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The Gem State is filled with tens of thousands of miles of highway, streets, and roadways. There are many accidents in Idaho daily. Most accidents are small, but serious accidents do occur in Idaho.
To help ease the financial burden of a difficult accident, the Idaho lawmakers require all drivers carry insurance coverage. You must have insurance in all the following situations:
- you own your car
- you lease it
- you finance your vehicle
- you borrow a vehicle
- you rent a car
State minimums require all drivers carry at least liability insurance, but your lender might require you carry full coverage. Car insurance is mandatory, and you could face serious penalties if you don’t purchase proper coverage.
To ensure you’re not breaking the law while on any Idaho roads, spend some time learning about the Idaho’s minimum insurance requirements, the penalties for not having insurance, and how you can find low rates by comparing policies.
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What is the minimum car insurance requirement in Idaho?
Every driver in Idaho must have liability coverage to help in the event of an accident. Even a minor fender bender in a parking lot can result in thousands of dollars spent repairing vehicles.
Many drivers haven’t that kind of money lying around for repairs and if injuries are sustained, medical bills only cause the cost of the accident to skyrocket.
Insurance protects people from the financial repercussions of accidents, and the state requires you carry at least the minimum.
Every driver must carry a policy that covers at least the following:
- $25,000 in bodily injury protection per person
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury protection
- $15,000 in property damage insurance
- $25,000/$50,000 uninsured motorist coverage
Without at least this type of coverage, you are breaking the law.
Do I need insurance if my car is paid off?
This is a question many drivers ask when they make their final car payment or when they realize the car they’ve had for years is worth very little.
It doesn’t seem financially responsible to pay for full coverage on a car that’s not worth the kind of coverage you’re paying for, which is why you don’t need full coverage on a paid-off car. You do, however, need to carry at least the minimum coverage required by the state.
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Is the minimum enough coverage for my leased or financed vehicle?
If you choose to carry only the minimum amount of required insurance in Idaho, you must know your lender will not allow it. If you finance or lease a vehicle, the lienholder requires you have full coverage.
Cars owned by lenders or dealers are not eligible for the kind of minimum coverage a car you own outright is eligible for. Lenders must know the vehicles they own while you make payment are fully covered if they’re involved in an accident.
Your lender will help you find the right coverage by providing you with specific instructions. It helps to compare rates so you end up with the best policy for a car that requires full coverage.
If you try to get away with only the minimum, your lender will find out immediately and send you a notice in the mail providing you a few days to find full coverage or end up with a policy they purchase for you. This policy won’t be cheap.
What are the penalties for driving without insurance in Idaho
Anyone driving without insurance in Idaho is subject to fines, penalties, and even jail time. It’s not worth the cost of being caught to avoid paying for insurance. All penalties are broken down and separated into two categories.
There is a set of penalties for anyone caught driving without insurance one time, and there is a set of penalties for all drivers caught driving without insurance a subsequent time.
- All first-time offenders are given a fine of $75.
- You also pay administrative fees in the amount of $56.50.
- Your license is suspended indefinitely.
- You must purchase a car insurance policy to get your license back.
- You must pay a $85 fee to have your license reinstated.
- You must also submit form SR-22 for one year to prove you carry insurance.
If you’re caught a subsequent time driving without insurance, the fine you pay is increased significantly.
There is no set amount, but the fine could reach as much as $1,000.
There are no administrative fees associated with this kind of fine, but you will lose your license indefinitely, pay the $85 reinstatement fee, and you must provide form SR-22 for three years following reinstatement.
Anyone caught driving a subsequent time without insurance can be sentenced to up to six months in jail. The court will either provide you jail time or a combination of jail time and a fine.
If you cannot afford to pay the fine, jail time is issued automatically. The fines are expensive, but six months in jail is even more expensive when you take away your ability to earn a living and provide for your family.
How do I find affordable insurance in Idaho?
Insurance is an expensive cost for many households, but it’s not impossible to find an affordable policy. There are a few tips that make shopping for a policy a little simpler and more affordable.
The first and most important thing you must do prior to shopping for car insurance is to check your credit report.
It’s one of the first things insurance companies look at, and they determine the riskiness of a driver based on their score. Those with low scores are categorized as riskier drivers than those with good scores.
If there are mistakes on your report, you know you can fix them and see your score go up. If you have a good driving record, that helps you get a better rate. If you live in a good area of town with a low crime rate, you also get a better rate.
You may also ask your insurers for discounts for your retirement status and for having more than one vehicle on the same policy.
There is nothing more important than insurance if an accident occurs. The cost of paying medical bills, repairs, and being subject to a personal injury lawsuit if you’re the at-fault driver in an accident can ruin your financial future.
While it might seem the state is forcing you to pay an expense you’re not sure you need, you will appreciate the insurance policy you have if you are involved in an accident.
Compare car insurance quotes today by using our free rate tool below. You might be surprised by how much you could save by switching providers.