Broad Form Auto Insurance Explained

What is broad form auto insurance? Broad form auto insurance is essentially a "bare-bones" or minimal insurance policy. A broad form auto insurance policy only includes liability coverage, which is why it's such a cheap form of coverage. Broad form insurance is also referred to as "broad form named operator coverage" as it only allows one person to be insured.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2020

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If you have ever been in the market for cheap, minimum coverage auto insurance, you might have run across the phrase “broad form” when describing an auto insurance policy. If you don’t know what broad form auto insurance is, or would like to know more about it, continue reading below and I will do my best to explain it to you.

Broad form auto insurance is basically a “bare-bones” insurance policy. The word “bare” is used because that’s basically what this type of insurance coverage is – minimal. A broad form auto insurance policy only includes liability coverage. All other types of insurance coverage are thrown out the window with this type of policy, and this is what makes it so cheap.

Broad form auto insurance might also be referred to as a “broad form named operator coverage.” The reason for this name is that a broad form policy only allows one person to be insured. This “named operator” will be the only person allowed to operate the vehicle being insured. It excludes every other person in the world for coverage other than the single person named on the policy. Therefore, if you are looking for an auto insurance policy that will cover your friends or family, you are out of luck if you buy broad form coverage.

Essentially, broad form coverage is an auto insurance policy for someone who lives alone, does not let anybody else drive their cars, and wants a bargain-basement insurance policy.

Dangers of Purchasing Broad Form Auto Insurance

Be forewarned that this type of insurance policy is not for everyone. There are many obvious risks that come with purchasing such minimal coverage:

  • This policy only includes liability coverage. Other types of insurance like comprehensive, collision, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage are not included. If you are in an accident that causes massive injury and financial damage to your vehicle or health, your bank account might be hurting.
  • Purchasing this type of coverage to save money is not always a good idea. Many claims from this type of policy end up in court and cost the policyholder lots of money in settlements.
  • This type of policy is very restrictive. More likely than not, if you are in an accident, broad form auto insurance will not cover everything. Because of this, broad form auto insurance is often referred to as “restrictive form” insurance by many insurance professionals.
  • It will not cover you if you are driving a motorcycle or if you are driving some type of commercial vehicle (truck, tractor, etc.) This type of coverage only is valid for automobiles.

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Additional Notes Regarding Broad Form Auto Insurance

  • If you purchase broad form insurance for yourself, you will be covered for any vehicle you own or drive. You will be covered with liability coverage for any car you drive (as long as the vehicle isn’t stolen, of course).
  • Broad form insurance acts as a back-up insurance plan (for claims purposes) if you borrow your friend’s car that already has an existing policy on it. For example – if you are insured with broad coverage but borrow your friend’s vehicle that is fully covered and get into an accident, your friend’s policy limits will have to be exhausted before a claim will get made onto your broad form policy.
  • Not all insurance providers have broad form policies available for purchase. In fact, not all states allow (by law) broad form policies to be purchased. Check with your insurance agent and your state DMV to make sure broad form policies are even allowed.

How To Purchase Broad Form Auto Insurance

Like with all other types of insurance coverage, it is important that you shop around and get the best rates before making your decision. If broad form auto insurance is offered in your state, and you are sure that it is right for you (even after reading all the dangers), then it is time for you to start searching for a broad form policy. To begin, start by entering your zip code in our form above. You will be connected to multiple insurance providers who all offer broad form auto insurance options.

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