Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati....

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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 (BBB A+). 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 and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent for 15 Years Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 25, 2021

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If you need insurance for your car but you don’t want to spend a lot of money on coverage, you may want to look into getting broad form auto insurance. However, understanding broad form auto insurance is important before you commit to it. While it is less expensive than other types of auto insurance, it is limited, and you will not have the option to buy additional coverage.

Bottom line? While this is a great way to save money, it’s also something that you really need to think about.

Learning the basics of broad form auto insurance is important if you want to buy this coverage. For instance, looking at the broad form auto insurance definition shows it only covers you — that is, no other drivers, passengers, or anyone else if you are involved in an accident. This is one of the reasons why this type of coverage is so inexpensive. But if you have a family, or there will be other people driving your vehicle, this may not be the type of coverage that is best for you.

Keep reading for a detailed explanation and definition of broad form auto insurance plans. If you want to start comparing rates for an auto insurance plan today, enter your ZIP code in our free online tool above.

What is Broad Form Auto Insurance?

Sometimes referred to as broad form named operator coverage, broad form auto insurance covers only the person who is named on the policy. This means that if you have broad form auto insurance for yourself, no one but you can make any insurance claims for damages following an accident. This type of coverage is best for single people who live alone, and never lend their vehicles to anyone else.

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How to Get Good Deals on Broad Form Auto Insurance

Is broad form auto insurance cheaper? While this coverage is cheaper, it is important to still make sure that you are getting the best rates on whatever type of insurance coverage you decide to go with. Every insurance company will tell you that they offer the best rates. But since no two insurers are alike, and they all have different products and rates, it is a good idea to shop around.

To give you an idea of what average rates are, we pulled averages from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for basic liability policies (what broad form covers).

Average Annual Broad Form Liability Rates
Broad Form Average Liability Rates by YearAverage Annual Broad Form Rates
Total Average$516.39/year
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You can get cheaper rates by getting quotes from as many different insurance companies as possible. This isn’t going to cost you anything, except maybe a little bit of your time, and it will be well worth it in the long run when you are not stuck paying for high insurance premiums.

Broad Form Auto Insurance for Individuals

If you are a single person with no children, having broad form auto insurance may be the ideal situation for you. It’s not like you are going to have to worry about your children or family members being in your vehicle.

If no one else is going to be driving, you aren’t going to need to have coverage for additional drivers. Coverage for passengers and additional drivers can get expensive, and if you don’t need to have the additional coverage, you are probably better off having broad form auto insurance.

Broad Form Auto Insurance: Things to Know

How does broad form auto insurance work? While broad form auto insurance is a great thing for many drivers, there are some things to consider before you buy this type of coverage. For instance, if you have this coverage, you can never let anyone else use your vehicle.

If you do let someone use your car, and he or she is involved in an accident, your insurance will not cover any damages, and that person, or yourself, will have to pay for everything.

In fact, you could be sued for damages if someone is at fault in an accident while driving your vehicle. Other things you should know about broad form auto insurance include:

  • The coverage is liability only. This means that there will be no coverage for any damage that is done to your vehicle in an accident.
  • You are not restricted to one vehicle. As long as you own the vehicle, or have permission to drive it, your broad form auto insurance will cover you while you are driving that vehicle. You do not have to be listed on the owner’s policy in order to have coverage.
  • This coverage is secondary. This means that if you borrow a vehicle from someone else and they have insurance coverage, claims will be made on that insurance before your broad form auto insurance.
  • This coverage is not for motorcycles. Your broad form auto insurance will not cover you if you are riding a motorcycle, which requires separate coverage.
  • This coverage is not for company vehicles. We get it. Those who run small businesses are always looking for ways to be more efficient. Whether that entails cutting costs or implementing digital transformation strategies, you want to produce more while saving money. But keep this in mind: if you are using a vehicle for business, you will need to have commercial vehicle insurance coverage. Broad form insurance does not apply to company vehicles.
  • This coverage is less expensive than other types. This is because you do not have the frills that other insurance packages offer. You just have the liability coverage you need to have your vehicle on the roads legally.

Keep reading to decide if broad form insurance is right for you.

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How to Figure Out What Broad Form Auto Insurance You Need

One of the best ways to decide if broad form auto insurance is best for you is to sit down and take a look at what you actually need for coverage. If you drive a motorcycle, you are going to need to have insurance coverage for that. If you use a company vehicle, you will be required to have different coverage again.

If you have family members who you want to allow to use your vehicle, they will not be covered if you only have broad form coverage. These broad form perils need to be considered before making your final decision and purchasing insurance.

Now, if you are a single person and you only own one or two vehicles, and you are the only person who drives these vehicles, broad form auto insurance may be the best way for you to get the liability coverage you need without having to spend a lot of money.

Frequently Asked Questions: Broad Form Auto Insurance Definition

Before we end this guide, we want to tackle a few common questions that drivers ask about broad form auto insurance to help you learn the ins and outs of broad form insurance.

What is the difference between broad form and comprehensive auto insurance?

Broad form insurance is not to be mistaken with broad form comprehensive insurance. Many people think that broad form auto insurance and broad form comprehensive insurance are the same thing.

When you choose the comprehensive option, you will be paying more, but you get more coverage than just basic liability for yourself. Basically, if you were to choose this option, you would have coverage for just about anything that can happen. You can ask about this before getting your coverage and then decide if you want to have this coverage.

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

Standard auto insurance covers the basic limits of a policy, but it also covers all people who may drive the car. In contrast, broad form auto insurance only covers one person in a collision.

What is broad form versus special form auto insurance? 

A special form auto insurance plan will cover everything except for the exceptions listed on the policy. So if you buy a special form auto insurance plan, you may have everything covered except for an earthquake.

On the other hand, broad form auto insurance covers a little less than a special form auto insurance plan. A broad form auto insurance plan is more comprehensive than a standard form but not as comprehensive as the special form plan.

What states allow broad form auto insurance?

Broad form auto insurance is not allowed in most states if it is below the minimum state insurance requirement. Some of the few states that currently allows broad form insurance are Idaho, Oregon, Ohio, and Washington.

Other states may follow suit and allow broad form insurance, so make sure to contact your insurer and ask.

Is there broad form auto insurance from Esurance?

Esurance doesn’t specify if it offers broad form insurance for autos, but it does seem to offer homeowners’ broad form insurance.

What is broad form homeowners’ insurance? It is simply a homeowner’s policy that covers a wider range of situations. It is not limited to one person like broad form auto insurance. 

Is there National General broad form auto insurance?

National General doesn’t state on its website that is has broad form auto insurance. This could be because broad form auto insurance availability does depend on what state you live in.

If you would like to start comparing auto insurance rates for broad form auto insurance plans today, enter your ZIP code in our free tool below.