pay an average of about $1,181 per year for a full coverage auto insurance policy. This is 32 percent lower than the national average of $1,730 per year. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Iowa was the third-cheapest state to insure a vehicle in 2019.

Car insurance rates vary based on different factors, such as:

  • Age: Young drivers typically pay higher rates because they are considered high risk due to their lack of driving experience.
  • Gender: Men often pay more than women for auto insurance coverage in most states.
  • Marital status: Married drivers tend to pay less for car insurance on average. They also tend to have more access to multi-vehicle or bundling discounts.
  • Driving record: Speeding tickets, accidents, and DUIs negatively affect your rate. Drivers with clean driving history usually have much cheaper rates than drivers who don’t.
  • Credit score: Drivers with poor credit scores usually pay more for car insurance in most states.
  • Coverage level: Full coverage insurance policies cost more than policies that only meet state minimum coverage requirements.

Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance: Young Drivers

Our auto insurance rate estimates show that State Farm, Geico, and IMT are the three cheapest options for young Iowans on average.

Car Insurance Provider in IowaEstimated Annual Cost
State Farm$1,002
American Family$1,595

Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance: Speeding Tickets

Having a speeding ticket on your driving record can affect your premium. State Farm is still typically the cheapest car insurance option for Iowa drivers with a speeding ticket on their driving record.

Car Insurance Provider in IowaEstimated Annual Cost
State Farm$802
Auto-Owners Insurance$1,284

Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance: Recent Accidents

For drivers who have had recent accidents, State Farm generally offers the lowest cost of car insurance in Iowa. Auto-Owners Insurance is the second-cheapest option on average at $1,459 per year.

Car Insurance Provider in IowaEstimated Annual Cost
State Farm$863
Auto-Owners Insurance$1,459

Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance: Bad Credit

Drivers who have poor credit could benefit from choosing IMT, Nationwide, or Geico when looking for the cheapest coverage options in Iowa.

Car Insurance Provider in IowaEstimated Annual Cost
State Farm$1,879

Top 5 Auto Insurance Companies In Iowa

Our team thoroughly reviewed the top auto insurance companies and found the five providers listed below to be the best affordable options for Iowa drivers. State Farm topped our list as the best option for car insurance in Iowa because of its reliability and low cost. IMT, Nationwide, Geico, and Auto-Owners Insurance also stand out as some of the best options for coverage.

Best Car Insurance in IowaOverall RatingCost RatingCoverage Rating
1. State Farm4.64.54.5
2. IMT4.44.44.2
3. Nationwide4.34.34.3
4. Geico4.64.74.3
5. Auto-Owners Insurance4.44.64.3

*Our research team scores car insurance companies by taking nationwide factors into account. The order of insurers in this table is specific to auto insurance in Iowa.

#1 State Farm: Best For Student Drivers

We selected State Farm as our No. 1 pick because of its strong industry standing and its reputation for customer service. It’s the largest auto insurer in the country and one of the cheapest options on average for Iowa drivers in particular, especially young drivers and those with poor driving records. As rates are typically higher for young drivers, State Farm stands out due to its competitive prices for teen drivers and student discounts of up to 25 percent off. 

State Farm also offers a usage-based program that allows customers to track their driving through the highly rated Drive Safe & SaveTM app. The insurer performs well in several J.D. Power satisfaction studies, including placing fourth in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠ for the Central region.

State Farm

Pros Affordable rates for high-risk drivers High customer satisfaction scores Good discount programs for safe driving and young drivers
Cons Few additional coverage options

Learn more about the company’s coverage in our State Farm insurance review.

#2 IMT: Best Local Option

IMT has a long history of offering quality coverage to drivers in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. It’s based in West Des Moines, Iowa, making it a smart local choice for Iowa drivers. IMT is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds an A+ rating from the organization.

With IMT’s Worry Free mobile app, customers can:

  • Access their IMT policies
  • Pay their bills
  • View ID cards
  • Contact roadside assistance

IMT also provides enhanced coverage at no additional cost. These coverages include:

  • Increased transportation expenses
  • Pet injury
  • Theft of clothing, luggage, or equipment


Pros Highly rated Worry Free mobile app Many discounts Long history within the industry
Cons Some customers report a slow claims process

#3 Nationwide: Best For Poor Credit

For drivers with poor credit scores, Nationwide can be a particularly good option for car insurance in Iowa. The insurer offers a wide range of coverage options, and its average cost estimate for good drivers in Iowa is about 43 percent below the national annual average. We rank Nationwide No. 3 for Iowa drivers because of its strong industry reputation and consistently low-cost coverage.

Nationwide offers two usage-based insurance programs to help drivers save money on their car insurance. SmartRide® monitors driving habits and rewards safe driving as well as drivers who make adjustments to improve their driving. SmartMiles®M/sup> is a pay-per-mile option that’s perfect for low-mileage drivers.


Pros A+ BBB rating Offers high-quality usage-based insurance Many coverage options
Cons Doesn’t offer new car replacement coverage

Learn more about this provider in our comprehensive Nationwide insurance review.

#4 Geico: Best Overall Provider

As a big name in the industry, Geico is known for its excellent customer service and low average rates for many types of drivers. It holds an A+ rating from the BBB and an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best, and it’s ranked No. 3 for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study for the Central region. 

In our nationwide review of the best car insurance companies, we named Geico the Best Overall Provider due to its affordability and fast claims process. Geico’s reliability is reflected in its high industry and customer satisfaction ratings. Customers enjoy a wide range of discounts, such as a multi-vehicle discount of up to 25 percent, a safe driver discount of up to 22 percent, and a military discount of up to 15 percent.


Pros Low average rates for many types of drivers High customer satisfaction ratings Offers mechanical breakdown insurance
Cons Doesn’t offer gap insurance

Check out our Geico insurance review for more information.

#5 Auto-Owners Insurance: Best For Customer Service

We included Auto-Owners Insurance in our top five recommendations for car insurance in Iowa because of its consistently low prices for drivers in the state. Auto-Owners also holds a strong reputation within the auto insurance industry for its smooth claims process. The insurer provides 24-hour claims service, a mobile app for customers to receive status updates, and several virtual options to make payments. 

Auto-Owners Insurance is a great option for Iowa drivers who value excellent customer service. The auto insurance company is BBB-accredited with an A+ rating. Auto-Owners is ranked above average for customer satisfaction among midsize insurers in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping Study℠, making it a good choice for coverage.

Auto-Owners Insurance

Pros Good discounts for teen drivers and students Offers trip interruption and gap coverage A++ financial strength rating from AM Best
Cons Doesn’t offer defensive driving or driver’s education discount

Iowa Insurance Requirements

According to the Iowa Insurance Division, Iowa law requires drivers to have minimum liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability coverage: $15,000 per accident

How To Get Iowa Car Insurance Quotes

When looking for the best auto insurance in Iowa, the first step is to compare rates from top providers to see which best suits your needs. You can get free car insurance quotes online from most providers and compare cost and coverage options. If you have questions after doing your research, reach out to an insurance agent for more personalized car insurance quote options.

After reviewing coverage options in Iowa, our team found that State Farm is the best choice for Iowa drivers. It offers the most comprehensive coverage at consistently low rates. We recommend getting quotes from IMT, Nationwide, Geico, and Auto-Owners Insurance as well.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Iowa a no-fault state for auto insurance?

No, Iowa is an at-fault state. This means the driver who causes the accident must use their insurance to pay for the other driver’s bills from the accident. To decide who is at fault, police and insurance companies use available evidence.

Is car insurance expensive in Iowa?

According to our insurance rate estimates, drivers pay $1,181 on average for full coverage car insurance in Iowa, with the cheapest rates ranging from about $850 to $1,000 per year. This is about 32 percent below the national average of $1,730 per year.

What is the minimum coverage you need in Iowa?

Iowa requires drivers to obtain bodily injury liability coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Drivers are also required to have $15,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.

How long is Iowa’s new car insurance grace period?

Iowa’s grace period for car insurance typically lasts from two to 30 days. The grace period refers to the time in which insured drivers are allowed to drive a new vehicle before adding it to their existing car insurance policy. The grace period doesn’t apply if you are an uninsured motorist.

How We Rate Insurers

Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
  • Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.

*Data accurate at time of publication.