We’ve compiled an easy-to-understand guide to help you get to the bottom of Idaho car insurance laws, minimums, discounts and more. If talking with someone is more your style, you can let one of our insurance experts walk you through this by calling [mapi-phone /]. They’ll be able to help with everything you need from getting quotes to finding answers so you can get the proper car insurance.
What Are Idaho’s Auto Insurance Requirements?
Having car insurance is half the battle. The other half is making sure you have the minimum coverage to be legal on the road in your insurance policy. Of course, you can get more coverage, but you need these amounts for liability coverage:
- $25,000 in bodily injury liability for one person, per one accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury liability for two or more people, per one accident
- $15,000 in property damage for any one accident
What Optional Coverages Can You Add to Your Auto Policy in Idaho?
State minimums are just that: the bare minimum. If you get into an accident and only have state minimum coverage, you may find yourself stuck with an unexpected expense. Any damage to your car, medical bills, etc. will be your responsibility. In addition, if the other party’s damages exceed your coverage, you could be stuck paying that as well. We highly recommend increasing your coverage amount, and thinking about adding these additional coverages to you policy.
Collision- If you’re in a collision on the road, this coverage protects your car. Up to your chosen limits, you pay a preset deductible and get the damage repaired.
Comprehensive- Take the definition of collision coverage and then tack on damage due to fire, theft, or vandalism. In short, this type of coverage protects you from mostly everything bad that can happen to your car that doesn’t directly revolve around a collision. Generally, comprehensive is the cheaper part of your auto insurance coverage.
Towing and labor- If you need help on the road, you can add this to your insurance plan to cover towing costs and roadside assistance. Some plans charge around $75 per tow while others include it for free. To add this service, it’s just a few dollars per renewal.
Rental car- After an accident, your car might be out of commission for a while. If so, protect yourself with this kind of coverage that will pay for a rental car for a certain amount of time. Most companies give you up to 30 days of rental car payments while your car is being evaluated or repaired.
What Do Idahoans Pay for Car Insurance?
According to our analysis, Idaho is the least expensive state in the nation for getting auto insurance–based on average car insurance premiums. Here is where you might be able to find the most affordable rates:
|Average Annual Rates|
A good rule to follow is to compare rates from at least three different companies so that you can find the most affordable insurance customized to you. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples with the same coverage limits in each insurance quote, and remember which policies have something unique the others don’t.
How Do Insurance Companies in Idaho Come Up with Premiums?
At the doctor, you get an x-ray to see what’s going on in your body. Auto insurance is similar, but instead of using a machine, companies use a bunch of variables to calculate risk to see what kind of driver you are likely to be. Here are a few of the more common variables companies use to calculate your premiums and assess risk:
- Driving Record
- Vehicle Make and Model
- Driving Patterns
- Commute Distance
The lower your risk, the cheaper your premium will likely be. You have a little bit of control over this if you’re a good driver with a lot of experience, but factors like age and gender are something you’ll have to deal with. If you have a clean driving record, good credit, and a car with plenty of safety features, but you’re still getting a high rate, you can always get more quotes. Just make sure you’re taking advantage of all available discounts including those for telematics programs.
What Options Are Available for High Risk Drivers in Idaho?
You’re not a black sheep if you’ve gotten into some accidents or had some driving incidents in Idaho. Thanks to the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan, insurance companies can’t deny you coverage. Tickets and all that will make your rates go up, but just turn over a new leaf on the road to get back on track.
Proof of Insurance in Idaho
Being able to provide proof of insurance in Idaho is the law, so keep your insurance card in your car at all times! If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, you could get in big trouble, including:
- First offense: A $75 fine and suspension of your license until you can provide proof of financial responsibility. If convicted, you must be able to maintain proof of insurance for a year.
- Additional offenses: You may be fined up to $1,000 and have your license suspended until you prove you have current insurance. In worst cases, you could also face up to six months in jail and if you’re convicted, you must maintain proper insurance for three years after that.
Violations and Penalties To Avoid
Bad things outside of our control happen all the time. Do what you can to not bring them on yourself! Here are more unfavorable things that can happen if you do the following:
Insurance Fraud in Idaho
Fraudulent claims are to blame for higher premiums. Idaho sees millions of dollars stolen from them every year. Do your part to keep premiums from rising by not making fraudulent insurance claims and reporting those who do. Not sure what constitutes fraud? Here are some examples:
- Staged accidents
- Fake insurance cards
- Lying on an insurance application
- Filing claims on accidents that never happened
- Filing claims for stolen cars that weren’t stolen
- Soliciting business for doctors, mechanics, or lawyers
- Filing claims for accidents occurring prior to coverage
- Exaggerating damages or injuries on insurance claims
SR-22’s in Idaho
If your license was suspended, your current insurance company must file an SR-22 form to the state of Idaho in order for you to get it back. It’ll cost you a processing fee and you’ll have to pay your annual premium in-full. Since that’s hundreds of dollars, it could hurt your bank account big time.
SR-22 forms are required for these violations:
- If you’re convicted of failing to maintain the state’s minimum liability you’ll need an SR-22 for one year.
- If you’re convicted of failing to carry proof of your liability insurance you’ll need an SR-22 for one year.
- If you’re convicted of driving under the influence, attempting to elude police, manslaughter by driving a motor vehicle, or leaving the scene of an accident where a death or injury occurred, you will have to have an SR-22 for three years.
If you have questions regarding SR-22 forms, you should contact:
The Division of Motor Vehicles/ Driver Services with the Idaho Transportation Department.
Did You Know?
Thieves are everywhere. In Idaho, they’re out stealing the following cars more than any other brands*:
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Honda Accord
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep (Grand) Cherokee
- GMC Pickup
- Honda Civic
- Dodge Pickup
- Chevrolet Pickup (Small)
- Toyota Camry
- Dodge Neon
*According to www.nicb.org
Keep this in the back of your mind when car shopping. Driving one of these cars could impact your premiums and leave you without something to drive if a thief steals it!
Let Our Experts Help
Licensed agents who know the ins-and-out of auto insurance in Idaho can not only help you answer any questions, but can provide rates from top insurance companies. Call [mapi-phone /] to speak to one today.
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