• Jarod Evans

What is Broad Form Insurance?

Have you ever heard of broad form insurance and wondered what it is? Or maybe you’ve never heard of it at all? If so, you are not alone.

If you are a driver with very limited coverage needs, broad form car insurance may be a way to put some money back into your pocket each month. And we’re all looking for ways to save money, right? But, not so fast! Leaving gaps in your auto insurance coverage could lead to devastating financial loss.

Before you consider calling your insurance agent to switch to broad form coverage, it is important that you understand what it is, what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and whether or not it meets the requirements of your state.

What is broad form insurance?

With the word “broad” in its name, broad form insurance instantly gives the impression that it is a type of insurance with extensive or broad coverage. In reality, it is quite the opposite.

So, what is it?

Broad form auto insurance also called broad form named operator coverage is minimal auto liability insurance for one named driver. This means very limited coverage for one person and one person only, driving a personal vehicle or vehicles. In fact, the coverage is so limited it does not meet the auto insurance requirements of most states and is currently only available in 11 states: Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington.

This type of limited liability broad form coverage means if you are in a car accident with another vehicle, your policy will only cover the other vehicle and the injuries sustained by the other driver.

Broad form coverage limitations

It is safe to say that there are more things broad form insurance does not cover, than things it does. It is important to be aware of the gaps in coverage should you go with a broad form policy.

Here are some things broad form coverage does not include that most standard auto insurance policies do include:

  • Comprehensive: Non-collision damages to your car that are caused by events that are out of your control. Some examples are theft, vandalism, fire, acts of nature, and weather.

  • Collision: Collision damages to your car like an accident with another vehicle or object, like a tree.

  • Others driving your vehicle: Since broad form auto insurance is for one named driver only, the liability coverage will not apply when others are driving your vehicle.

  • Your own personal injuries: Though you can purchase additional personal injury protection in addition to a broad form policy, your own personal injuries will not be covered with broad form auto insurance.

  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist: If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, this coverage provides protection.

Who should get broad form insurance?

The reality is, with state limitations and gaping holes in coverage, there are few people that this insurance by itself, is sufficient for. If you fall into these categories, broad form coverage may be a low-cost option to consider. However, it is important to remember that there is still a significant risk of financial loss with broad form coverage.

  • You are a driver seeking minimal liability coverage with the financial resources to pay out of pocket for other losses.

  • You do not own a vehicle and only occasionally drive other’s vehicles, or your vehicle has a very low value.

  • You never drive with passengers in the vehicle.

  • You are covered under a standard insurance policy but are seeking some additional coverage.

Broad form insurance can be helpful to drivers who are in need of cheap insurance on a cheap car they have. It can also be useful for drivers who are trying to get their license back and need to provide proof of the minimum required liability coverage.”

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