Idaho is home to a variety of natural and man-made attractions. Over a million drivers each year use the state’s roadways to visit spots ranging from ski resorts such as Coeur d’Alene and Sun Valley, Shoshone Falls, Craters of the Moon, Yellowstone National Park and more. Given that the state is landlocked with a multitude of highways, freeways and roads, it is perfect for back-country driving, as well as the day-to-day commute of local residents.
No matter what city you live in, Inland Northwest Insurance is the premier insurance provider in Idaho. Located a mere 20 miles from Coeur d’Alene and serving all areas of Idaho, including Boise, Nampa, Meridian and Idaho Falls, we have over two decades of experience.
What is Auto Insurance?
Auto insurance, or car insurance, protects you from financial damage should you be in a car accident. It is a contract between you and an insurance company in which you agree to pay a regular amount (known as a premium) in return for the insurance company agreeing to pay for any losses incurred, defined within the policy. Typically, it will provide property, liability and medical coverage.
Property coverage will pay for the damage to your car in an accident or theft. Liability coverage will pay your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage in an accident. Medical coverage will pay for the treatment of injuries or rehabilitation of injuries in case of accident, and may even pay for lost wages or funeral costs, depending on your policy.
According to a 2012 report by the Insurance Research Council, 6.7 percent of all Idaho drivers were uninsured. Although this is approximately half the national average of 12.6 percent, it still means over 60,000 drivers are uninsured and unable to cover property damage or pay for after-accident medical costs.
Why Do I Need Car Insurance?
Idaho State insurance laws requires that in an accident, you have a minimum of $25,000 coverage per person, $50,000 for an accident, and $50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Idaho car insurance laws also require that all drivers have liability insurance to assist in paying for injuries or damages related to car accidents you are responsible for.
Whether this is your first auto insurance policy, or you are shopping for a better rate on an existing car insurance policy, Inland Northwest Insurance is here to help. We have exclusive appointments with some of the country’s top insurance carriers, allowing us to provide clients with the best coverage at the lowest rates in Idaho.
All drivers in Idaho need to have at least the minimum levels of liability coverage to comply with state law. This liability insurance helps to cover costs associated with any damages or injuries to other parties that are involved in an accident where you are at fault. As a driver, if you fail to meet the minimum liability requirements, you will be subject to penalties which include a minimum $500 fine, points on your Idaho driver’s license, license suspension and community service. Also, under Idaho’s tort system, you may be held liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and minimum costs), economic damages (such as lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
Idaho Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person per accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury for all persons per accident
- $15,000 for property damage liability
- $25,000/$50,000 uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
It is important to note that these are the bare minimums for drivers in the state of Idaho. If you purchase a more substantial level of liability coverage, you will increase your car insurance protection.
Auto Insurance in Idaho
Liability coverage is required by Idaho law to protect others on the road, meaning our coverage does not extend to cover you or your vehicle. Collision coverage is optional insurance that protects your own car or vehicle. If you finance or lease your vehicle, it is not uncommon for your bank or lender to require you to buy collision insurance. If you have an older vehicle that has lost most of its value, it may make sense to remove the liability coverage from your policy.
In many cases, our vehicles are damaged even when they’re not on the road. Comprehensive coverage helps to pay for damage caused to your vehicle by various external factors such as vandalism, fire, theft, natural disaster, and similar non-collision related damage. Like collision coverage, the age and condition of your vehicle needs to be considered when determining comprehensive coverage. Our team of auto insurance experts are educated and experienced, and can explain the options available to you when deciding to add or remove coverage.
Optional coverage varies, but you add multiple protections to your car insurance policy to enhance it. Optional coverage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, roadside assistance/towing coverage, rental car coverage, loan/lease gap coverage, and more. The two most common additions to your auto insurance policy are collision coverage and comprehensive coverage. Vehicles such as ATVs, UTVs, motorbikes and other specialty off-roading vehicles are popular in Idaho, and we can cover these vehicles when required. If you are unsure whether your off-roading vehicle needs insurance, contacts us to learn more.
Compared to other states, Idaho has middle of the road car insurance requirements. Idaho is unique in that it allows electronic proof of insurance. While it is still suggested to carry a paper insurance card in your auto or wallet, if you have proof on your phone or tablet, police or other law enforcement will accept it.
How much does Car Insurance cost?
Auto insurance premiums are regulated by the Idaho Department of Insurance. Each policy is unique, and companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a variety of factors, including:
- Make, model and age of the car being insured
- Previous auto insurance coverage
- How often the car will be driven
- Policy holder’s previous driving record
- Policy holder’s age
- Policy holder’s gender
- Policy holder’s marital status
- Location of the car and policy holder being insured
- Policy holder’s driving experience
- If the car being insured is for business or personal use
The state of Idaho also allows your credit history to be considered when determining premiums.
How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Idaho
There are several ways to lower your premium, or obtain discounts.
- There are several discounts available to drivers, including good driving habits, good students, bundling with home insurance, insuring multiple vehicles, and more. Ask us how to save!
- Ask us to compare quotes with several of our insurance companies
- Eliminate coverages that do not apply to your situation
- Idaho has some low-cost auto insurance programs we can see if you qualify for
- Our goal is to ensure you get the best insurance possible at a great rate. Ask our agents how we can help you save in your unique situation.
Teenage Drivers in Idaho
Teens may begin driving at the age of 15 in Idaho. All teens must complete the state’s Graduated Driver’s License program. To start this process, an Idaho teen must first acquire their Supervised Instruction Permit (SIP). This is acquired by completing a six-month, violation-free supervised instruction program. Once they hold a SIP, a teen driver must be accompanied by a passenger who is at least 21 years old and has a valid driver’s license whenever operating a vehicle. After the teen has completed 50 hours of supervised driving (10 hours of which must be at night), they can apply for their actual driver’s license.
After a teenager has become an officially licensed driver in Idaho, he or she will need to be added to an insurance policy as a driver. Typically, it is best to add them to a parent’s existing auto insurance policy, although they can add their own, separate policy. If added to an existing policy, the parent or legal guardian should be prepared for the rates to go up. Because teenage drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than experienced drivers, their premiums will reflect this.
Although adding a teenage driver to a parent’s policy may result in premiums go up, it is typically cheaper than putting a teen driver on their own policy. In many cases, we are substantially less than other local competitors when it comes to rates for teenage drivers.
How to get Auto Insurance in Idaho
Coeur d’Alene, Boise, and Nampa residents can take advantage of the various discounts we offer to save money on your car insurance. Among these include safe driver discounts, defensive driving course discounts, anti-theft discounts, good student discounts, multi-vehicle discounts and much more!
At Inland Northwest Insurance, our goal is to build lasting relationships with all of our customers to ensure we provide the best customer service in Idaho. Among our regular services are policy reviews so that we make sure you are getting the best auto insurance policy at the best rate. For more information on car insurance in Coeur d’Alene, Boise, Nampa, Idaho Falls or anywhere else in Idaho, or to get a free quote, contact us today!
Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote
How much your car insurance will cost depends on a variety of factors. Fill out the form below so that we can give you an accurate quote based on your unique situation!