Broad Form Car Insurance Coverage: What to Know

Broad form insurance is the most basic form of security on the road. It is a limited liability policy for a sole driver. However, drivers can find standalone broad form insurance car insurance quotes in Colorado, Washington, and the remaining nine states where this coverage is accepted. There are also broad form insurance policies for home and business, though the range is more substantial.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2021

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Things to Know

  • Broad form car insurance is a limited liability option
  • Only 11 states offer this kind of car insurance as a standalone policy
  • Other insurance types also have broad form insurance, but it includes more coverage than the baseline option

Broad form insurance is the subject of many car insurance questions. In this guide, learn how and where drivers can buy broad form car insurance. But first, keep in mind that this is a very basic insurance policy.

Drivers that are looking for supplemental liability coverage, or that don’t own their vehicle, should consider comparing broad form car insurance quotes. Keep reading this guide to learn more about this limited liability coverage option.

Use our free tool to compare broad form car insurance rates to rates for other types of policies. Enter your ZIP code to get connected with agents in your area.

What is broad form insurance?

Broad form insurance is a general term used in car, home, and business policies. Broad form car insurance is a limited bodily injury/damage liability policy; that means that the policy only allows payments for damages/harm caused to the other vehicle/driver.

What does broad form car insurance cover? You may still have to pay out-of-pocket costs if you are in an accident with broad form insurance. It also doesn’t cover any of your property damage or bodily harm claims.

Broad form insurance also does not cover:

  • Non-collision damages to your car (vandalism, weather incidents, etc.)
  • Damages caused to your vehicle by another vehicle, i.e., collision insurance
  • Personal injuries
  • Damages caused by someone else driving your car
  • Uninsured motorists

In most states, broad form car insurance doesn’t meet the minimum requirement to be on the road legally. The states you can purchase an individual broad form car insurance policy are:

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

According to the Insurance Information Institute, every state requires at least property damage liability in order to drive. (With the exception of New Hampshire, which requires at least proof of financial responsibility.)

How much cheaper is broad form insurance than a standard policy?

When comparing the most basic liability policy from national insurance providers, drivers can expect to save between $300 to $500 per year on insurance costs.

Since broad form car insurance rates can be applied to a current policy or purchased alone, the cost may differ.

Types of Broad Form Insurance

The term “broad form” is also used in business and home insurance. However, in most cases, broad form home/business policies are more comprehensive than standard coverage.

For example, basic homeowners insurance covers standard perils to the home. But broad form homeowners insurance covers slightly more situations, like damages from a tornado or theft.

Broad form business insurance also covers damages beyond property damage and personal injury.

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Pros and Cons of Broad Form Insurance

Broad form insurance could be good for drivers looking for the cheapest possible option, or those who occasionally drive a borrowed vehicle.

Affordable broad form car insurance isn’t difficult to acquire, and it’s also a flexible coverage option for some drivers. Broad form can be applied as a standalone insurance policy or as bonus coverage to an existing one.

The downside of broad form insurance, though, is its lack of total security. This form of insurance provides little aid in the event of an accident — and none going directly to the policyholder.

While it can be used as an add-on, drivers cannot expand a standing broad form insurance contract. So, you’d have to apply for a new policy in order to get more coverage if you find you need it.

Another con to broad form insurance is its restricted use to 11 states. If you are someone who doesn’t drive often, you could be forced to purchase insurance outside the scope of your needs.

Broad Form Car Insurance Coverage: The Bottom Line

So, we’ve quickly run through the basics of a broad form or conditional liability car insurance policy. Now, you can ask yourself: Is broad insurance worth it?

Someone who doesn’t drive that often or someone looking to add personal liability to their current coverage may benefit from broad form insurance.

It is a cheap alternative to other forms of liability auto coverage. But remember, broad form insurance does not allow you to add comprehensive or collision coverage. Drivers who are consistently driving or who have others frequently drive their vehicle may not want this insurance.

Drivers should always consult with insurance experts before jumping into an insurance contract. Enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool to find a broad form insurance car insurance company near you.

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