Idaho Car Insurance Requirements
The state of Idaho requires car owners to meet financial responsibility requirements in order to register and drive a vehicle. Unfortunately, the Gem State is often confused with Iowa, where car insurance is optional. The Idaho Department of Finance website makes it clear that their state’s law is not the same as Iowa law, using capitalization and bold text to get the reader’s attention.
In Idaho drivers have two options for proving financial responsibility: purchasing a car insurance policy or self insuring. However, self insuring is limited to individuals with at least 25 registered vehicles and a net worth of at least $500,000. Almost all Idaho drivers opt for the car insurance option.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
To meet minimum insurance requirements in the state of Idaho drivers must purchase a policy from a state licensed carrier. Every liability policy must include coverage as follows:
- $25,000 per accident to cover injuries or death to a single person
- $50,000 per accident to cover injuries or deaths of multiple persons
- $15,000 per accident to cover property damage
In addition, insurance companies are required to at least offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and med-pay coverage. Drivers can opt out of these additional coverages by signing a waiver provided by the carrier. Furthermore, motorcycles and ATVs must be insured under the same limits if they are driven on public roads.
Maintaining Insurance Coverage and Proof
As long as your car has Idaho plates and registration you’re required to maintain your car insurance policy. Though you don’t have to furnish proof of insurance at time of registration — all you do is sign an affidavit — you are required to carry an insurance ID card in your vehicle at all times.
If you’re caught driving without insurance in Idaho your first offense will result in a $75 fine. You’ll also be required to file and maintain an SR-22 for up to 12 months. Subsequent violations will result in fines of up to $1,000 and jail terms of up to six months.
Shopping for Insurance in Idaho
Given that cheap car insurance is so easy to find, it doesn’t make any sense to go without it in Idaho. Saving yourself a couple of hundred dollars per year is not worth the potential six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
To find a car insurance policy can afford try doing an online search. If that proves unfruitful you can always contact insurance companies directly or work with a local, independent agent in your area.