Best Car Insurance: Iowa (2021)

Here are the national and small-town companies that topped our list for Iowa car insurance.

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Are you looking for the best car insurance in Iowa? Our review team takes a look at the top six car insurance providers in Iowa, as well as the requirements and cost.

If you are looking to get the best deal on Iowa car insurance, whether your live in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, or Sioux City, we recommend getting auto insurance quotes from multiple providers and comparing them to be sure you’re getting coverage for the best possible price, as many factors can impact your car insurance quote.

To get matched with the best rates for your location and budget, call (855) 518-0148 or use the form below to get your car insurance quotes:

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In this article:

6 Best Car Insurance Providers In Iowa

Our review team took a deep dive into the nation’s 30 best insurance companies, considering everything from cost and discounts to customer service and filing claims. From this, we narrowed down the best Iowa car insurance companies that represent everything you need as a Midwestern driver.

Our picks for the top six selections for best car insurance in Iowa combine nationally ranked companies with a few local providers. Each has an office or headquarters in Iowa, received positive reviews from Iowan residents, and balances quality with value.

Best Iowa Car Insurance Motor1 Rating Customer Service Affordability Coverage

1. USAA Car Insurance

5.0

5.0

4.5

4.5

2. Shelter Mutual Insurance

4.5

4.5

4.0

4.5

3. Geico Car Insurance

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.0

4. State Farm Car Insurance

4.5

3.5

4.0

4.0

5. American Family Auto Insurance

4.0

3.5

4.0

4.5

6. Nationwide Car Insurance

4.0

3.5

3.5

4.5

 

*You may notice that some car insurance companies are listed above those with higher star ratings. This is because our ratings take into account nationwide factors, while our ranking looks specifically at what insurance providers are best for car insurance in Iowa. 

 


 

#1 USAA Car Insurance: Our First Choice

When lined up against other top national and Iowa car insurance companies, USAA was the only one that scored 5.0 out of 5.0 stars in our 2021 review. The only drawback is that USAA insurance is only available to active, retired, and separated veterans with a discharge type of “Honorable” and their eligible family members. Eligible family members include:

USAA offers insurance to families in all 50 states. Overall, we found that USAA has affordable car insurance in Iowa with reliable services across the board. It received an A++ from AM Best and topped the charts of several J.D. Power studies in 2020, though it is often removed from the running due to its membership restrictions.

Pros Cons
Affordable rates and numerous discounts Only available for military and their families
Good option for military members and young drivers  
Superior financial rating from AM Best  
Nationwide availability  

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of USAA insurance.

 


 

#2 Shelter Mutual Insurance Company: Runner-Up

Though this small insurance agency didn’t make our nationwide comparison, Shelter Mutual's awards for the region made it stand out in our list of options for car insurance in Iowa. The insurance company shines when it comes to personalized service and offers local branches all over the state of Iowa, both surrounding the cities and scattered throughout more rural areas.

Industry accolades include:

Pros Cons
Several coverage options and discounts available Not accredited with the BBB
A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau  

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Shelter Mutual car insurance.

 


 

#3 Geico Car Insurance

Another company that we recommend for Iowa drivers is Geico. This provider is the second-largest car insurance company in the U.S. and is known for its affordability and smooth claims experience, providing auto insurance to millions of people.

The company has an A++ rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating possible. That means that Geico can meet its financial burden from covering so many policies with ease. Also, Geico has an A+ rating from the BBB, and there are plenty of five-star Geico reviews online from happy customers.

We recommend Geico for Iowa car insurance because of its many extras and discounts, allowing you to personalize your auto insurance to your needs. It is also one of the most affordable car insurance companies, after USAA.

Pros Cons
A+ rating from the BBB and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best Average quotes experience
Many choices for coverage  
High level of customer satisfaction  
Available in 50 states  

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Geico auto insurance.

If you feel ready to start comparing your Iowa auto insurance quotes, use the tool below to enter your zip code or call (855) 518-0148 for around the clock customer service. Otherwise, continue reading to find out more about the remaining car insurance providers that we recommend for Iowa drivers.

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#4 State Farm Car Insurance

Our fourth choice for car insurance in Iowa is State Farm Insurance. We recommend State Farm if you are looking to bundle your auto insurance policy with life or home insurance to save money. The company also offers insurance for cars, motorcycles, boats, ATVs, motorhomes, and more.

State Farm offers a good selection of discounts, which is very appealing for budget-conscious drivers. Discounts include: 

State Farm insurance reviews are also largely positive. Overall, State Farm auto insurance customers are happy with their coverage and enjoy affordable rates.

Pros Cons
Comprehensive coverage offerings Reported errors with autopay
Extensive selection of discounts  
Positive customer reviews  
Easy online quotes process  
A+ rating from the BBB  

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of State Farm auto insurance.

 


 

#5 American Family Auto Insurance

Another company that we recommend of Iowa car insurance is American Family Insurance. This insurance provider is a good option for parents with teenagers who are starting to drive, for seniors, and for people who are looking to bundle multiple policies like homeowners and auto insurance. The company offers several discounts, many of which are facilitated through the KnowYourDrive program. The program allows you to download an app that will keep track of your driving habits on which your discounts are then based.

In terms of customer satisfaction with the claims process, American Family ranked highest in the Southwest region, tied with Geico, in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. It also ranked third among mid-size insurers in the U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.

Pros Cons
Ideal for young drivers or people who want to bundle multiple policies Limited locations
Known for low rates Negative reviews about claims process
Several discounts available  
MyAmFam app to manage your account  

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of American Family auto insurance.

 


 

#6 Nationwide Car Insurance

Though Nationwide car insurance does not top the charts for cost or customer service, we are impressed by its comprehensive coverage and extensive discount availability. It is well suited for tech-savvy drivers, as it has an extensive online portal that gives you access to everything from quotes to paying your bills, filing a claim, and requesting roadside assistance. The company also has programs geared towards safe drivers, such as Nationwide’s SmartRide® program, which gives drivers a discount after they allow the company to track their safe driving practices for a set period of time.

AM Best, a credit rating agency for insurance companies, gave Nationwide Mutual Insurance an A+ (Superior) rating for financial strength. The BBB rates Nationwide at A+, too. Nationwide has nearly 250 customer complaints logged with the BBB in the last three years, but for a company of its size, that number isn’t unusual.

Pros Cons
A+ financial strength rating from AM Best and A+ rating from the BBB Mixed customer reviews depending on location
Many choices for coverage Expensive
Usage-based insurance options Difficult quotes process

To learn more about the car insurance provider, check out our review of Nationwide car insurance.

Enter your zip code below to get started comparing cheap car insurance rates by Iowa's best car insurance providers or call (855) 518-0148:

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Is Car Insurance Mandatory In Iowa?

Auto insurance mandates vary state-by-state. Only two states – New Hampshire and Virginia – don’t require auto insurance, while others have a law requiring minimum coverage. Iowa requires liability insurance coverage of 20/40/15, which we’ve broken down below. Drivers also must carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage unless they reject the coverage in writing.

Keep in mind that these coverages are only the minimum required in the state. On one hand, this means you have more flexibility to customize your Iowa auto insurance policy and often at more competitive prices than other states. However, in addition to the minimums, we recommend some level of collision, comprehensive, and medical coverage.

Is Iowa A No-Fault State?

No, Iowa is not a no-fault state. This means that if you cause an accident in Iowa – such as rear-ending the car in front of you – your car insurance must cover the damages and related injuries for both yourself and the other driver.

 


 

How Much Does Iowa Car Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), Iowa has the second lowest average car insurance rates in the country, beat out only by Idaho. The average expenditure for car insurance in Iowa was only $628.10 per year, far below the national average of $935.80.

The study by III clarifies that state differences often come down to differences in wealth by region. Residents of more affluent states are more likely to purchase new cars, thus incurring higher car insurance rates. Other factors include the average number of highway miles driven and the density of urban areas.

 


 

What To Know About Driving In Iowa

Iowa is known for its wide-open spaces when one can take to the highway and explore small country towns. However, the average commute time for an Iowa worker is only about 18 minutes, lower than the national average. As a North-Midwestern state, Iowa sees its fair share of snow each year, with an average of 32.4 inches throughout its winter season according to Iowa-based newspaper The Gazette. Icy roads and poor visibility are other strong reasons to purchase higher than the state minimum for car insurance in Iowa.

A report published in the Des Moines Register acknowledged an increase in Iowa traffic accidents in 2018 compared to earlier years. On the flip side, however, car-related fatalities dropped overall.

The best auto insurance in Iowa should cover all your local needs while remaining affordable and transparent. We found USAA – if you are eligible to join – is the best bet to check all these boxes. The company’s extensive discounts make it one of the cheapest auto insurances in Iowa, while its history of nearly 100 years in business means it knows how to take care of its customers. Alternatively, for those who prefer a local option, Shelter Insurance provides great coverage and customer service.

Enter your zip code in the tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to collect and compare car insurance quotes from providers available in your state:

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