Every vehicle registered and operated in Idaho must have car insurance. Insurance provides the financial protection to pay for the damages you suffer in a collision. Our lawyers explain Idaho car insurance requirements and laws in this article, and can help you understand which policies apply to your potential claim.
Contact Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers for more information.
Car Insurance Requirements in Idaho
What car insurance is required in Idaho?
The owner of a vehicle registered and operated in Idaho must have a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury per person and $50,000 total per accident. In addition, they must have at least $15,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.
- Bodily injury – covers injury or death when the driver is at fault for the accident
- Property damage – pays for damage to another vehicle, road fixtures or other property because of fault for an accident
What is the law for car insurance in Idaho?
Idaho Statutes § 49-1229 is the law that car insurance is required in minimum amounts for all vehicles. Additionally, Idaho Statutes § 49-117 gives the minimum amounts that are required per person and per accident.
Can a driver self-insure in the State of Idaho?
If a driver has 25 or more vehicles titled in their name in Idaho, they may self-insure. To self-insure, they must make a showing of a net worth of at least $500,000. They must pay an annual fee.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance
What is the penalty for driving without insurance in Idaho?
For a first offense, driving without car insurance in Idaho is punishable by a fine of $75.00. For a second or subsequent offense in a five-year period, driving without insurance is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Do you have to carry proof of car insurance when you drive in Idaho?
Yes. Idaho Statutes § 49-1232 requires drivers to always carry proof of liability insurance in their vehicle when they are driving. They must present it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it.
If the driver doesn’t have it, they may remedy the violation before a conviction enters by showing proof. The insurance must have been in effect at the time they received the citation.
Can proof of car insurance be presented in electronic format?
Yes. Idaho Statutes § 49-1232 allows the driver to present proof of car insurance in paper or electronic format. A cell phone or tablet is acceptable.
Summary of Idaho Car Insurance Laws
For Idaho drivers, here’s what you need to know about minimum car insurance laws:
- Any vehicle registered in Idaho must be insured whenever it is driven in the state
- The driver must have a minimum amount of insurance. Currently, the amounts are $25,000 in bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $15,000 property damage
- There are penalties for driving without insurance and for driving without proof of insurance. If you’re caught without having proof of insurance, you may cure the offense by presenting proof before the court enters a conviction
- Minimums are only minimums – you may elect additional coverage
Additional Insurance Types and Coverages
Idaho law sets minimum insurance amounts for each vehicle driven on the roads. They are just that – minimum amounts. Vehicle owners may select higher amounts. They may also choose different types of coverage.
You can – and you should – select higher amounts of liability coverage. Many Idaho car accident claims quickly exceed the minimum amount of damages. The driver at fault may be personally liable for amounts beyond their insurance coverage. Higher amounts of liability coverage protect personal assets by covering up to the policy limits if the insured is at fault for an accident.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
Idaho uses an at-fault system for car accident liability. The party at fault pays damages. If the party at fault doesn’t have insurance, they are uninsured. If they don’t have enough insurance to cover the full amount of damages, they are underinsured.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance is an optional type of car insurance in Idaho. Despite laws requiring car insurance coverage, a significant number of drivers choose to operate without car insurance. In addition, many drivers elect the minimum required amounts which can be woefully insufficient to cover damages when a crash occurs. The answer is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured and uninsured car insurance pays the victim directly when the party at fault doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. It is a way for a driver to elect coverage to protect against another driver not having enough coverage to pay damages. When a driver purchases their required coverage, the insurance company must offer uninsured/underinsured coverage, too. A driver who chooses not to have it must specifically reject it.
Collision insurance coverage
Collision insurance covers you if you’re at fault for an accident, whether you strike another vehicle or an object. Your required minimum insurance amounts pay for your legal liability to others, but it doesn’t pay you for your own damages like vehicle repairs. Collision insurance is optional coverage that you can choose in addition to your required minimums. If you lease your vehicle, or even if you have a loan, collision insurance may be required by your contract.
Not all vehicle damage comes from car accidents. Fire, hail, wind, water and vandalism are just some of the ways that a vehicle may be damaged. Comprehensive coverage pays for vehicle damage that is not the result of an accident. This coverage is optional in Idaho.
Understanding Types of Insurance and Idaho Laws
The types of insurance that a party has are extremely important when an accident occurs. You may seek compensation from another party’s insurance if they are at fault. You may seek compensation from your own insurance regardless of who is at fault if you have the right insurance coverage. Understanding what types of insurance exist and how to pursue compensation is critical to getting the relief that you deserve.
At Sargent Law Firm Injury Lawyers, we’re dedicated to helping car accident victims. If you or a loved one have been hurt in a car accident, we want you to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.