In order to legally drive in Idaho, you’ll need liability insurance that at least includes:
- $25,000 for bodily injury to one person in a single accident.
- $50,000 for total bodily injury to two people or more in an accident
- $15,000 for property damage
When shopping for car insurance, you’ll sometimes see this written as 25/50/15.
You’re also required to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorists coverage (UM/UIM). This coverage protects you if you get into a car accident with someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the damages caused by an accident. To learn more about this kind of coverage, check out our guide.
You can also get additional types of insurance to better protect yourself, including:
- Collision. If your car is damaged in an accident, this will help pay for repairs.
- Comprehensive. If your car is damaged by something other than an accident, like vandalism or a storm, you’re protected.
- Medical payments. Helps pay for medical bills incurred from a car accident.
- Custom equipment. Helps pay for the cost of custom equipment on the vehicle that was damaged in an accident.
- Rental reimbursement. Helps you manage the financial fallout of car repairs.
- Towing. Pays for the costs of moving your vehicle from the scene of the accident.
What happens if I’m driving in Idaho and I don’t have insurance?
If you’re driving in Idaho, you’re legally required to carry insurance with you. If you’re found without it, you’ll face some consequences.
- First offense. $75 fine.
- Second offense and subsequent offenses. Fines up to $1000.
- Additional requirements. You’ll be required to provide proof of responsibility.
What about temporary car insurance?
Yes, you can get temporary coverage if you need it. You might need coverage for a short period for a borrowed car or rental car. However, many insurance companies probably won’t offer this option.
Your best option might be to call your current insurance provider or an online provider to find out your options. You can also find a policy that lets you cancel for no or low fees, and transfer to a more long term option when you’re ready.
Uninsured drivers in Idaho
About 6.7% drivers in Idaho don’t carry car insurance. That’s well below the national average of 12.6%, but it still means there are a lot of uninsured drivers out there.
To protect yourself from damages in a car accident, consider adding uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance to your policy.
Rates last updated February 17th, 2018
Drunk driving laws in Idaho
The legal limit in Idaho is the same as it is nationwide, with a 0.08 BAC limit for standard drivers and a 0.04% limit for any sort of commercial or professional driver. If you violate the legal limit you can expect steep fines, plus a possible license suspension and even jail time.
Up to 6 months in jail
Up to $1,000 in fines and penalties
License suspension for 90-180 days
10 days to 1 year in jail
Up to $2,000 in fines and penalties
License suspension for 1 year
Interlock Ignition Device (IID) required to drive after license suspension
30 days to 5 years in jail
Up to $5,000 in fines and penalties
License suspension for 1-5 years
IID required to drive after license suspension
Should I take or refuse a breathalyzer or alcohol sensor test in Idaho?
No, you shouldn’t refuse a test. Idaho is what’s called an implied consent state — this means when you get your driver’s license and begin to drive, you’re giving your implied consent to tests like the breathalyzer. Because of how this law is written, refusing a roadside alcohol sensor test or a breathalyzer in Idaho will have serious consequences.
If you refuse the test, you’ll be fined $250 and your license can be suspended for one year — that’s regardless of whether you were actually drinking or not. Refusing the test a second time within 10 years will get you another $250 fine and a license suspension of two years. In any case, it’s likely you can request an IID allowing you to drive to work, school or other necessary locations during the time of your suspension, depending on the severity of your offense.
What about SR-22 insurance?
Yes, you can get SR-22 insurance in Idaho — and you might need it if you’ve gotten a DUI, lost your license or have too many violation points on your driving record. An SR-22 on file tells the state you have the minimum coverage required to get back behind the wheel.
Check out our guide to learn more about the SR-22 filing process in Idaho.
Car accidents can be overwhelming. You might be scared for you and your passengers, while you still need to figure out details with the other driver. To stay calm and protect yourself, follow these steps.
- Safety first. Confirm that all involved parties are safe. If anybody is injured, call the police immediately. Check for any other potential dangers, like a fuel leak or a fire. Even if none are found, it’s a good idea to call your local police and inform them of what’s happened.
- Exchange information. Get the complete name, contact info and insurance policy details from other drivers. Note car types, colors, models and license plate numbers, as well as the exact location of the accident.
- Notify your insurance agent. Before you’ve left the scene, call your insurance agent. Once they’re informed of what’s happened, they’ll be able to guide you through any bumps on the road and provide more specific advice to help you.
- Document the scene. Take pictures of the scene, paying special attention to capturing multiple angles of where the damage occurred. Take down the names of police officers and any potential witnesses to better protect your claim.
Idaho allows for degrees of fault, or comparative negligence insurance. This means that multiple people can be found to be at-fault for an accident. You can only be awarded damages if you’re found to be less at-fault than the other drivers in the accident. Keep in mind that your damages can be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were deemed to be 10% at fault, your settlement can actually be reduced by 10%.
You’ll have to report a car accident to authorities in Idaho if it results in injury, death or property damages that exceed $1,500. If you’re unsure whether or not you should report an accident to the police, it’s always to be better safe than sorry. It’s always a good idea to call your local law enforcement, inform them of what’s happened and ask them what your next steps should be.
Car insurance is both legally required and oftentimes a good decision for your own safety. Research your insurance options to make sure that you’re receiving the coverage that you need — and that your state requires.
To learn more about car insurance in general, from the best discounts and rates to the varying laws of the land, check out our comprehensive guide to car insurance.