Car insurance is there to protect us financially if our car is ever damaged due to an accident or some other cause. Most states require drivers to have car insurance, but the requirements vary depending on where you live.
The state of Idaho requires you to have a specific type of car insurance to drive legally. Whether you are planning on moving to The Gem State at some point soon or shopping around for a new car insurance plan, it’s important to know what to look for. Here is the basic run down on car insurance laws in Idaho.
What Are The Requirements For Car Insurance In Idaho?
While there are many different types of car insurance, the state of Idaho requires all drivers to have liability coverage on their car insurance policy. Liability coverage is the type of coverage that will cover the damages and/or injuries of the other driver in an accident that you cause.
If you are an Idaho driver, you must have the following minimum coverage limits for liability insurance on your policy:
- Bodily injury: $25,000 per person, per accident.
- Total bodily injury: $50,000 if multiple people were injured.
- Property damage: $15,000.
Although liability coverage is technically the only type of insurance that you are required to have in Idaho, car insurance companies in this state are required to merge uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in with your liability coverage.
Uninsured motorist coverage is a type of insurance that protects you if you are ever hit by a driver who is uninsured. Underinsured motorist coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage, except it covers you if you are hit by a driver without sufficient insurance of their own to cover the damages done to you or your vehicle.
There are two types of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: bodily injury and property damage. Idaho does not require you to have uninsured or underinsured property damage coverage, but they do require you to have uninsured and underinsured bodily injury coverage.
The minimum requirements for uninsured bodily injury coverage are the same as the ones for liability coverage.
If you would like to opt out of having uninsured motorist coverage, you may do so, but you must submit a letter in writing to your car insurance company.
What Are My Other Options For Car Insurance In Idaho?
Even though you only need to have liability insurance in Idaho, many drivers might feel like it isn’t enough protection. There are so many other types of insurance coverage options to choose from. If you feel like you need more coverage to make you feel protected while driving, here are some of the most common insurance options in Idaho:
- Comprehensive: This type of car insurance helps you pay for damages done to your vehicle caused by something other than a car accident such as theft, bad weather, fire or vandalism.
- Collision: This type of insurance will help you pay for the damages done to your car following an accident.
- Medical payments: If you or your passengers were injured in a car accident, this type of insurance will help you pay for medical bills and/or funeral expenses.
- Custom equipment: Since most traditional car insurance policies do not cover damages done to custom parts, you may need to purchase a special kind of insurance to make sure your custom parts are protected.
- Rental reimbursement: If your car ever gets damaged and needs to spend an extended amount of time in the shop getting fixed, this type of insurance coverage will help you pay for a rental car to drive in the meantime.
- Roadside assistance: This type of insurance comes in handy if you are ever broken down on the side of the road and need immediate assistance.
How Does The State Of Idaho Determine Fault For An Accident?
Due to Idaho’s comparative negligence law, multiple people can be found at fault for an accident at varying degrees. This means that the driver who is less at fault for the accident will be the one who is awarded damages.
Keep in mind that sometimes the percentage of fault you are found to have can influence your settlement. For instance, a driver who is 40% at fault for an accident might have their settlement reduced by 40%.
How Can I Get Insurance If I Have A Poor Driving Record?
When it comes to car insurance, a bad driving record can cost you. Drivers with poor driving records are typically viewed as being high risk by auto insurance companies. This can make it difficult for these drivers to find a company who is willing to insure them.
Since Idaho requires all drivers to be insured, the state has implemented a program called the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan to assist high risk drivers. If you have found yourself in this situation, you can apply for the program through any car insurance company or licensed agent in the state.
Note that purchasing insurance through the Idaho Automobile Insurance Plan is usually more expensive than buying it the traditional way, so only go down this route if you have no other options.
What Are The Penalties For Insurance Violations In Idaho?
So long as you drive a vehicle in Idaho, you must meet the minimum state requirements for liability insurance, regardless of whether the car is registered. Upon registering your car, you will be required to sign a statement that certifies that you are insured and will continue to be insured with liability coverage.
Failure to obtain proper insurance coverage for two months in a row will lead to a warning, at which point you will be given 30 days to show proof of insurance. If you fail to show proof of insurance within this timeframe, you will face suspension of your vehicle registration.
Driving without insurance in Idaho will result in the following penalties:
- A $75 fine for your first offense.
- Fines of up to $1,000 for any succeeding offenses.
- A mandate to provide proof of financial responsibility.
- Up to 6 months in jail.