Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2022

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At a Glance

  • Broad form car insurance is a type of car insurance that provides minimal liability coverage for a single driver at a low cost
  • Broad form car insurance is a good option for drivers looking to pay as little as possible for insurance who can pay out of pocket to replace their car after an accident 
  • For most drivers, broad form car insurance is a riskier option than a full coverage insurance policy

Car insurance rates can add up fast. If you’re looking to pay for the minimum liability insurance your state requires, broad form insurance coverage may be the best option for you. Liability won’t cover damage to your vehicle caused by collisions or other accidents, and it won’t extend to anyone else driving your car. However, it is only available in 11 states. 

Since broad form insurance provides less protection than other popular coverage options, it’s only a safe option for drivers that can afford to repair or replace their car out of pocket. If you can’t comfortably afford to replace your current car, broad form insurance is probably too risky for you.

This article will overview how broad form insurance works, who it’s best for, and how it compares to other coverage options. We’ll also look at where you can find broad form insurance to decide it’s right for you.

What is broad form insurance coverage?

Broad form car insurance is a form of coverage that provides minimum liability coverage to a single driver. While broad form coverage may be one of the cheapest insurance options available, it’s restrictive compared to more common forms of coverage, so it may cost you more than it’s worth in the long run.

One fact about broad form coverage you should remember is that your coverage won’t extend to family or other household members, meaning only you have coverage. Another limitation is that broad form insurance only provides liability coverage. In other words, the only expense covered by this type of policy is damage you cause to someone else’s vehicle or property. A full coverage policy that includes collision and comprehensive coverage is better if you want to protect your vehicle.

One advantage of broad form coverage is that many car insurance companies won’t increase your rates if you want to insure numerous cars under a broad form policy. If you own or drive multiple vehicles, broad form insurance can help you obtain liability coverage for all of them at a low cost.

Broad form car insurance is only available in 11 states. Here are the states where some insurance companies offer broad form coverage:

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

Who needs broad form insurance?

Broad form insurance isn’t the best choice for most drivers wanting liability protection and coverage for their vehicle. It can be the best choice for certain drivers, such as those who can afford to pay for repairs to their car out of pocket in an accident.

Here are some situations where broad form coverage may be a good choice for you:

  • If you regularly drive multiple vehicles — that you own or borrow — and own at least one of them
  • If you own a relatively inexpensive car that you can afford to repair or replace by paying out of pocket
  • If you’re the only member of your household or don’t share your car with anyone else
  • If you exclusively borrow or rent vehicles and don’t want the limitations that come with non-owner car insurance
  • If you want to pay as little as possible for mandatory coverage and are willing to take the associated risks

How much does broad form coverage cost?

The cost of broad form coverage varies from state to state. In general, drivers can expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,500 less annually than they would with a full coverage policy. Remember that you could quickly lose these savings after an accident or if your car gets damaged by fire, a 

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a basic car insurance policy — what most drivers prefer to have — typically includes bodily injury coverage, property damage liability, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage.

If you’re willing to pay out of pocket if your car gets damaged or totaled, then broad form coverage is a good option for lowering your monthly rates. Otherwise, you should compare affordable full coverage policies and see what discounts are available.

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Broad Form Insurance vs. Other Coverage Options

Broad form insurance coverage is only one type of policy. There are various other policies available to drivers, many of which offer better protection at an affordable rate. Take a look at the table below for an overview of the alternatives to broad form car insurance.

Coverage TypeWhat does it include?Who needs it?
Broad form coverageLiability coverage for a single driver that you can apply to multiple vehicles for the same priceDrivers who are looking to pay as little as possible for required insurance coverage; drivers with a low-value car(s) that they can afford to replace; drivers that don’t share their car
Comprehensive coverage (part of full coverage)Coverage that helps pay for damage to or loss of your vehicle from an event other than a collision, such as fire, vandalism, theft, falling objects, or damage from an animalDrivers that want to protect their car from damage or loss from virtually any event other than a collision; drivers that want to have liability protection and coverage for their own property (when part of full coverage)
Collision coverage (part of full coverage)Coverage that helps pay for damage to or loss of your vehicle from of a collision with a car or other objectDrivers that want to both protect their car from damage or loss from a collision; drivers that want to have liability protection and coverage for their own property (when part of full coverage)
Standard liability coverage (part of full coverage)Liability coverage that you can extend to other household members or to multiple vehicles — usually with a modest rate increaseDrivers that want liability coverage to extend to others who drive their insured vehicle; drivers that want liability protection and coverage for their own property (when part of full coverage)
Non-owner coverageLiability coverage for a driver that doesn’t own or lease a car but frequently rents or borrows (more widely available than broad form insurance)Drivers who are looking for broad form insurance but don’t live in one of the states where it’s available; drivers who frequently rent or borrow cars

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What to Remember About Broad Form Insurance Coverage

Broad form car insurance is a type of car insurance that provides minimal liability coverage for a single driver at a low cost. You can use broad form coverage to cover a single person who drives multiple vehicles — whether they own or borrow these vehicles — but broad form coverage does not extend to friends, family, or other insured driver’s household members.

Broad form car insurance is a good option for drivers who want to pay as little as possible for insurance, drivers who frequently borrow or rent cars, drivers who own inexpensive cars, and drivers who can pay out of pocket to repair their vehicle.

Broad form car insurance is a riskier option than a full coverage policy for most other drivers. It is riskier because broad form insurance only covers damages that the insured driver is liable for, including the medical bills of someone the insured driver injures and the cost of someone else’s damaged property.

Broad form insurance doesn’t include coverage for repair or replacement costs if your car gets damaged in a collision or by another event such as a fire or vandalism.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.