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Exploring Broad Form Auto Insurance: What It Covers and How It Works

What Is Broad Form Auto Insurance? 

Broad Form auto insurance is a type of policy you may come across when searching for the cheapest car insurance options. It provides basic liability coverage to a single driver and is designed to meet state minimum requirements for car insurance.

Broad Form policies are not available in every state, but they can be a good choice for some drivers on tight budgets where they’re available. Keep reading for details about how broad form policies work, what they cover, and how to get one.

The Importance of Staying Insured On the Road

Most states require drivers to carry a certain level of car insurance to get behind the wheel. The required types and amounts of insurance vary by state. At a minimum, states mandate liability coverage for property damage and/or bodily injuries.

While the details vary by location, state car insurance laws have the same goal: To financially protect people involved in car accidents. Insurance helps at-fault drivers pay for the damages and injuries they cause and ensures the other people involved in the accident receive compensation. 

If you leased or financed your car, you likely need more coverage than your state’s minimum requirements. Auto dealers or lenders typically require drivers to carry collision and comprehensive coverage to help protect the vehicle itself. However, if you own your car outright, a broad form policy could be a viable option for staying insured on the road.

How Does Broad Form Auto Insurance Work?

Broad Form auto insurance provides low-cost liability coverage to a single driver. It helps drivers pay for the bodily injuries or property damage they cause if they’re found at fault in an accident.

A broad form policy is tied to a specific driver rather than a specific car. Drivers who opt for broad form insurance can add multiple vehicles to their policy without paying more. 

What Does a Broad Form Policy Cover?

A broad form policy covers the insured driver’s liability if they’re deemed responsible for causing an accident. It has two components: bodily injury liability coverage and property damage liability coverage.

Bodily injury liability coverage is the part of a broad form policy that helps pay for other people’s injuries. It covers medical bills, such as hospital fees and lost income, if they’re temporarily unable to work due to accident-related injuries.

Property damage liability coverage pays to repair or replace other people’s property you damage in an accident. It covers damage to private property, such as cars or fences, and public property, such as road signs or guardrails.

What Is Excluded?

Broad Form auto insurance only covers injuries or damages you cause to others. It does not cover injuries to you or the passengers in your vehicle, including medical bills or lost wages. It also does not cover damages to your own vehicle.

Similarly, broad form car insurance also excludes other drivers. Therefore, if a family member or friend borrows your car, the broad form policy does not cover them.

Where Is Broad Form Insurance for Drivers Available? 

Broad Form insurance is not available in all states. Since it only provides coverage for bodily injury liability and property damage liability, it does not meet some state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.

Insurance companies currently sell broad form auto insurance in 11 states. Drivers have the option to buy a policy if they live in:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Washington

Broad Form vs. Traditional Auto Insurance 

Both broad form and traditional auto insurance offer coverage for bodily injury liability and property damage liability. However, with traditional policies, drivers can buy many other types of coverage. Add-ons vary from insurer to insurer but may include the following:

  • Comprehensive coverage helps pay to repair damages caused by non-collision events, such as fire or vandalism.
  • Collision coverage helps pay to repair your car if it’s damaged in a collision.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage provides protection if you’re hit by another driver who either does not have insurance or has inadequate insurance.
  • Personal injury protection covers medical treatment for accident-related injuries, as well as lost wages if you’re unable to work.
  • Medical payments coverage helps pay your medical bills if you’re injured in an accident.
  • Roadside assistance is an optional add-on that includes services like towing, battery jump starts, and tire changes.
  • Rental car coverage helps pay for a rental car if your car cannot be driven after an accident.
  • Gap coverage pays the difference between your car’s actual cash value and the remaining loan balance if your car is totaled.

How Much Does a Broad Form Policy Cost? 

Broad Form policies tend to be the lowest-cost type of auto insurance. Premium costs range from around $300 to $1,000 per year, depending on the state and insurance company.

Other factors influence how much you pay for broad coverage. Some common things insurance companies consider include:

  • Your driving record: Drivers with past traffic violations and car accidents pay more because they pose a higher risk. On the other hand, drivers with clean records typically pay less.
  • How much you drive: Drivers who spend more time behind the wheel are more likely to be involved in an accident, so they may pay more than occasional drivers.
  • The car you drive: Some vehicle models cause more damage in collisions than others and tend to have higher liability insurance costs.
  • Your age: Older, more experienced drivers tend to be involved in fewer accidents than their younger counterparts, so they generally pay lower premiums.

Should You Consider Broad Form Auto Insurance? 

Broad Form auto insurance is a good choice for some people but not others. To decide if it’s right for you, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a broad form policy and consider your situation.

Benefits of Broad Form Car Insurance 

  • Save money on premiums: Drivers pay around $300 to $1,000 per year for broad coverage, which is far less than the cost of full coverage car insurance.
  • Help protect your finances: Broad Form policies make it easier for drivers to pay for the injuries or damages they cause in an accident.
  • Avoid uninsured penalties: People who are caught driving without insurance may face fines, license suspensions, or even jail time. 

Drawbacks of Broad Form Car Insurance

  • Not offered in all states: Insurance companies sell broad form coverage in 11 states, so some drivers cannot purchase a policy. 
  • Applies to a single driver: The policy does not provide any coverage if another member of your household drives the car. 
  • Provides limited coverage: Drivers are responsible for paying for their own medical bills and car repairs in the event of an accident. 

Consider Broad Form Auto Insurance If… 

  • You live in a state where broad form insurance is available.
  • Your car is not financed or leased.
  • You drive an older, low-value car that you can afford to replace.
  • You never let anyone else drive your car.
  • You do not want to pay more to insure multiple cars.
  • You drive infrequently but want some coverage in place.

How to Get Broad Form Auto Insurance 

Getting broad form auto insurance is a relatively straightforward process. If you’re interested in a broad form policy, follow these ten easy steps to get covered.

  1. Determine if broad form auto insurance is available in your state. 
  2. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of broad form insurance to ensure it’s right for you.
  3. Find insurance companies that sell broad form insurance in your state.
  4. Look into each company’s customer service and claims record. A trusted agent can help you find reputable insurers.
  5. Get quotes from the insurers you and your agent selected. 
  6. Compare the monthly premiums and coverage amounts each insurer offers.
  7. Choose the policy that suits your needs and apply.
  8. Provide the documentation your insurer requests, such as your driver’s license number and current vehicle mileage, and choose a policy start date.
  9. Pay your first premium and get your insurance ID card or proof of coverage letter.
  10.  Continue paying your premiums to keep the coverage active.

All In All 

If you’re interested in low-cost car insurance that provides your state’s minimum liability coverage, talk to a trusted agent to learn if broad form auto insurance is an option. It’s not sold in all states, but it’s a good choice for some drivers where it’s available.

If broad form coverage does not suit your needs, work with your agent to find other car insurance options that fit your budget. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Broad Form auto insurance follows a specific driver, not a specific car. That means a driver with a broad form coverage is still covered if they own or drive multiple cars. 

When driving someone else’s car, the broad form policy becomes secondary insurance. Claims are filed on the car owner’s primary policy first; then, the broad coverage helps cover any remaining costs.

Insurance companies sell some additional coverages for broad form auto insurance. Drivers may be able to purchase personal injury protection and/or uninsured motorist coverage.

Personal injury protection helps cover your accident-related medical expenses. Uninsured motorist coverage helps pay for medical expenses or vehicle repairs if a driver without insurance causes an accident.

Yes, drivers can cancel their car insurance at any time. You may want to cancel your broad form policy if you’re no longer driving or have purchased a different car insurance policy.

Before canceling, ask the insurer or your agent for details about the cancellation process. Provide the required notice, and get confirmation that the policy was canceled.

Find an auto insurance policy that meets your needs.

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Find an auto insurance policy that meets your needs.

Get a quote