Broad Form Insurance Coverage

Broad form insurance is liability car insurance that is much more affordable than other forms. Broad form auto insurance follows you as the driver, so you're covered no matter what vehicle you drive (with some exceptions). However, it doesn't cover vehicle damage or third-party bodily injury claims from passengers. Broad form auto insurance also may not meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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  • Broad form insurance is liability insurance that follows a single driver
  • Generally, broad form coverage is cheaper than other forms of insurance
  • Broad form insurance doesn’t cover vehicle damages or third-party bodily injury claims

Broad form insurance isn’t available in every state, but where it is offered, it’s one of the cheapest forms of auto insurance. This affordability makes it attractive to most drivers, but it may not actually be the kind of coverage you need.

Before you learn more about broad form auto insurance or consider buying broad form insurance from Progressive or another provider, enter your ZIP code to compare the best cheap auto insurance rates from local companies near you.

What is broad form insurance?

Broad form auto insurance is liability insurance coverage that follows you as the driver. This means you’re protected no matter what car you’re in, whether you own it or not.

Compared to most other forms of insurance, broad form coverage is much cheaper on a monthly basis. But it’s not available in every state.

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What are the limitations of broad form insurance?

Broad form insurance may be cheaper, but that comes at a different cost. Broad form coverage doesn’t extend to any vehicles at all. If you’re at-fault in an accident, you won’t be covered for any vehicle repairs.

Likewise, if a friend borrows your car and is at-fault in an accident, your car doesn’t have any coverage to pay for damages.

On top of that, broad form insurance is only liability insurance. While it covers you, as the driver, it doesn’t extend to passengers in your vehicle like full coverage auto insurance. If someone you drive around is injured in an accident where you’re at fault, you may be liable for their medical bills.

It’s also important to note that broad form insurance doesn’t extend to non-traditional vehicles. Non-traditional vehicles include things like RVs and motorcycles.

Broad form insurance also doesn’t apply if you’re driving a company car.

Major limitations of broad form coverage:

  • Your vehicle isn’t covered in an accident where you are at-fault
  • If you lend your vehicle to a friend, it won’t be covered in an accident where they are at-fault
  • Your coverage only extends to you as a driver, so any passengers in your vehicle won’t be covered
  • Broad form insurance may not meet state minimum liability coverage requirements
  • Some insurance companies won’t offer broad form insurance because of its limited scope
  • Broad form insurance is considered secondary, so if you’re in an accident in a vehicle that you don’t own, the vehicle owner’s primary insurance will kick in before your broad form insurance does
  • If you drive a vehicle that you don’t own on a regular basis, you’ll need to be added to that vehicle owner’s insurance, as your broad form insurance doesn’t cover regular use
  • Broad form insurance only applies to one legal, licensed driver per household, so if you live with a partner, they wouldn’t be able to also have this form of coverage
  • If you want to buy or lease a new vehicle, you may need full coverage to qualify for financing from most lenders.

Some states, like Michigan, have additional restrictions in their insurance code for broad form coverage

Who should get broad form insurance?

Though broad form insurance is definitely cheaper, it isn’t for everyone.

High-risk drivers, for example, who are more likely to get into an at-fault accident, may soon be responsible for costly medical bills and vehicle repairs that their broad form insurance won’t cover.

There are some situations where broad form insurance does make the most sense:

  • If you never have passengers when you drive, you may not need to pay for coverage for additional passengers
  • If you are the sole driver of your vehicle, you probably don’t need to pay for coverage for other drivers
  • If you don’t own a vehicle, but still drive other vehicles, broad form insurance might meet the minimum requirements of your state and save you money
  • Though most forms of insurance cover rental vehicles, if yours does not, you may want to add broad form insurance to ensure you’re covered while driving rentals
  • If broad form insurance meets your state’s minimum requirements and you don’t drive all that often, less coverage might save you money
  • If your vehicle is older and unlikely to qualify for repairs in an accident, broad form insurance may save you money on your monthly insurance bill

So, though broad form insurance can save you money on your monthly insurance bill, it also may end up costing you thousands in medical bills and vehicle repairs down the road.

If you’re looking to save on auto insurance, enter your ZIP code now to start comparing the cheapest auto insurance quotes from local companies.

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