Iowa requires motorists to maintain state-mandated minimum levels of auto insurance coverage to drive legally. If the insurance coverage is too little or lapses while the vehicle is registered, the owner or driver might get tickets and have to pay a fine. The vehicle also might be impounded. The following information will help to prevent that misfortune from occurring.
Basic Auto Insurance
Iowa requires motorists to maintain at least $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $40,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, and $15,000 in property damage liability coverage. Those coverages do not protect the insured vehicle. Instead, they protect others against the costs of injuries or damages suffered by victims on an accident in which the driver of the insured vehicle is at-fault.
All owners of vehicles in Iowa need to maintain at least the state-mandated minimums for insurance coverage to keep their vehicle registrations active. If a car insurer reports your policy has expired or been canceled, you will need to provide evidence that you switched policies or face a potential fine.
If you use your vehicle to provide commercial services, including delivering food and driving for ride-hailing companies, you must carry commercial insurance. Personal car insurance does not apply while the vehicle is used for commercial purposes.
Required Insurance Documents
While driving on Iowa roadways you need to carry proof of insurance in your vehicle. The proof of insurance provides you with information on the make, model, year and VIN number of the insured vehicle. It will list the insurance coverages and liability limits so that a police officer will know whether or not the vehicle is legally insured. The form also lists the name of the vehicle’s owner, the address where it is parked while not in use and the dates during which the insurance coverage is in force.
Your Insurance Card
Auto insurers typically provide customers with a wallet-sized card that conveniently lists the insurance coverages and dates that they are effective. The insurance card also lists the owner, address where the insured vehicle is supposed to be parked and the make, model, year and VIN number of the insured vehicle.
The insurance card provides others with all of the information needed in the event of an accident or a traffic stop. If you are in an accident, the card makes it convenient to exchange insurance information. If a police officer asks for proof of insurance, the insurance card works great for doing just that.
The Iowa Insurance Division says insurance fraud costs U.S. citizens a combined $80 billion every year. That is about $950 in additional insurance premiums paid by every U.S. family to cover the costs of insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a crime in Iowa and could reach the level of a felony. Insurance fraud happens whenever someone lies about the circumstances leading to an insurance claim or exaggerates the medical costs, repair costs or both in order to gain a larger insurance settlement.
How to Report Fraud to the State
The Iowa Insurance Division’s Fraud Bureau investigates reports of insurance fraud within the state. Anyone who is aware of insurance fraud or suspects it can report the matter to the Fraud Bureau online or by downloading and completing an insurance fraud complaint form that you can mail to the Insurance Fraud Bureau in Des Moines.
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