If you are a high risk driver in the Gem state, it may be a challenge to find auto insurance coverage in the “regular” or “voluntary” market where auto insurers voluntarily rate and insure most drivers. If your driving record includes car accidents or DUIs, then Idaho auto insurers may refuse to cover you. If that is the case, you can turn to the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan (IDAIP). This plan will ensure that you receive coverage, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria described below. All drivers must carry at least the minimum Idaho amounts of liability auto insurance coverage of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for Bodily Injury and $15,000 for Property Damage.
What is the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan (IDAIP)?
Idaho’s Automobile Insurance Plan was created back in 1949. Rather than writing insurance policies itself, this entity assigns drivers to auto insurers who are already doing business in Idaho. Indeed an auto insurer in Idaho can’t write ANY auto insurance in Idaho unless it agrees to cover a portion of the high risk drivers too. High risk drivers generally tend to get higher quotesfrom companies, or may not find many carriers willing to insure them. The ID AIP can be a last resort for high risk car insurance.
Note that because drivers are assigned Idaho auto insurers based on those companies’ shares of the overall auto insurance market in Idaho, you cannot pick your insurer. For example, State Farm, the largest insurer in Idaho, served roughly 13% of the Idaho auto insurance market in 2014, so their share of drivers applying to the AIP would be about 13% too. But all licensed auto insurance agents or brokers in Idaho are familiar with the Idaho AIP, and can walk you through your options if this is where you land.
In order to apply through the AIP, you must attest in writing that you have looked for auto insurance in the last 60 days and been either turned down, or only offered insurance at rates that are higher than what the ID AIP offers. The state wants you to find auto insurance in Idaho in the voluntary market if possible (rates can be more competitive there). So before you turn to the IDAIP, get as many car insurance quotes from multiple insurers yourself.
If you have been rejected, then in order for your application to proceed, you must have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle that is registered in Idaho. Be sure to fill out the application accurately and in good faith. If your insurer discovers that important information has been left out or misrepresented, then your insurance policy can be cancelled.
Your application to the Idaho AIP will NOT go forward if:
- You have failed to pay an auto insurance premium to any insurer in the last 12 months.
- Your auto insurance policy has been cancelled in the last 12 months because you didn’t bring your car in for a requested safety inspection.
Happily, as soon as you address these problems – pay the bill or present your car – the application to the Idaho AIP can proceed immediately.
In Idaho, high risk drivers in the AIP pool are offered much the same coverage options as safer drivers. But those coverages will likely cost you more than the average auto insurance policy in Idaho. Once you are assigned an insurer, you will have that coverage for 3 years. This is a good time to work on improving you driving record so as to become eligible for the lower rates that are available in the voluntary market.
If after 3 years you still have trouble getting a quote from insurers on your own, you can apply to the Idaho AIP again. As long as you still meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive coverage, although it will likely be with a different auto insurer.
Mandatory coverages in Idaho are shown in the table below. Bodily Injury and Property Damage are the basics. Note that you should strongly consider getting more than the minimum coverages required. Talk with your auto insurance agent to understand what makes sense for your specific financial situation; sometimes the higher limits may be more appropriate, although more costly.
|Idaho Required Min. Limits||Idaho AIP Maximum Limits|
Bodily Injury (BI)
|$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$100,000 per person / $300,000 per accident|
Property Damage (PD)
|$15,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
Idaho auto insurers may also offer you optional coverages that are available for a higher premium. Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury and Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury are 2 coverages that you may purchase together or separately. You may also reject either or both in writing on your application. As for Collision and Comprehensive coverage, you must choose a deductible amount of $100, $200, or $250. This is the amount of money that you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance kicks in. A higher deductible usually results in a lower premium for this portion of your auto insurance.
|Idaho AIP Min. Limits||Idaho AIP Maximum Limits|
Medical Payments Coverage
|$1,000 per person / accident||$5,000 per person / accident|
Physical Damage (Collision and Comprehensive)
|Actual cash value of your car||Up to $25,000|
Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
|$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident||not to exceed BI limits|
Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
|$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident||not to exceed BI limits|
Idaho AIP Premiums and Payments
In general, premiums for higher-risk drivers are higher than for standard risk drivers, and the same is true for Idaho motorists. But there is no “magic formula” for knowing exactly how much higher. Idaho auto insurers look at many factors when developing the premium for your policy. By understanding what these factors are, you can take actions that will reduce your insurance premiums over time.
Your assigned Idaho insurer should offer several ways to pay your auto insurance premium. These include:
- Pay 100% of the annual premium up front with your application. If you can afford this, it’s a good way to ensure that you won’t miss a payment.
- Pay 40% of the entire annual premium with your application through the Idaho AIP, and the remaining balance within 30 days of receiving your auto insurance policy.
- Provide a deposit of 40% of the annual premium with your application, and pay the balance in 5 equal monthly installments. A $4 service fee is added to each installment payment.
It’s important to pay your Idaho auto insurance bill on time. There is no “grace period” with this bill, and the insurance company can kick into “cancellation” mode if your payment is even a day late. So avoid this hassle, and keep current with this bill!
How to Apply for the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan
As mentioned above, any licensed auto insurance agent or broker in Idaho should be familiar with – and able to help you apply for – coverage through the Idaho AIP.
To learn more about the Idaho AIP, you can call the Idaho Department of Insurance at 208-334-4250