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Stretching from Canada in the north to Nevada and Utah in the south, Idaho is 479 miles from top to bottom. It's big enough that it takes two states – Washington and Oregon – to fill the same space on the map to the west. Many Idahoans end up needing cars and trucks to get around in those wide-open stretches. That’s obvious when you look at the numbers. The state’s roughly 1.75 million residents are responsible for some 1.7 million registered vehicles, including 1.3 million passenger vehicles. 

This is a lot of vehicles to insure, and Idaho’s Office of Highway Safety helps explain why coverage is so important. It turns out that there are approximately 25,000 motor vehicle crashes each year in Idaho. Separate data from the FBI Uniform Crimes Report shows that the number of cars stolen in Idaho had recently topped 1,600 vehicles per year. Idaho drivers also face the risk of wildfires and flooding, which can have a major impact on insurance needs.

The good news is that the state has some of the lowest average insurance representative rates in the country for 2019. Comparing the same hypothetical driver profile in both cases, the Gem State’s average annual automotive insurance cost in our analysis is $440 lower than for the nation as a whole. The flipside to this is a national average that’s nearly 45% higher than the Idaho average. 

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A few key elements go into the Idaho rates. For instance, car insurance costs are generally highest for the youngest drivers, since they get into the most accidents. It makes sense, as most of these drivers don’t have a lot of time behind the wheel when they first get their licenses. Rates come down as you get older and more experienced. And in Idaho, there are quite a few older and more experienced drivers to get those lower rates and bring down the state’s average. In fact, citizens aged 65 and above make up the largest percentage of Idaho's drivers. Commuting times can be another vital consideration for insurance rates, as this reflects how long you spend driving in traffic. Idaho shines here because its largest city, Boise, is in the U.S. top 10 for shortest commutes. That said, smaller cities may have even lower rates since insurance tends to cost less in places with a lower population density. 

Boise’s Ada County is home to nearly 400,000 registered vehicles, which is close to 25% of all vehicles registered in Idaho in total. Yet nearly half of all Idaho counties have 15,000 registered vehicles or fewer. 

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Idaho

The rates shown here are based on a study performed by Quadrant Information services on behalf of U.S. News. The study examined rates from nine largest car insurance companies in the United States, using certain driver profiles. Your rates will differ.

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How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings. 

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the nine largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

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To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Idaho?

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Idaho is a great place for car lovers, thanks to average insurance rates in our study that rank fifth-lowest in the country. A typical policy for our Idaho driver profiles costs on average $975 per year in 2020. There was a fair amount of difference in the individual companies' study rates, though. 

USAA checked in with by far the lowest representative quote of the eight insurers in our Idaho comparison: $517. The study rate from the next cheapest company, Travelers, was $837. Allstate was at the opposite end of the spectrum. Annual coverage from that company required $1,436. Also topping $1,000 per year in average insurance expenses, according to our analysis, were Nationwide ($1,244), American Family ($1,038), and Farmers ($1,077). 

True, those are all sample policies, drawn from carefully constructed driver profiles. Yet they’re a good indication of how variable costs can be in Idaho.

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by Age

Company

25-year-old male

25-year-old female

35-year-old male

35-year-old female

60-year-old male

60-year-old female

Allstate

$1,661

$1,579

$1,416

$1,421

$1,291

$1,248

American Family

$1,250

$1,187

$1,010

$972

$907

$900

Farmers

$1,322

$1,244

$1,039

$1,047

$939

$873

Geico

$949

$1,379

$744

$702

$687

$687

Nationwide

$1,581

$1,436

$1,193

$1,164

$1,091

$1,000

State Farm

$976

$851

$764

$764

$700

$700

Travelers

$936

$894

$888

$847

$748

$709

USAA

$647

$612

$477

$477

$440

$449

The bottom line was that the biggest difference in rates came at the youngest age level. When both profiles are for 25-year-olds, the male driver profiles paid an average rate in our study of $1,165 for car insurance in Idaho, while the average representative cost for the female profiles was $1,148. That’s an advantage of about $17 for the female profile. But when we researched male and female driver profiles at the age of 35, the average study rate for the male profile – $941 was still $17 above that for the female profile. Representative rates began diverging again with the profiles at 60 years old. At that point, female driver profiles paid $821, while the male profiles have a study rate of $851.

To determine the average rates based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by Mileage

Company

6,000 miles annually

12,000 miles annually

Allstate

$1,436

$1,436

American Family

$1,002

$1,038

Farmers

$1,077

$1,077

Geico

$778

$858

Nationwide

$1,244

$1,244

State Farm

$717

$793

Travelers

$782

$837

USAA

$485

$517

Our analysis indicated that how far you drive may not make a significant impact on rates either. We found that the average annual insurance premium in our study was $940 when driving 6,000 miles a year in Idaho. Doubling that distance only bumped the representative rate up to $975. This is a change of about 4%. 

We created two driver profiles to compare how annual mileage can change car insurance rates: one with low mileage (6,000 miles per year) and one with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered males and females in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type

Company

Low

Medium

High

Allstate

$1,392

$1,436

$1,489

American Family

$1,009

$1,038

$1,036

Farmers

$1,039

$1,077

$1,127

Geico

$813

$858

$910

Nationwide

$1,166

$1,244

$1,130

State Farm

$739

$793

$849

Travelers

$791

$837

$881

USAA

$500

$517

$540

It’s no surprise that the least expensive average study rates are for the lowest amount of coverage. However, the differences aren’t really that noticeable. Going from low to high coverage increased insurance costs by $65 a year according to our study. That means you may want to think twice before reducing your coverage as a way of cutting your budget. After all, you may be saving $5 per month in premiums, but you could have to pay thousands of dollars in damages if you get into an accident with the minimum legal amount of insurance. 

We created identical profiles in our study to represent drivers, then found out how rates changed with the three levels of coverage. The profiles were assigned a clean driving record, a good credit score, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. We used both males and females aged 25, 35, and 60. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis. 

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

Company

Good

Fair

Poor

Allstate

$1,436

$1,612

$2,134

American Family

$1,038

$1,231

$1,832

Farmers

$1,077

$1,202

$1,719

Geico

$858

$903

$1,108

Nationwide

$1,244

$1,450

$1,737

State Farm

$793

$993

$1,562

Travelers

$837

$996

$1,312

USAA

$517

$590

$907

The results showed that the average insurance rate in our study for a driver profile with good credit was $975. Slipping to a fair credit score adds almost $150 to that total. If a profile had a poor credit rating attached, the average representative cost of insurance climbed to $1,539.

Based on profiles of male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60, our study verified that credit scores affect car insurance rates. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 were the vehicles used in our analysis.

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

Company

Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$1,436

$1,655.58

$2,012.78

$1,912.78

American Family

$1,038

$1,075

$1,075

$1,075

Farmers

$1,077

$1,328

$1,561

$1,436

Geico

$858

$1,781

$1,384

$2,500

Nationwide

$1,244

$1,471

$1,901

$2,923

State Farm

$793

$865

$937

$865

Travelers

$837

$1,081

$1,125

$1,232

USAA

$517

$651

$746

$1,069

Insurance companies generally believe that the best way to predict the future is by studying the past, so your driving history is a major factor in determining auto insurance rates. For our Idaho driver profiles, it only takes a single speeding ticket for the average cost of insurance in our study to spike by $263 per year. With an accident on our profile's driving record, the average representative rate jumps from $975 to $1,343. As an example of a more serious offence, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) raised the average annual cost of car insurance in our analysis in Idaho to $1,626. 

To find out just how much of an effect a person's driving record has on insurance rates, we made driving profiles with a clean record, with one speeding violation, with one accident, and with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females who drove 12,000 miles per year and had a medium level of insurance coverage and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Idaho Car Insurance Rates by City

City

Average Rate

Boise City

$904

Caldwell

$963

Coeur d'Alene

$943

Idaho Falls

$1,003

Lewiston

$981

Meridian

$897

Nampa

$952

Pocatello

$1,004

Post Falls

$935

Twin Falls

$931

Urban living offers its share of advantages, but they don’t include inexpensive insurance coverage. Crowded city streets can lead to more opportunities for accidents, and crime rates are usually higher in cities as well. Both conditions will drive up the price of insurance. On the other hand, the lowest average insurance representative costs in Idaho’s cities were in relatively large places like Boise ($904) and Meridian ($897). The same insurance policies in our study cost more in smaller metro areas like Idaho Falls ($1,003) and Pocatello ($1,004). 

Within each state, insurance rates can vary dramatically from city to city. To get a sense of how these differences affect car insurance premiums, we looked at average representative rates across 10 of Iowa’s top cities. In our study, we used male and female driver profiles aged 25, 35, and 60 who put 12,000 miles on the odometer each year. Our profiles have medium insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and good credit. We included three vehicles in our study: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Idaho Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

Idaho stands out as one of the states where you don’t need traditional third-party auto insurance coverage. Instead, drivers can post an indemnity bond that’s basically a personal promise to pay for damages. This option requires a guarantee of least $50,000 per accident, with $15,000 of that amount allotted for property damage. Idaho caps payments at $120,000 in property damages in situations where five or more vehicles are involved.

If you would rather go the conventional route with an insurance company, Idaho has the following requirements:

  • Bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident 
  • Property damage coverage: $15,000 per accident 

Drivers who have had their licenses suspended in Idaho may also need to get an SR22 certificate before reinstatement. It’s a document filed by an insurance company that supports your proof of financial responsibility. 

Cheapest Car Insurance in Idaho

Note: Due to USAA's limited membership, we excluded them from this segment evaluation.

Category

Cheapest Company

Drivers with a Military Affiliation

USAA

Male Young Adult Drivers

Travelers

Female Young Adult Drivers

State Farm

Married Adult Drivers

GEICO

Senior Drivers

GEICO

Drivers with Good Credit

State Farm

Drivers with Poor Credit

GEICO

Drivers with a Clean Record

State Farm

Drivers with One Speeding Violation

State Farm

Drivers with One Accident

State Farm

Drivers with One DUI

State Farm

Low-mileage Drivers

State Farm

High-mileage Drivers

State Farm

Drivers with Low Coverage

State Farm

Drivers with High Coverage

State Farm

Drivers with Used Cars

State Farm

Drivers with New Cars

State Farm

The final rankings saw the USAA setting the pace for low-cost Idaho insurance with an average rate in our study of $517 . Because that company focuses on coverage for military members and their families, we’ll also point out that Travelers – with a broader customer base – had the next least-expensive coverage: $837 each year. The costliest coverage was a $1,436 representative policy from Allstate. 

To find which car insurance company offers the lowest rates, our study used representative driver profiles with good credit, medium insurance coverage, and a clean driving record. Our profiles included males and females aged 25, 35, and 60 who drove 12,000 miles per year. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Idaho

Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. This usually means taking in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. Our driver profiles put that into focus. They charged higher insurance rates in our analysis when it seemed more likely that they would have a claim during the policy term. Red flags for insurers include: 

  • Younger drivers, who may not have the experience to avoid an accident. 
  • Drivers who live in cities, since the higher amounts of traffic and crime can lead to more potential for vehicle damage.
  • People who have gotten into accidents in the past, as statistics show they tend to get into more accidents in the future.
  • Drivers with bad credit scores, because insurers take this as a sign of financial irresponsibility.

Conversely, older drivers with clean records, a good credit history, and an address in a smaller town or village have proven to be less risky for companies to insure. These people are charged less for coverage as a consequence.

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Idaho

Almost any driver, regardless of things like credit score or driving history, can still save some money on car insurance. One method is to comparison shop. Remember, according to the statewide average rates in our study, switching from the priciest coverage to the cheapest would deliver an annual savings of more than $820. 

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Insurance companies also offer an extensive range of discounts. Now, this does include savings that showed up already in our study – such as discounts for accident-free driving and good credit scores. But it’s common for insurers to go beyond this. They can offer lower costs when you bundle all your insurance needs with one company, pay your premiums twice a year instead of monthly, or get coverage for students with good grades. Organizations ranging from credit unions to college alumni associations partner with insurance companies as well. By harnessing the buying power of all members, the groups can arrange lower policy costs. 

Drivers who are especially careful can save money with an in-vehicle tracking device from certain insurance companies. The insurers use real-world data from those devices to determine their pricing. 

Additional discounts are sometimes available if you take a qualified driver-education class. The key here is to make sure the cost of the class is less than the discount you get. Otherwise, you won’t actually save any money on the deal. 

Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Idaho

Idaho is an at-fault state, so each person involved in an accident is responsible for damages from their own negligence. You can think of it like this: If you are in an accident and someone files a claim against you, the court will make a finding about who is responsible for what percentage of the crash. If it turns out that the other person was 25% responsible, the amount of damages awarded to that person will be cut by the same percentage.

Idahoans can post an indemnity bond of $50,000 instead of buying a traditional insurance policy.

As a nod toward the changing times, physical insurance cards are no longer necessary in Idaho. A digital card that you show on your smartphone is now acceptable.

Idaho Driving Laws and Punishments

Texting while driving is prohibited in Idaho, but it’s categorized as a “civic public offense,” not a “crime.” So you cannot be arrested for texting and driving in the state or forced to post bail. Nor is it considered a moving violation for purposes of increasing insurance rates. The punishment is a fine, and if you don’t pay up, your license can be suspended. Moreover, this only applies to drivers caught texting with a handheld device. Using a car’s hands-free, voice-activated technology to send and receive texts while driving is allowed.

Drinking and driving is treated more seriously. If you are 21 or older, you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. Younger drivers can be charged for having a BAC of .02%. Idaho also increases penalties if children are in the vehicle, if the driver’s BAC is above .20%, or if a driver has been convicted of a past DUI. 

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The maximum penalty for a first offense is six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, plus having your license suspended for 180 days. In a worst-case scenario, a conviction for “aggravated DUI” could lead to 15 years in prison, a suspended license for five years, and/or a fine of $5,000. 

Idaho takes an interesting approach to handling situations with uninsured motorists (UM). On one hand, any policy offered in the state must include UM coverage for bodily injuries. This is to protect the insured driver in a case where another person is liable for damages but doesn’t have his or her own insurance to pay for it. The thing is, you can sign off to reject UM coverage in Idaho if you don’t want to carry it. Idaho doesn’t have similar requirements for UM property damage.

Idaho Car Insurance FAQs

Is Car Insurance Required in Idaho?

Yes, drivers are required to carry car insurance. Drivers can choose to post an indemnity bond with the state’s insurance department as an alternative to having car insurance. 

Which Cars Are Required To Be Insured in Idaho?

All vehicles registered and operated in the state of Idaho must be insured. Divers may opt instead to post an indemnity bond. 

When Should I Get Car Insurance in Idaho?

Drivers have 90 days to register a vehicle in Idaho after purchase, and they need either insurance or an indemnity bond to do that. Therefore, drivers essentially have 90 days to get some kind of vehicle protection.

What Happens if My Car Is Not Properly Insured in Idaho?

Driving without insurance is an infraction that can be punished by a fine of $75 for a first offense. Future violations can be treated as misdemeanors with more serious penalties. These include a fine of up to $1,000 or a sentence of up to six months in the county jail. 

Is Idaho a No-Fault State?

No, Idaho is an at-fault state, and awards damages for negligence in auto accidents based on a comparison method. First, the court determines how much the actions of each party contributed to the accident. Any damages are then modified by the same percentage. That is, if the court finds the person seeking damages is 25% responsible for an accident, the amount that person can recover is reduced by 25%. 

Do I Need Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Idaho?

Although you don’t need coverage for uninsured motorists, all insurance policies in Idaho automatically come with it unless you submit a signed coverage-rejection letter.

Is Liability Insurance Required in Idaho?

Yes, liability insurance is required in Idaho. You need $25,000 in coverage per person per accident for bodily injuries, with a cap of $50,000 in total for a single accident. For property damages, the required liability coverage amount is $15,000 per accident. You can also choose to file an indemnity bond of $50,000 with the state's insurance board in lieu of carrying insurance coverage.

Does Idaho Accept Digital Insurance Cards?

Yes, Idaho has joined the growing number of states that allow you to use a digital insurance card as proof of coverage.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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