Broad Form Car Insurance

Broad form car insurance is a more affordable choice for auto coverage, focusing on one driver with the minimum liability protection. This means it covers only the driver’s liability costs, excluding coverage for others who might drive the car. This type of insurance is limited to specific states due to the associated risks.


What is broad form insurance?

Despite its name suggesting extensive coverage, broad form insurance, also known as broad form named operator insurance, provides basic liability coverage that meets your state’s minimum auto insurance requirements.

This policy only covers the liability costs of the driver who holds the insurance. It could be attractive to those seeking the most cost-effective car insurance option, especially if they only want to cover their own liability and not that of family members.

However, not every driver can access broad form insurance for budget-friendly coverage. Currently, it is only available in a handful of states, such as Washington. Specific conditions determine what is included in the coverage under broad form insurance.

broad form car insurance

What is covered by broad form auto insurance?

Broad form insurance mainly covers injuries and property damage caused by the driver mentioned in the policy. However, there are several important things that it does not cover, so it’s essential to understand these limitations.

Here’s a breakdown of what broad form coverage excludes compared to standard auto insurance policies:

CoverageBroad Form Auto InsuranceStandard Auto Insurance
ComprehensiveDoes not cover non-collision damages, such as theft, vandalism, fire, acts of nature, and weather.Typically includes coverage for non-collision damages.
CollisionDoes not cover damages resulting from collisions with other vehicles or objects, like trees.Typically includes coverage for collision damages.
Others driving your vehicleLiability coverage does not apply when someone other than the named driver is using your vehicle.Usually provides coverage when someone else is driving your vehicle with permission.
Your own personal injuriesBroad form insurance does not cover your personal injuries, although additional personal injury protection can be purchased.Generally includes coverage for your own personal injuries.
Uninsured or underinsured motoristDoes not provide protection in case of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.Usually includes coverage for accidents involving uninsured or underinsured motorists.

It’s important to carefully consider these factors when deciding on a broad form policy to ensure you have the coverage you need.

What broad form car insurance does not cover?

Aside from states that require medical payments or PIP coverage, broad form car insurance does not provide coverage for the medical expenses of your or your passengers. Unlike other auto insurance policies, you do not have the option to add endorsements such as additional liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, rental coverage or roadside assistance.

Broad form car insurance also does not cover any other driver to drive your vehicle. If you are the listed driver and you loan your vehicle to a friend, the liability coverage you purchased will not provide coverage if your friend causes an accident. However, if you are the owner of that vehicle, you will still be financially liable for any damage caused.

Advantages and disadvantages of broad form auto insurance

When it comes to car insurance, there are both good and not-so-good aspects to consider. Knowing the pros and cons of your insurance plan can help you make smarter choices about your coverage.

Advantages of Broad Form Auto Insurance

Broad form auto insurance may not be suitable for everyone, but in certain situations, it can be a good choice. Here are some advantages:

  • Cost-Effective: Broad form policies are often cheaper than other types because they offer limited coverage.
  • Option for High-Risk Drivers: If you have a history of multiple incidents on your driving record, you might be labeled a high-risk driver. Broad form insurance could be an option, helping you avoid high costs and eligibility restrictions.
  • Basic Coverage: For those on a tight budget, broad form insurance provides at least the minimum coverage required by your state. It offers some protection in case of an accident.
  • Excess Coverage: If you borrow or rent a vehicle listed on an active insurance policy and an at-fault accident occurs, the broad form policy acts as secondary coverage, paying up to the policy limits for liability coverage.

Insurance experts often suggest considering higher liability limits for better financial protection. Talking to your insurance company may reveal discounts that allow you to afford higher levels of coverage.

Disadvantages of Broad Form Auto Insurance

Despite some advantages, most insurance experts caution against broad form coverage due to its limitations. Consider the following drawbacks:

  • Lack of Coverage: Broad form insurance does not cover other people driving your car, injuries to you or your passengers (unless your state requires it), or damages to your own vehicle.
  • Limited Availability: This type of insurance is only available in 11 states. Because of its minimal coverage, not all insurance companies offer it. If you’re interested, you may need to obtain quotes from multiple companies.
  • Financial Risks: If you cause an accident with broad form insurance, you’re responsible for expenses beyond your policy limits. In severe accidents, this could lead to financial difficulties.

Is Broad Form Coverage the Best Affordable Option for Me?

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Broad form insurance is recommended for those seeking budget-friendly options. If you own a less valuable car or frequently drive cars you don’t own, this could be the right fit for you.

In summary, consider broad form insurance if you want affordable coverage, have a lower-value car, or often find yourself behind the wheel of cars you don’t own. It might just be the insurance solution you’re looking for.

What does broad form insurance cost?

Broad form insurance typically costs less than full coverage insurance, but it offers less coverage. To help you understand the costs, here’s a table comparing the minimum required liability and full coverage costs by state. Please note that this includes states where broad form insurance is available, but standard minimum liability rates are shown. At the time of this reporting, some insurers did not provide broad form insurance rate estimates.

StateMinimum LiabilityFull CoverageBroad Form
Michigan$3,141$1,855$1,286
Louisiana$2,601$771$1,830
Nevada$2,402$717$1,685
Kentucky$2,368$669$1,699
DC$2,188$839$1,349
Florida$2,162$828$1,334
California$2,125$606$1,519
New York$2,062$867$1,195
Rhode Island$2,040$738$1,302
Connecticut$2,036$891$1,145
New Jersey$1,993$846$1,147
Montana$1,963$447$1,516
Colorado$1,948$553$1,395
Delaware$1,921$843$1,078
Georgia$1,865$684$1,181
Texas$1,823$538$1,285
Maryland$1,816$853$963
Oklahoma$1,815$418$1,397
Missouri$1,798$546$1,252
Arizona$1,783$578$1,205
Wyoming$1,782$328$1,454
Arkansas$1,763$449$1,314
Alabama$1,713$498$1,215
Pennsylvania$1,700$502$1,198
Kansas$1,689$464$1,225
Mississippi$1,684$413$1,271
West Virginia$1,654$541$1,113
South Carolina$1,653$617$1,036
South Dakota$1,643$323$1,320
Washington$1,620$537$1,083
Minnesota$1,619$614$1,005
New Mexico$1,604$479$1,125
Hawaii$1,589$485$1,104
North Dakota$1,577$423$1,154
Alaska$1,560$412$1,148
Illinois$1,538$493$1,045
Nebraska$1,500$393$1,107
Oregon$1,496$674$822
Tennessee$1,493$462$1,031
Utah$1,492$565$927
Massachusetts$1,466$520$946
North Carolina$1,425$438$987
Vermont$1,410$398$1,012
Iowa$1,352$326$1,026
Wisconsin$1,335$401$934
Idaho$1,285$377$908
Indiana$1,266$430$836
Virginia$1,196$380$816
Ohio$1,191$406$785
New Hampshire$1,086$424$662
Maine$1,080$355$725

How to get broad form insurance

If you’re in a state offering broad form auto insurance and think it’s a good choice for you, follow these steps:

  • Contact at least three insurance providers for quotes. You can use online quoting tools, but calling an authorized agent may be more effective due to the specific coverage you’re seeking.
  • Compare the quotes you receive, considering both the premium and deductibles.
  • Research the financial strength, reputation, and consumer complaints of the insurance companies. Websites like A.M. Best, JD Power and Associates, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can provide valuable information.
  • Based on your assessment, choose the insurance company that offers the best value.
  • Once you’ve made a decision, the chosen insurance company will work with you to finalize the policy.

FAQs

Can I get broad form coverage for my motorcycle or boat?

Broad form coverage is designed specifically for regular cars, not motorcycles, boats, RVs, or other types of vehicles. So, if you’re looking for insurance for these other modes of transportation, broad form coverage won’t apply.

Does broad form coverage protect my passengers too?

Unfortunately, no. Broad form coverage only offers liability protection for the driver listed on the policy. If you want coverage for injuries to you or your passengers, you’ll need to consider purchasing medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (PIP). The inclusion of these options depends on the state you live in.

Does broad form insurance work for business or commercial vehicles?

While broad form policies can be used for commercial purposes, such as for businesses with vehicle fleets or dealerships, it’s important to note that commercial insurance carriers are the go-to for this. Employees, under such policies, are covered to drive any company vehicle, and the coverage may extend to collision, medical payments, and higher liability limits.

Can I add extra coverages to my broad form policy?

Typically, broad form insurance doesn’t allow additional optional coverages. However, you have the flexibility to explore other car insurance options that let you purchase higher liability limits and optional coverages such as comprehensive and collision. To keep your premium affordable, consider finding a budget-friendly auto insurance provider and take advantage of available discounts.

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