Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Written by Marissa Hayes
Insurance Writer & Expert Marissa Hayes

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Mar 25, 2022

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If you need very limited car insurance coverage, broad form insurance may save you money.

What is a broad form insurance policy? For some drivers, broad form auto insurance is a way to obtain legally required auto insurance coverage at a price that’s cheaper than many other types of policies. It does, however, have significant limitations. That’s right, while the term “broad” normally means extensive, in an insurance context, it means that there are limitations on your coverage.

So, what is the difference between basic and broad form coverage? If you’re considering this type of insurance, you’ll need to understand exactly what broad form auto insurance is and what it does and doesn’t cover.

Keep reading to learn more about broad form insurance and what a broad form insurance policy will cover. While you’re here, use our free quote tool to start comparing car insurance rates today!

Broad Form Car Insurance Limitations

How does broad form insurance work? This type of coverage may also be called broad form liability insurance coverage that applies to only one driver. Because it’s liability insurance, it won’t pay anything toward your own repairs if your car is physically damaged in an accident.

If you’re interested in this type of coverage, the first thing to determine is whether broad form insurance is available in your state and if it meets the legally required minimum coverage standards as listed by the Insurance Information Institute. It’s only offered in a few states, including Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington.

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Drivers Who May Benefit From Broad Form Insurance

Because it only provides limited coverage, broad form insurance is cheaper than other types of car insurance. Broad form insurance might be a good option under the following circumstances:

Reasons to Purchase Broad Form Insurance
No one else drives your carA broad form insurance policy will only cover one driver, so it’s only suitable for people who never let anyone else drive their car. If you live with a spouse, teenage children, or even a roommate, a situation could arise where they might want or need to drive your car, so it’s probably best for people who are single and live alone.

If someone else drives your car, your broad form insurance policy won’t cover damages if they get into an accident, but you can still be held legally responsible.
Your car is olderBroad form insurance only provides liability coverage. If you’re in an accident and it’s your fault, you won’t be covered for damage to your vehicle. You also won’t be covered for weather-related damage or theft.
You don’t own a carEven if you don’t own a car, you may occasionally drive a friend or family member’s car or drive a rental car. Broad form insurance will cover you in these cases, but as secondary insurance.

That means that if you cause an accident, claims will first be made through the insurance carried by the vehicle’s owner, and then through your broad form insurance. If you regularly drive that particular car, however, you won’t be covered.
You want to pay as little as possibleEach state has its own requirements for auto insurance coverage. If you don’t have the required level of coverage, you’re breaking the law when you drive, and you could face fines if you’re caught. In states that allow broad form insurance, it may be the cheapest way to keep you legal on the road.
Your car isn’t leased, and you’re not financingIf you lease or finance your car, you may be required to carry additional insurance, such as collision and comprehensive.
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Broad form insurance only covers damage that you cause in an accident. Collision covers damage to your own vehicle caused by an accident, and comprehensive covers damage caused by a wider set of circumstances, such as fire, flood, theft, and vandalism.

Holding a broad form insurance policy may limit your ability to obtain additional forms of coverage like comprehensive and collision insurance.

Drivers Who Probably Shouldn’t Buy Broad Form Car Insurance

Broad form insurance is usually not recommended in the following circumstances:

  • You’re a high-risk driver or a teen driver
  • You own a newer, more expensive car.
  • You’ll also be driving a non-traditional vehicle, such as a motorcycle or RV. You won’t be covered for these vehicles.
  • You have other people in your household who also drive your vehicle.
  • You drive a car for business purposes.
  • You regularly borrow a friend’s vehicle.

What are the broad form perils? Broad form insurance is a very bare-bones, no-frills type of insurance. It won’t cover any other drivers, and you won’t be covered for damage to your own vehicle.

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What is the difference between standard and broad form car insurance?

A broad form policy, though pretty standard in coverage, isn’t the same as a standard policy. A broad form policy covers one driver. In fact, in some states, a broad form policy doesn’t even meet the basic required minimum coverage standards.

A standard insurance policy, on the other hand, provides collision, comprehensive, and liability. A standard policy in New Jersey, for instance, provides various different coverage options and the opportunity to add additional protection.

As previously stated, a broad special form insurance policy may limit your ability to obtain additional coverage like comprehensive and collision. This is true if you’re looking for broad form insurance in Idaho, Oregon, Ohio, or pretty much everywhere.

Is broad form car insurance worth it?

Now that you know the limitations of a broad form car insurance policy, who this policy is most suitable for, and the difference between a broad form and standard insurance policy, you may be wondering if the broad form car insurance policy is really worth the money.

Let’s take a look at some numbers.

Below, you’ll find recent average premiums for liability coverage in different states. This information is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

While this data is a few years old, it’s still accurate enough to give you an idea of the annual cost of basic liability insurance.

Average Annual Liability Car Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual
Liability Rates
North Dakota$298.18
South Dakota$300.22
North Carolina$359.42
New Hampshire$400.56
New Mexico$488.03
West Virginia$491.83
South Carolina$527.09
District of Columbia$628.82
Rhode Island$759.80
New York$804.51
New Jersey$869.57
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As you can see, the price of liability coverage, for the most part, remains fairly reasonable, ranging from approximately $25-$73 a month. The nationwide average for a monthly liability car insurance premium is $45.

We do know that broad form insurance is appealing because of the low price. But if you can afford it, getting inexpensive coverage with a liability policy is definitely the better route to take.

However, if you’re still looking for it, you can get quotes for Dairyland and National General broad form insurance and even broad form insurance with Esurance.

What is broad form SR-22 insurance?

In several states, you can get a very inexpensive form of SR-22 insurance called broad form SR22 insurance. Broad form SR22 insurance is a means to have your license reinstated. It can be purchased if you don’t own a vehicle, or if you own one or more vehicles. Although it is very low cost, it comes with strict limitations of coverage that need to be explained to you and fully understood.

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The Bottom Line

Broad form coverage insurance can be used as a bare-bones, cheap option for a driver to drive legally and meet state’s minimum liability requirements.

While  broad form collision insurance may be a cheap alternative in terms of coverage, broad form insurance will not allow you to add or purchase comprehensive or collision coverage. So, if you are at fault for an accident, damage to your vehicle or passengers will be your sole responsibility, not the insurance company.

If you are interested in broad form insurance coverage, make sure it’s legal in your state. Get a broad form auto insurance quote to find great rates by entering your ZIP code now. Just make sure that you understand its limitations and whether it’s right for your particular situation.