What Is a Broad Form Auto Insurance Policy?

Broad form auto insurance offers a more affordable alternative for car coverage.

This insurance coverage focuses primarily on one driver with basic liability protection.

This implies that coverage extends solely to the designated driver, excluding others who might operate the vehicle.

Due to its inherent risk limitations, this insurance type is only accessible in select states.

Our comprehensive guide aims to enhance your understanding of broad form insurance.

It will help you figure out if broad form insurance is the right one for you and whether it aligns with your coverage needs.

Read on to learn more.

An image illustrating Broad Form Auto Insurance
Broad Form Auto Insurance
Source: cloudinary

What is Broad form insurance?

While the term ‘broad form’ might suggest extensive coverage, it actually offers basic liability protection.

Broad form insurance, also known as broad form named operator insurance, meets the minimum liability requirements for auto insurance set by your state.

This type of policy only covers the liability costs of the designated driver.

It might be appealing for those seeking the cheapest car insurance option who only need to cover their own liability, excluding family members.

However, not every driver seeking affordable coverage may qualify for broad form insurance.

It’s currently only permitted in a few states, including Washington.

Specific conditions determine what is covered under this type of insurance.

What does Broad form Auto Insurance Cover?

Broad form Auto Insurance is a budget-friendly way to get liability coverage, which protects you as the driver.

However, there’s a catch. Unlike regular liability insurance where you can add multiple drivers, the broad form only covers one licensed driver listed on the policy.

This means it won’t cover anyone else driving your car who isn’t named on the policy.

So, it’s best for people who never let others drive their cars.

If you have or drive more than one car, you don’t need to pay extra for each one with broad form insurance.

However, if you don’t own a car, non-owner car insurance might be a better choice.

Since, broad form insurance can be a cheap option, especially if you only have one car.

Should you opt for broad form insurance?

When determining if broad form insurance is suitable for your needs, here are some points to think about:

  • What advantages does broad form insurance offer compared to other coverage options?
  • Are there any drawbacks or restrictions associated with broad form insurance?
  • Is broad form coverage the most suitable and cost-effective insurance choice for me?

We suggest considering broad form coverage if you’re seeking affordable insurance, have a vehicle of lower value, or regularly drive vehicles you don’t own.

Advantages of choosing broad form coverage

Simply put, broad form coverage is like getting basic liability insurance but just for one driver.

This means you can save a lot of money on your monthly insurance bill.

Unlike regular liability coverage, you can’t add family members to your broad form policy.

Typically, if you’re the only one driving your car, you don’t need coverage for extra drivers.

Adding coverage for more drivers and passengers can be expensive, so broad form insurance might be a cheaper option.

Although it’s not available everywhere, broad form coverage can help you meet the minimum legal requirements for driving in states like Washington.

Note that, this type of coverage might be perfect for drivers who:

  • Want basic coverage
  • Drive alone
  • Don’t have kids or other people depending on them
  • Have a car that’s not worth a lot
  • Own or drive more than one car

How much money can you save with broad form insurance compared to a regular policy?

On average, drivers could save about $1,500 per year by opting for broad form insurance instead of full coverage.

Unlike broad form policies, full coverage includes comprehensive and collision coverage with higher liability limits.

However, there’s some risk involved with broad form coverage because the insurance company only covers the driver listed on the policy.

To give you an idea, we’ll use the cost of minimum liability insurance for one driver and vehicle as a reference for broad form insurance since the rates are similar.

However, broad form policies might even be cheaper than minimum liability policies.

Insurer Basic Coverage Comprehensive Coverage
Allstate $1,390 per year $3,545 per year
State Farm $712 per year $1,737 per year
Progressive $924 per year $2,393 per year
Geico $819 per year $2,158 per year

This table shows the annual costs of minimum liability coverage versus full coverage for four major car insurance companies.

From the example above, the rates are calculated for a single driver, so we use our basic coverage instead of broad form coverage in this situation.

Drawbacks Associated with Broad Form Insurance

While it’s a cheaper option for coverage, broad form insurance doesn’t let you add comprehensive or collision coverage.

So, if you cause an accident, you’re on the hook for any damage to your car or injuries to passengers.

If your car gets wrecked, your insurance won’t pay you anything.

However, if needed, you can still get personal injury protection (PIP) and uninsured motorist coverage with broad form insurance, which can help with medical bills after an accident.

If you don’t own a car and often drive someone else’s, your broad form insurance is considered secondary.

That means if the car owner has insurance, their insurance pays out first before yours.

Broad form insurance doesn’t cover company cars or motorcycles or RVs, although some states offer specific broad form insurance for motorcycles.

It might not be the best choice for everyone, especially if you drive newer cars or often have passengers.

Is broad form coverage a suitable choice?

Broad form auto insurance offers the most basic level of coverage for car owners and drivers.

It’s suitable for drivers who:

  • Own older vehicles
  • Drive alone without family members
  • Regularly use vehicles they don’t own

However, if you need to include multiple family members on your policy or have a newer car, you might want to look into other coverage options.

Ultimately, the decision depends on how much you’re willing to spend on insurance protection.

Take into account your financial circumstances and whether you have enough savings to cover damages to your vehicle in case of an accident for which you’re at fault.

Conclusion

A broad form auto insurance policy is a type of coverage that only protects the driver, not the vehicle or the passengers.

It is a cheap and convenient option for drivers who own older cars, have multiple vehicles, or rarely drive.

However, it also comes with many risks and limitations.

Therefore, before you decide to buy a broad form auto insurance policy, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Additionally, you should consider your personal situation and needs before settling for this insurance.

Furthermore, compare different quotes and options from various insurers and agents to find the best deal for you.

Remember, a broad form auto insurance policy is not for everyone, and it may end up costing you more than you save in the long run.

So, make sure you do your research and make an informed decision.

After all, your car and your life are worth more than a cheap policy.

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