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Ross Martin

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  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Renata Balasco

Senior Content Strategist

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Renata joined The Zebra in 2020 as a Customer Experience Agent. Since 2021, she has worked as licensed insurance professional and content strategist.…

Auto insurance for high risk drivers in Iowa

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.


Car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Iowa — table of contents:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. View Iowa driving laws


Auto insurance after an at-fault accident in Iowa


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
Iowa $1,478 $1,015 $463
U.S. Average $2,012 $1,397 $615


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
Grinnell Mutual $892
State Farm $997
GEICO $1,043
Farm Bureau Mutual $1,258
Allstate $1,597


By how much does a speeding citation raise car insurance rates in Iowa?


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
Iowa $1,255 $1,015 $241
National Average $1,727 $1,397 $330


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
State Farm $934
Nationwide $1,186
American Family $1,228


What impact does a distracted driving ticket have on car insurance rates in Iowa?


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
Iowa $1,135 $1,015 $120
National Average $1,570 $1,397 $173


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
GEICO $868
Grinnell Mutual $892
State Farm $934
American Family $952
Farm Bureau $966


How does a citation for racing impact Iowa car insurance rates?


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
Iowa $1,739 $1,015 $724
National Average $2,397 $1,397 $1,000


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
State Farm $934
GEICO $1,300
Allstate $1,626
Wadena Insurance Company $1,647
Farm Bureau $1,789


Will a reckless driving ticket raise my auto insurance rates in Iowa?


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
Iowa $1,738 $1,015 $723
U.S. Average $2,395 $1,397 $998


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
State Farm $934
Farm Bureau $1,279
GEICO $1,300
Allstate $1,626
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.

Compare car insurance rates online today.

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Iowa driving laws


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.

Speeding in Iowa

When are you speeding in Iowa?

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:

  • 70 mph on interstate highways
  • 65 mph on other multi-lane highways
  • 55 mph on other highways or secondary roads
  • 45 mph in suburban areas
  • 35 mph in state parks and on preserve roads
  • 25 mph in school districts or residential areas
  • 20 mph in business districts

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.

Penalties for speeding in Iowa

If you are caught speeding in Iowa, expect the following penalties:

  • $20 if five or under mph over the speed limit
  • $40 if between six and ten mph over the limit
  • $80 if between 11 and 15 mph over the limit
  • $90 if between 16 and 20 mph over
  • $100 plus five dollars for each mile per hour in excess of 20 mph over the limit

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:

  • $150 if between one and ten mph over
  • $300 if between 11 and 20 mph over
  • $500 if 21 and 25 over
  • $1000 for anything more than 25 over


Reckless driving in Iowa

What is reckless driving in Iowa?

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:

  • Squealing tires, skidding or sliding unnecessarily
  • Causing any wheel or wheels to unnecessarily lose contact with the ground
  • Causing the vehicle to unnecessarily sway or turn abruptly

Penalties for reckless driving in Iowa

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:

  • Mandatory minimum fine of $65 and up to $625
  • License suspension of up to 30 days
  • Up to 30 days in jail

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:

  • $1,000 to $10,000 in fines
  • One year license suspension
  • Up to ten years in prison


Distracted driving in Iowa

What is distracted driving in Iowa?

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:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Following a GPS or map
  • Grooming
  • Talking with passengers
  • Daydreaming

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.

Penalties for distracted driving in Iowa

Though distracted driving in Iowa isn’t considered a moving violation, you can still expect fines and, in some cases, even harsher penalties.

  • A roughly $100 fine for a routine offense
  • $500 fine and up to 90-day license suspension for violations involving injuries
  • $1,000 fine, up to 180-day license suspension, and the possibility of “homicide-by-vehicle” charges

Racing in Iowa

What is racing in Iowa?

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.

Penalties for racing in Iowa

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:

  • A mandatory minimum fine of at least $65 and up to $625
  • Your license can be revoked for up to six months for the first offense and up to a year in subsequent offenses
  • Up to 30 days in prison


At-fault accidents in Iowa

What is an at-fault accident in Iowa?

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:

  • $20,000 liability for bodily injury or death per person
  • $40,000 liability for total bodily injury or death liability per accident
  • $15,000 liability for property damage per accident

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:

  • Vehicle repair/replacement
  • Medical costs
  • Rental cars
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death
  • Lost wages

Penalties for at-fault accidents in Iowa

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:

  • A $250 fine
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • 12-month license suspension for damages exceeding $1,500
  • Vehicle registration suspended

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:

Auto insurance for high risk drivers in Iowa

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.