If you've been involved in a collision or received a citation, you might face an insurance penalty. Compare rates and save.
Why you can trust The Zebra
If you've been deemed at-fault after a car crash, filed an insurance claim, or received a ticket for a major violation, you might be a candidate for high-risk car insurance. Car insurance for risky drivers is almost always pricey, but the increase in rates you face varies based on your insurance company, your driving history, and the state in which you drive.
If you are found at-fault for causing an auto collision, expect your car insurance rates to go up. In Iowa, the average insurance premium following an at-fault crash is $1,478, compared to the national average of $2,012. A serious accident like an at-fault collision will stay on your insurance record for as long as three years.
|Location||With At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||No At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||Yearly Rate Increase|
The cheapest car insurance company after an at-fault accident in Iowa is Grinnell Mutual. Grinnell Mutual’s usual rate hike after a crash is $586, resulting in a total price 40 percent less expensive than the average among all insurers. If you caused a collision in Iowa, avoid Farm Bureau Mutual and Allstate, which are on the pricier end of the spectrum.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate With an At-Fault Accident|
|Farm Bureau Mutual||$1,258|
One of the violations that can earn drivers the "risky" tag is speeding. In Iowa, car insurance premiums rise by $241 per year after a speeding ticket, to an average per-year price of $1,255.
|Location||With a Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||No Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best way to get cheap car insurance after getting a ticket for speeding is to shop around and compare all possible options. The cheapest auto insurance with a speeding ticket in Iowa is available via Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau’s average rate after a citation is $459 less than the state average. If you've been caught speeding in Iowa, American Family is worth avoiding.
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium After a Speeding Citation|
|Farm Bureau Mutual||$796|
|Grinnell Select Auto Insurance||$892|
A distracted driving citation means your car insurance won't be cheap. In Iowa, auto insurance rates typically increase by $120 each year. That's a 12% jump from the typical annual premium in Iowa, and 30% less than the national average cost of car insurance with a ticket for distracted driving.
|Location||With Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||No Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best way to find affordable car insurance in the wake of a distracted driving ticket is to compare options from a variety of companies. The most affordable car insurance company following a distracted driving ticket in Iowa is GEICO, with a typical rate of only $868 per year, 24% less than the average distracted driving insurance premium among top insurers.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate With Distracted Driving|
Racing is an extremely serious offense. Car insurance companies typically penalize racing citations with major rate hikes — in fact, Iowa auto insurance prices increase by an average of $724 per year after a citation for racing. That represents a 71% increase on the average annual auto insurance rates in Iowa.
|Location||With a Racing Citation — Annual Rate||No Racing Citation — Annual Rate||Yearly Rate Increase|
If you have been ticketed for a racing offense, do your homework and find the most affordable rates. In Iowa, start with State Farm, with rates 46 percent cheaper than the state average after a racing violation.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate With Racing|
|Wadena Insurance Company||$1,647|
Among the most serious moving violations, reckless driving is a surefire way to end up paying more for auto insurance. Insurers raise rates by an average of $723 per year after reckless driving. That comes out to 71% more than the typical car insurance rate in Iowa.
|Location||With Reckless Driving — Annual Rate||No Reckless Driving — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
If you have a reckless driving offense on your record, compare insurance companies to find the best rate. In Iowa, the most affordable underwriter after reckless driving is State Farm.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate After Reckless Driving|
|Wadena Insurance Company||$1,647|
If you're looking for auto insurance as a high-risk driver, your best option is to shop around and find an affordable policy.
Iowa traffic laws are imposed in order to maintain roadways and ensure that motorists remain safe while driving. These laws cover such actions as speeding, reckless driving, at-fault accidents, and distracted driving. Knowing these laws is the best way to ensure that you don’t find yourself facing stiff penalties.
The state of Iowa asks that you drive at a “careful and prudent” speed and imposes speed limits in order to maintain safe roadways. These can include limits on how fast or how slow you can go on Iowa roads. For instance, if your vehicle cannot travel at a speed of at least 40 mph it is not allowed to operate on the interstate system in Iowa.
Generally, you are speeding in Iowa if you are found to be going over the following speeds:
While these are the general guidelines, it’s important to note that the state or individual cities can deviate from this as they see fit, so make sure you are aware of the speeding laws for the particular city or area that you’re in.
If you are caught speeding in Iowa, expect the following penalties:
Also, it’s good to know that any fines for speeding in a work zone are much higher. These penalties are put into place to ensure the safety of road workers as well as to protect motorists from unsafe road conditions. Those penalties typically look like this:
Reckless driving in Iowa is defined as driving in a manner that shows a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety” of property or the safety of others. This can encompass a wide range of actions and often carries serious penalties as well. If it does not result in bodily harm or destruction of property, it is typically classified as a simple misdemeanor.
Iowa further distinguishes “careless driving” as a separate offense that carries similar penalties. Careless driving in Iowa is defined as intentionally driving in one of the following ways:
If you are found guilty of reckless driving in Iowa, your penalties are reflective of the seriousness of the offense. At minimum you can expect the following penalties:
However, should your reckless driving cause the death of another person, you can be convicted of “homicide by vehicle,” which is a class C felony and therefore carries much more severe consequences, which could include:
Iowa distracted driving laws are in place in order to minimize the number of accidents that happen because a driver’s attention is somewhere other than on the road. Common activities that could be considered distracted driving, though aren’t technically considered illegal in Iowa, include:
Iowa has moved to introduce laws in recent years meant to address the issue of distracted driving. Specifically, the state goes to great lengths to halt the use of hand-held electronic devices used to “write, send, or view an electronic message while driving.” This does not include using GPS systems or messaging while pulled over and at a complete stop.
Though distracted driving in Iowa isn’t considered a moving violation, you can still expect fines and, in some cases, even harsher penalties.
Racing in Iowa, or “drag racing” as it’s commonly known, is considered a “speed contest or exhibition of speed on any street or highway” in the state. It is considered a simple misdemeanor, though the penalties can vary depending on whether or not any serious damage is caused to property or the race results in injury or death.
If you are caught in breach of Iowa racing laws, you might be wondering about the consequences. At a minimum, you can expect the following:
The state of Iowa requires financial liability coverage must remain in effect for all vehicles traveling their roads. It is what is considered an “at-fault” state when it comes to insurance claims. This means that, in order to seek compensation for the accident, you must show that the other driver is at fault.
The coverage needed to meet the legal requirements must meet these minimums:
Iowa uses what is called modified comparative negligence when determining fault in an accident. What this means is that fault can be assigned to both parties involved, but to varying degrees. In order for you to recover damages in Iowa, the other driver must be at least 51% at fault. For instance, if you are in an accident, it could be that 75 percent of the guilt is attributed to the other party while 25 percent is assigned to you. If $10,000 is awarded in the ruling, you are eligible for 75% of the award, or $7,500.
Some of the compensable car accident damages include:
Without a doubt, you can expect your car insurance rates to climb if you are responsible for an at-fault accident in Iowa. There are a host of other penalties depending on your actions immediately after an accident and whether or not you are carrying the proper insurance coverage.
If you are involved in a car accident—even if it is not your fault—you must be able to show financial responsibility in the form of liability insurance. If you cannot, you can face a series of penalties, including:
On top of those penalties, there is a good chance that you could be required to pay for damages caused out of pocket if you do not have the correct coverage. Should you leave the scene of an accident, it could be classified as a “hit and run,” and depending on the severity of the accident, mean that your driving privileges could be revoked and you could possibly face serious jail time.
Sources and references:
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.