Even though Iowa had not made auto insurance compulsory, it had prescribed certain minimum liability coverages as recommendations for drivers in Iowa. The minimum limit for bodily injury liability is $20,000 for each injured person in an accident, and the total limit per accident for all the injured persons is $40,000. Further, the property damage liability coverage minimum limit is $15,000. This is known as 20/40/15 coverage in Iowa.
Since the system followed in Iowa is the tort system in accidents, the person at fault in the accident and the insurance company of that person should bear the cost of all claims and damages. Hence, it would be advisable to get adequate liability coverage, even in excess of the statutory limits. Other types of coverages are described below, which could provide you added protection.
When you are involved in an accident, the collision coverage would offer you protection, even if you had been at fault. The liability coverage would not help you with the damage to the car and its repair or replacement costs. The collision coverage would come in handy in meeting this exigency. Even if your car is totaled in an accident, the insurance company would assist you in obtaining a vehicle of similar market value. However, new cars and high value vehicles would result in a steep premium. Hence, it is advisable that you purchase low value cars or used cars, if your income is somewhat limited, so that you could afford appropriate insurance coverage.
Even when you are not driving your car, certain natural happenings could damage your car. Floods, fires, cyclones, stray animals, and vandals could damage your car even if it is stationary or while you are driving it. How about your car being stolen, when you had been sleeping peacefully? These incidents are known as ‘Acts of God’. The comprehensive coverage protects you when such things happen. The collision and comprehensive coverages are not mandatory but are definitely advisable, even if they might cost you substantially on your auto insurance premium rates.
At times, an accident could easily result in injuries to several persons when two vehicles collide. The medical expenses of all such persons would be quite high and might not be met by normal bodily liability insurance coverage. Under the circumstances, medical coverage would help you in obtaining immediate assistance for meeting the medical bills of all the persons injured in the accident. Medical coverage would also help you in claiming lost wages until you are able to return to work.
Several other coverages like personal injury protection coverage or PIP, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, etc. are also available. Depending on your financial capacity and the amount of accident risk in the area in which you normally drive, you should decide whether to add them to your auto insurance coverages. For example, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage would help you immensely if the other person involved in an auto accident is not insured or insufficiently injured. Taking out insurance coverages is a fine balancing act between the perceived risks and your financial capability.