Colorado Car Insurance: Coverage, Cost & Best Options

Colorado Car Insurance
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Make sure you have current Colorado car insurance before hitting the road in the Centennial State, whether for work or play. Those who drive without insurance face fines of up to $500, points on their driving records, and perhaps license suspension and community service in extreme circumstances. The Colorado Bureau of Motor Vehicles also requires drivers to provide proof of insurance when registering a car. Also, Colorado residents looking for new car insurance coverage or transfer providers can compare rates and coverage options quickly and easily online. In this article, we will discuss Colorado car insurance requirements, costs, and the best insurance companies to consider.

What is Colorado Car Insurance?

The term “Colorado car insurance” is shorthand for the mandatory coverage that all drivers in the state must carry. You must have liability insurance in Colorado, which pays for other people’s medical bills and repairs to their vehicles if you cause an accident. In the state of Colorado, the legal minimums for liability insurance are $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 per damaged property.

Colorado is what’s called a “fault” or “tort” state, so if you’re at fault in an accident, your insurance company will have to foot the bill for the other driver’s medical bills and missed income. Comprehensive and collision insurance are optional in Colorado and can safeguard a driver’s own car in the event of an accident, theft, or other occurrence that does not include a collision.

To lawfully operate a car in Colorado and to ensure financial protection in case of accidents, it is crucial for citizens to understand and comply with these insurance regulations. A person’s driving record, age, and the level of coverage selected can all affect their monthly premiums.

Colorado Car Insurance Requirements

Every driver operating a car in the state of Colorado must maintain liability insurance at a minimum level of coverage. In the state of Colorado, the minimal requirement for liability car insurance consists of coverage of $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 in property damage. If you cause an accident and others are injured or suffer property damage, your insurance must pay up to the policy maximums listed above.

How much insurance do I really need? This is the question you’re undoubtedly asking yourself right now. By law, drivers in Colorado must have the following coverage in their car insurance policies:

#1. Bodily Injury Liability (BI)

If you are at fault in an accident that results in bodily injury or death to another person, your BI coverage will pay for their medical expenses. Many experts advise keeping at least “100/300” in insurance coverage, which stands for $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident. When selecting how much to buy, it’s important to think about what you need to secure and how much money you have.

In addition, the “25/50” rule, which refers to the state of Colorado’s mandatory bodily injury limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, is in effect.

#2. Property Damage Liability (PD)

If you cause damage to another person’s property, your insurance will compensate them for their losses. It’s usually a car, but it might be anything from a structure to a utility pole to a garage door. The bare minimum that must be purchased varies from state to state.

Also, the state of Colorado has a per-incident cap of $15,000.

#3. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage will pay for your medical expenses and other costs if a driver who hits you does not have enough auto insurance. Many consumers only purchase collision and comprehensive insurance and don’t bother with the extra policy that covers damage from an uninsured driver.

Furthermore, car insurance companies in Colorado must provide UM/UIM coverage in an amount equal to the highest limit of bodily injury liability coverage you purchase. Waivers for UM and UIM must be made in writing. You can choose liability limits anywhere from the state-mandated minimum of $25,000/$50,000 in Colorado up to your own policy’s limits. This policy can protect you from medical expenses and other financial losses if the other driver is uninsured or has insufficient coverage.

It’s important to look at your possibilities for UM/UIM insurance in Colorado because, on January 1, 2008, the state legislature approved a law mandating an expansion of UM/UIM. Ask how it impacts your insurance and choose the level of protection that is most suitable for you; some people may not see any changes in premium or coverage at all.

#4. Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay, or MPC)

Insurance that can be used to pay for medical expenses. Insurance companies in Colorado must provide you with at least $5,000 in coverage as of January 1, 2009. Whether you’re getting new insurance or renewing an existing one, if you don’t opt out, the coverage and associated premium will be added without your knowledge or consent. You can opt out of medical coverage or adjust your coverage as needed. But if you don’t want it, you have to say so in writing or using the same channels you’d use to acquire insurance, like the web or the phone. The new law requires that your insurer hold onto the first $5,000 of your medical payment coverage for 30 days in order to cover trauma-related expenses.

#5. Comprehensive Coverage

If your car is stolen or damaged in a way that does not involve a collision, comprehensive insurance will pay for the repairs. Hail, theft, flooding, earthquakes, explosions, falling objects, and even run-ins with wild animals like deer are all covered. Although comprehensive insurance is not required by law, your lender might insist on it if you’re getting a car loan. Deductibles are optional with this protection.

In addition, extra coverage beyond what the law requires is a good idea if you can afford it. Consider how much coverage you’ll actually need in the event of a major insurance claim. Families should consult with an insurance agent or company representative to figure out how much coverage they need.

Does Colorado Require Full Coverage Car Insurance?

Colorado does not require full-coverage car insurance. The state mandates that drivers carry liability insurance with specific minimum coverage limits for bodily injury and property damage. Additionally, Colorado law requires uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage to protect you in case you’re in an accident with a driver who lacks insurance or has insufficient coverage.

While full coverage, which typically includes liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, is not mandatory, it may be advisable depending on your individual circumstances. Full coverage can provide additional protection for your own vehicle in case of accidents, theft, or non-collision events like natural disasters. However, the decision to opt for full insurance coverage is typically left to the discretion of the car owner and is not a legal requirement in Colorado.

Colorado Teen Driver Licensing Process

Teenagers in Colorado must enroll in a driving education program before turning 15 if they wish to be eligible to take the permit test on their 16th birthday. Also, teenagers in Colorado must have their learner’s permit for a full year before applying for their full driver’s license. Under Colorado law, drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a cell phone while behind the wheel, with the exception of making calls to the police, fire department, or other emergency services. Unless it’s an emergency or to call the police or fire department, drivers aged 18 and up are prohibited from texting while behind the wheel.

Getting a license has different requirements for people of different ages:

  • The minimum age for obtaining a learner’s permit is 15, although a 30-hour driver’s education course must be completed first. A license can be applied for once a permit holder has driven for 50 hours, taken a 6-hour behind-the-wheel training course, and retained their permit for at least 12 months.
  • Either a 30-hour driver’s education course or a 4-hour classroom driver awareness program must be completed between the ages of 15 and 6 months and 16 to qualify for a learner’s permit. Permit holders can submit applications for driver’s licenses after 12 months and 50 hours of driving (plus 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training if they are under 16 years and 6 months at the time of application).
  • If you’re 16 or 17, getting your learner’s permit doesn’t necessitate going through any sort of driver education program first. After 12 months of holding a permit and accumulating 50 hours of driving time, an individual is eligible to apply for a license. Six more hours of behind-the-wheel instruction can be taken if desired.

What Is the Penalty for Not Having Car Insurance in Colorado?

Driving without car insurance coverage in Colorado is against the law and is subject to serious fines. A suspension of your driver’s license and car registration may occur in addition to monetary fines and community service for driving without insurance. There’s also the possibility that you’ll need to submit an SR-22 form to verify that you have the mandatory insurance coverage.

Whether or not this is your first offense can affect the severity of the consequences you face for driving without insurance. The punishment for a second or subsequent crime is usually more harsh. To avoid fines and safeguard one’s financial stability in the event of an accident, both need to have current, adequate insurance coverage at all times.

Colorado Car Insurance Costs

The average cost of car insurance in Colorado is $2,121 per year for full coverage and $500 per year for minimal coverage, though your specific rate will depend on your ZIP code, driving record, and other factors. Car insurance in Colorado is slightly more expensive for full coverage but cheaper for minimal coverage than the national average of $2,014 for full coverage and $622 for minimum coverage.

Average minimum coverage premium in ColoradoAverage annual full coverage premium in Colorado

How Much is the Minimum Coverage Car Insurance in Colorado?

The cheapest car insurance in Colorado will meet the state’s minimum liability coverage requirements.  If you live in a low-coverage state, expect to pay about $1,555 per year on average. At a yearly premium of $1,020, Geico is the most cost-effective option for such protection in the Centennial State. According to our data, Allstate has the highest sample rate, at an annualized rate of $1,995.

CompanyLow Coverage
American Family$1,701
Minimum Coverage Car Insurance in Colorado:

How Much Is High-Coverage Car Insurance in Colorado?

You may want to consider spending a little more on full-coverage car insurance than just the bare minimum required by law. The typical cost of a comprehensive insurance policy in Colorado is $2,349 per year. State Farm has the most affordable premiums in Colorado, at an average of $1,498 per year for comprehensive coverage. Also, the national average in this field is $3,046 per year, which is significantly more than the local average.

CompanyHigh Coverage
American Family$1,958
High-Coverage Car Insurance in Colorado:

Colorado Car Insurance Discounts

Online quote requests and in-person discussions with agents can both yield information about available policy discounts. If you’re shopping for car insurance in Colorado, you may be interested in learning about the various discounts offered by Nationwide that could reduce your monthly cost.

  • Multi-Policy: To save money, many people who insure with Nationwide also get homeowners, renters, marine, and multiple-vehicle policies. Having your home and belongings insured by Nationwide might help you save money and reduce stress.
  • Anti-theft: It’s possible to get a price cut if you equip your car with an anti-theft system. The amount saved is contingent on the gadget being used. Also, installation verification may be necessary.
  • Automatic Payments: Set up automatic monthly bill payments from your checking or savings account and receive a one-time discount.
  • Safe Driver: Keeping your driving record spotless is crucial. A safe driver discount may be available to you if you have at least five years of clean driving history.
  • Smartride® Program: SmartRide incentivizes responsible driving. When you sign up, you’ll receive an immediate discount. The better driver you are, the more money you could save.

Best Colorado Car Insurance

When searching for the best car insurance coverage in Colorado, drivers have varying priorities. While a small, local insurance may be ideal for you, someone else may prefer a large corporation known for its excellent mobile app. It can be challenging to figure out which firm is the best fit for you because various drivers in different parts of Colorado place different values on certain characteristics. Here are some of the best car insurance companies you might want to consider:

#1. Geico

The average cost of Geico car insurance in Colorado is as inexpensive as the rest of the country. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Geico’s coverage options are more limited compared to other big carriers, so its plans may be better suited for Colorado drivers looking for the bare minimum. Although Geico’s add-ons are restricted, the company makes up for this with a plethora of discounts. A 4.4 out of a possible 5 Bankrate score indicates that Geico is a reliable insurance provider. Geico scored 827 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2022 Auto Insurance Study, which is on par with the average for the industry.

Get a quote from Geico if cost is your top priority. In Colorado, on average, the firm has the lowest rates of any insurer we surveyed, often by more than half.

#2. State Farm

With 16% of the market, State Farm is still the leading car insurer in the United States.  If you prefer to deal with your insurance needs in person, State Farm may be an excellent option because of its network of hundreds of unique local agents in areas around Colorado. In the 2022 J.D. Power Digital Experience Study, State Farm ranked second among 18 firms for service, thanks to its online and mobile app capabilities for digital policy management. Also, it is a fantastic alternative for convenient insurance purchasing because it provides a wide variety of coverage options in one place, including auto, home, and life insurance. 

The customer complaints filed with the NAIC on the company’s behalf are, nonetheless, above average. Customers seeking excellent service should research competitors online before making a final decision.

If you prefer to deal with your car insurance needs in person, State Farm may be an excellent option because of its network of hundreds of unique local agents in areas around Colorado.

#3. Progressive

New drivers may find the name-your-price feature of Progressive to be a great resource. Simply enter a shopper’s budget as well as the level of coverage, and the Name Your Price tool will provide a list of coverage options that best fit that shopper’s needs at a price that fits their budget. The organization provides more than just car insurance; they also offer home and business insurance, as well as coverage for segways. However, J.D. Power rated Progressive’s customer satisfaction and claims service below the industry average. This may suggest that some of Progressive’s past clients were dissatisfied with the kind of service they received.

Furthermore, if you’re shopping for car insurance in Colorado as a young driver, you might want to check out Progressive. The company’s “Name Your Price” tool makes it simple to tweak the figures until you find coverage that fits your budget. There are a few reductions available from Progressive that may be useful for young drivers looking to cut their premium costs.

#4. American Family

In the 2022 J.D. Power Southwest Region Study, the American Family ranked third in customer satisfaction overall thanks to its excellent service. In addition to high marks for customer satisfaction, American Family’s car insurance policy can be tailored to your specific needs with a variety of choices, such as ridesharing protection, classic car insurance, and emergency roadside assistance. In addition, you may qualify for one of the company’s discounts, which might lower your premium. American Family is only offered in 19 states, yet it has many positive features and benefits. This may not be the best firm to go with if you’re constantly on the move. The company, however, has solid financial footing with an A grade (excellent) from AM Best.

American Family can be a suitable option for drivers who need more than the minimum level of coverage due to their individual circumstances. You can tailor the policy’s protections to your own requirements by selecting from a long range of endorsements.

#5. Allstate

You don’t need to be an Allstate policyholder to participate in the Drivewise telematics program, and your premium won’t go up if you’re a bad driver. Allstate provides services such as new car replacement, gap insurance, and accident forgiveness that may be unavailable elsewhere. Customers who place a premium on excellent customer service may want to look elsewhere, however, as Allstate ranked slightly worse than the industry average in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. Moreover, the company as a whole received nearly twice as many complaints compared to baseline, even though NAIC complaints for private passenger motor insurance were lower than baseline.

Allstate may be a good option for people who have a history of being safe on the road. Simply enrolling gets you a 10% discount, and careful driving earns you even more.

How to Save on Car Insurance in Colorado

There are a number of factors that can affect the cost of your car insurance premium in Colorado, including the type of vehicle you drive, the number of miles you put on it each year, the level of coverage you carry, your driving record, and the company you insure with. If you live in Colorado, the cost of your car insurance could be reduced by implementing some of the following measures:

#1. Check Out Various Service Providers

Different companies charge various amounts for the same service because they use different pricing algorithms. The effect of, say, a customer’s credit history on their car insurance price varies widely from insurer to insurer. Getting estimates from different providers for the same coverage will help you figure out who can provide you with the best deal.

#2. Increase Your Deductible

You may be able to reduce your monthly premium by choosing a greater deductible, but you should think carefully about whether or not you’ll be able to pay that higher amount in the event of an accident. However, increasing your deductible might not be the best idea if you can’t afford it.

#3. Evaluate Your Insurance Plan

Adding a new driver to the mix or trading in a car both necessitate a reevaluation of current coverage levels. It’s a good idea to review your insurance policies on a regular basis to see if you can drop any coverage you no longer need or up your limits to better suit your current and future needs.

#4. Alter Your Method of Payment

Discounts are available from the majority of insurance providers if you pay in full or establish automatic payments. If you don’t use your car often, pay-per-mile insurance is a viable option. Premiums are only based on the number of miles driven.

#5. Drive Carefully at All Times

The cost of your insurance may go down, and you may become eligible for further reductions if you are a safe driver. A telematics program, which monitors your driving and provides discounts for safe practices, may be worth looking into if you’re a cautious driver. However, it’s important to remember that certain insurance companies will charge you more if you get into accidents while being monitored.

Why Are Colorado Insurance Rates So High?

Several factors contribute to the relatively high car insurance rates in Colorado. One significant factor is the state’s diverse and often challenging driving conditions. Colorado experiences severe weather conditions, including heavy snowfall in winter, which can lead to more accidents and claims, driving up insurance costs. Additionally, the state’s mountainous terrain and winding roads can increase the likelihood of accidents.

Furthermore, urban areas like Denver and Colorado Springs have higher population densities, leading to more traffic congestion and a higher probability of accidents. High population densities often correlate with increased insurance rates.

The frequency and severity of natural disasters, such as hailstorms, can also impact insurance rates. Colorado is prone to hailstorms, which can cause significant damage to vehicles, leading to more insurance claims.

Lastly, the rising costs of medical care and auto repairs also contribute to higher insurance rates. Insurers factor in these costs when determining premiums, which can result in higher rates for policyholders.

It’s important for customers to shop around and compare insurance quotes to find the best rates and coverage options tailored to their specific needs.

Is Colorado Car Insurance Coverage Worth It?: Bottom Line

Yes, having car insurance coverage in Colorado is worth it. Car insurance provides financial protection in case of accidents, covering medical expenses, vehicle repairs, legal fees, and other costs that can arise after a collision. Without insurance, you risk significant financial liabilities if you’re involved in an accident, especially if you’re at fault.

Additionally, Colorado law mandates car insurance, so having coverage is not just advisable but also a legal requirement. Insurance also offers peace of mind, knowing that you’re protected in unforeseen circumstances.

While the cost of insurance premiums can seem high, the potential financial consequences of being uninsured in the event of an accident make having car insurance a wise investment. It’s essential to shop around, compare quotes, and choose a policy that fits your needs and budget. Having adequate coverage ensures you’re financially secure and compliant with the law while driving in Colorado.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Colorado have high car insurance rates?

Full-coverage car insurance in Colorado costs on average $177 per month, while minimum coverage is $42 per month. More than the national median of $168 a month for comprehensive coverage but less than $52 for bare-bones protection.

Is Colorado a fault or no fault state?

Colorado is a fault state. When an auto accident occurs, the careless driver in Colorado must pay for the other motorist’s damages under “fault” laws.

Who has the cheapest full coverage insurance in Colorado?

State Farm offers the cheapest vehicle insurance in Colorado, at $34 per month for minimal coverage and $99 for full coverage.

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