The Best and Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance Quotes (2020)

The Best and Cheapest Iowa Car Insurance Quotes (2020)

Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Iowa

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ValuePenguin found the average cost of minimum coverage car insurance in Iowa is $357 per year, or about $30 per month.

But insurance prices depend on several factors, such as the coverage you select (minimum or full coverage), driving history and location. We recommend comparing multiple insurers to get the best price for you.

Enter your ZIP code above to begin shopping for quotes from Iowa insurers, or read our analysis below to get a sense for what Iowa drivers are paying. And if you're looking for more than just the most affordable policy, we also provide recommendations for auto insurers based on customer experience.

Cheapest for minimum liability

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Cheapest for full coverage

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Cheapest for drivers with an accident

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Best for customer service

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Cheapest auto insurance in Iowa: Minimum coverage

If you're looking for the cheapest available car insurance quotes with the lowest limits allowed in Iowa, the most affordable policies on average are offered by:

  • IMT Insurance (Wadena)
  • Grinnell Mutual
  • State Farm

Our sample driver got an average quote of $266 per year from these providers, 26% cheaper than the state average. Wadena, noted in parentheses, is the largest subsidiary of IMT Insurance in Iowa.

This graph shows which companies in Iowa have the best car insurance rates for our sample driver, and compares them to the state average.
This graph shows which companies in Iowa have the best car insurance rates for our sample driver, and compares them to the state average.

Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Iowa

Currently insured?
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However, insurance rates will vary depending on your location, driving history and several other factors. Below, we've provided a list of rates for our sample driver as a general guide to car insurance prices for minimum coverage in Iowa.

RankInsurerAnnual insurance premium
1IMT Insurance Co. (Wadena)$224
2Grinnell Mutual$274
3State Farm$299
4Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$304
5Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$309
7American Family$325

A liability-only policy will be the cheapest option for any given insurer, as it only meets state requirements for auto insurance coverage, but these provide less protection than a policy with higher limits and add-on coverages.

A policy with increased liability limits and comprehensive and collision insurance, which aren't required by the state of Iowa, will generally cost you more per year but will give you more protection than a basic policy. A minimum coverage policy could leave you without enough protection against liability costs or damage to your own vehicle in the event of a major accident.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance in Iowa: State Farm

If you're looking to get more protection and buy a full-coverage policy — one with collision and comprehensive insurance — the cheapest Iowa insurers are State Farm, IMT Insurance and Nationwide. All three of these insurers were measurably cheaper than the Iowa state average of $1,482 per year for a full coverage policy.

  • State Farm's full-coverage policies cost our sample driver $1,094 per year, which is almost $400 cheaper than the state average and easily the most affordable full coverage auto insurance in Iowa among our surveyed providers.
  • IMT Insurance is the cheapest insurer for a minimum coverage policy, but it places second for full coverage, with an average cost of $1,248 per year.
  • Nationwide comes in a close third, with an average annual premium of $1,261 per year.

Collision insurance covers the cost of damage to your own car after an accident, while comprehensive insurance pays for damage that isn't related to a collision, such as severe weather or vandalism. You may consider adding this coverage if you don't want to pay for these costs out of pocket.

Cheapest full-coverage car insurance after an accident: State Farm

If you have an at-fault accident on your record, you're much more likely to be charged a higher rate by your insurer. The cheapest insurers in Iowa for drivers with a checkered history are State Farm, Nationwide and Auto-Owners Insurance Co.

RankCompanyRates after accidentRates before accidentDifference
1State Farm$1,260$1,094$166
3Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,516$1,400$116
4Grinnell Mutual$1,592$1,592$0
5IMT Insurance Co.$1,765$1,248$517
7Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$2,236$1,409$827
9American Family$2,425$1,457$968
Sample accident was the fault of the driver and caused $2,000 in property damage.

The differences in rates for our sample driver before and after an accident show the value in shopping among multiple insurers, as some providers penalize drivers more than others. For example, Nationwide and Grinnell Mutual don't raise rates for our sample driver, who was in an accident that caused $2,000 in property damage. However, GEICO raises rates by almost $1,300 per year.

Iowa insurers won't offer you these exact rates, but the differences show why drivers should shop around.

Best car insurance companies in Iowa

Price isn't everything, though. Iowa drivers should look for an insurer with a strong customer service reputation. Measured by their rate of customer complaints, the best auto insurance companies in Iowa are:

  • IMT Insurance
  • Auto-Owners Insurance Co.
  • Grinnell Mutual

Below, we rank the biggest insurers in the state by their complaint index, which measures the number of complaints a company receives, adjusted for the size of the company. The national median is 1.0, and a lower complaint index means customers submit fewer complaints about this company than the national average (and vice versa).

RankCompanyMarket shareComplaint index
1IMT (Wadena)3.0%0.14
2Auto-Owners Insurance Co.2.9%0.23
3Grinnell Mutual4.5%0.27
5State Farm17.3%0.57
6Farm Bureau6.0%0.66
7American Family Insurance5.2%0.69
7Allstate Corp.2.7%0.69
Complaint index was drawn from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If an insurance group had multiple companies operating in the state, the complaint index was taken from the company with the largest market share. If that company's name was distinct from the parent group, it is noted in parentheses.

Iowa insurers that have smaller market share and local knowledge — such as IMT and Grinnell — appear to better serve drivers in the state.

The national median of the complaint index is 1.0, so most of the large insurers in Iowa received a score better than the national median. GEICO was the exception, with a complaint index of 1.2 — indicating poorer-than-average customer service.

Auto insurance in Iowa: Minimum coverage requirements

Iowa is one of the few states in the nation that doesn't require auto insurance as long as you have an appropriate alternative. The law requires that a driver show proof of financial responsibility if he or she gets into an accident or loses driving privileges.

There are a few ways to show proof of financial responsibility in Iowa, including:

  • Proof of liability insurance: If you do purchase insurance, Iowa requires that it covers at least $20,000 for bodily injury coverage per person, $40,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident and $15,000 of property damage coverage per accident. Insurers are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage as well, but this can be rejected in writing.
  • Bond insurance card: If you post a bond of at least $55,000 in value with Iowa's Department of Transportation, you will receive a bond insurance card that acts as proof of financial responsibility.
  • Security insurance card: Similarly, you can file an endorsed certificate of deposit with the state treasurer to receive a security insurance card. This card indicates you've deposited at least $55,000 with an Iowa bank that can be used to meet your financial responsibilities if you're at fault in an accident.

Cheapest auto insurance in Iowa: By city

Our research finds that car insurance quotes vary greatly based on where you live in Iowa . And Iowa has wide variability between insurers, too, as seven of our 10 surveyed providers ranked as one of the cheapest options in the 50 most populated cities in the state.

Below we show the cheapest three auto insurers for a full-coverage policy with our sample driver in those 50 cities. State Farm tended to be the most affordable, but IMT Insurance, Nationwide and Farm Bureau Mutual also tended to offer some of the cheapest rates in these locations.

CityCompanyAnnual premium
AltoonaState Farm$1,078
IMT Insurance Co.$1,175
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,185
AmesState Farm$968
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,101
IMT Insurance Co.$1,102
AnkenyState Farm$1,039
IMT Insurance Co.$1,056
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,096
BettendorfIMT Insurance Co.$1,155
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,205
State Farm$1,227
BooneState Farm$1,092
IMT Insurance Co.$1,165
BurlingtonState Farm$1,000
IMT Insurance Co.$1,190
CarrollState Farm$984
IMT Insurance Co.$1,057
Cedar FallsState Farm$1,085
IMT Insurance Co.$1,191
Cedar RapidsNationwide$1,126
State Farm$1,176
IMT Insurance Co.$1,211
ClintonState Farm$1,040
IMT Insurance Co.$1,239
Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,264
CliveIMT Insurance Co.$1,018
State Farm$1,089
CoralvilleState Farm$1,013
IMT Insurance Co.$1,053
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,086
Council BluffsState Farm$1,169
Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,371
IMT Insurance Co.$1,413
CrestonState Farm$1,090
Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,364
DavenportState Farm$1,248
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,313
DecorahState Farm$1,111
Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,299
IMT Insurance Co.$1,312
DenisonState Farm$1,025
IMT Insurance Co.$1,377
Des MoinesState Farm$1,182
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,290
IMT Insurance Co.$1,299
DubuqueState Farm$1,189
IMT Insurance Co.$1,194
FairfieldState Farm$1,072
Auto-Owners Insurance Co.$1,320
Fort DodgeState Farm$991
IMT Insurance Co.$1,320
GrimesState Farm$980
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,090
Grinnell Mutual$1,157
Grinnell MutualState Farm$1,042
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,313
IndianolaState Farm$1,197
IMT Insurance Co.$1,302
Iowa CityState Farm$1,032
IMT Insurance Co.$1,046
JohnstonState Farm$989
IMT Insurance Co.$1,052
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,101
KeokukState Farm$1,142
IMT Insurance Co.$1,205
Le MarsState Farm$959
IMT Insurance Co.$1,064
State Farm$1,126
IMT Insurance Co.$1,226
MarshalltownState Farm$1,013
IMT Insurance Co.$1,241
Mason CityState Farm$996
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,161
Mount PleasantState Farm$996
IMT Insurance Co.$1,279
MuscatineState Farm$1,015
IMT Insurance Co.$1,068
NewtonState Farm$1,053
IMT Insurance Co.$1,166
North LibertyState Farm$1,000
IMT Insurance Co.$1,012
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,166
NorwalkIMT Insurance Co.$1,063
State Farm$1,236
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,241
OskaloosaState Farm$1,073
IMT Insurance Co.$1,150
OttumwaState Farm$1,032
IMT Insurance Co.$1,339
PellaIMT Insurance Co.$1,069
State Farm$1,081
Pleasant HillIMT Insurance Co.$1,150
State Farm$1,151
Sioux CenterState Farm$978
IMT Insurance Co.$1,036
Sioux CityState Farm$1,248
IMT Insurance Co.$1,288
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,373
SpencerState Farm$969
IMT Insurance Co.$1,145
Storm LakeState Farm$1,019
IMT Insurance Co.$1,143
UrbandaleState Farm$1,088
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,120
Grinnell Mutual$1,127
WaterlooState Farm$1,142
IMT Insurance Co.$1,324
WaukeeState Farm$1,049
IMT Insurance Co.$1,066
WaverlyState Farm$1,068
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,267
Webster CityState Farm$1,054
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,252
West Des MoinesState Farm$1,040
IMT Insurance Co.$1,116
Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)$1,165

To give you a better idea on how rates varied, we dug into the five largest cities in the state by population:

  • Des Moines
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Davenport
  • Sioux City
  • Iowa City

Big cities tend to have denser populations and, consequently, more traffic accidents, so residents in those locations tend to pay higher rates. However, this is not the case in Iowa, as drivers in 41 of the 50 most populous cities pay rates below the state average.

State Farm is the cheapest auto insurer in four of the five cities, with Nationwide the cheapest in Cedar Rapids. Here's how insurance rates in each city vary from the state average.

Auto insurance in Des Moines, Iowa

  • Average annual cost = $1,470 (43rd cheapest out of 50 cities)
  • 1% cheaper than the Iowa average

Although Des Moines is the biggest city in the state, its insurance rates are below the state average. State Farm was the cheapest for our sample driver, but it's also the rare city where Farm Bureau Mutual ranks near the top for affordability; it was the second-cheapest insurer on average.

Although cheap on a state level, Des Moines is still one of the 10 most expensive cities of the 50 biggest in the state.

Auto insurance in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

  • Average annual cost = $1,416 (23rd cheapest out of 50 cities)
  • 4% cheaper than the Iowa average

Cedar Rapids is notably affordable, ranking in the top half of the 50 largest cities. Of note: Nationwide, not State Farm, is the most affordable insurer for our sample driver with average costs of $1,126 per year. Shoppers in Cedar Rapids seeking affordability should get a quote with Nationwide.

Auto insurance in Davenport, Iowa

  • Average annual cost = $1,519 (45th cheapest out of 50 cities)
  • 2.5% more expensive than the Iowa average

Davenport is the third biggest city in Iowa, and its higher rates are more typical of those charged to drivers in populated cities. It's one of the most expensive cities among the 50 most populated, with high rates from Allstate and Grinnell Mutual driving up the average.

Auto insurance in Sioux City, Iowa

  • Average annual cost = $1,568 (49th cheapest out of 50 cities)
  • 6% more expensive than the Iowa average

Sioux City is the most expensive city among these five, with rates 6% above the Iowa average. Drivers looking for ways to save in Sioux City should shop State Farm, IMT Insurance and Farm Bureau — at a minimum — as these insurers had the cheapest rates on average.

Auto insurance in Iowa City, Iowa

  • Average annual cost = $1,307 (second cheapest out of 50 cities)
  • 12% cheaper than the Iowa average

Iowa City is surprisingly cheap for its size, ranking as the second cheapest for auto insurance out of the 50 biggest cities. For our sample driver, the three cheapest insurers were all relatively closer in price: State Farm ($1,032 per year), IMT Insurance ($1,046) and Nationwide ($1,106)

Average cost of car insurance in Iowa: By city

The average cost of car insurance in Iowa for a full-coverage policy is $1,482 per year. This number comes from surveying 10 insurers across hundreds of cities, but rates can differ greatly depending on a variety of factors including driver profile, coverages and location.

Below, we have ranked the 50 biggest cities in Iowa based on the average price of a full-coverage policy, with the most affordable cities ranking first.

  • Ames is the cheapest big city in Iowa for auto insurance, with an average full-coverage policy costing $1,287 per year.
  • Council Bluffs is the most expensive large city for car insurance: A full-coverage policy costs $1,757 per year on average.
RankCityAverage annual car insurance premiums
2Iowa City$1,307
9Mason City$1,356
10West Des Moines$1,357
11North Liberty$1,375
14Pleasant Hill$1,383
23Cedar Rapids$1,416
24Webster City$1,417
25Storm Lake$1,418
26Sioux Center$1,418
27Le Mars$1,425
31Mount Pleasant$1,446
34Cedar Falls$1,458
35Fort Dodge$1,459
39Des Moines$1,470
49Sioux City$1,568
50Council Bluffs$1,757


Our research pulled quotes from hundreds of cities in Iowa from 10 major insurers. For the quotes, we used the profile of a 30-year-old male driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX. The driver has a below-average credit score and was quoted for a full-coverage policy with the following limits, unless noted otherwise:

Coverage typeStudy limits
Bodily liability$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person / $100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible

If the policy quoted only met Iowa's minimum required limits, or altered the profile of a driver, that is noted in the piece.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Mark is a Senior Research Analyst for ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry, primarily auto insurance. He previously worked in financial risk management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.


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