Everything You Need to Know About Auto Insurance in Colorado

Colorado seems to have it all: beautiful mountains and forests, canyons, rivers and even desert land. Whether you live there or are planning a visit, it seems like there’s something for everyone.

Besides its outside attractions, the Rocky Mountain state has also gathered plenty of accolades for being a foodie and wine and craft beer destination. Many famous chefs have set up shop here (6 James Beard finalists in 2022 alone). There are more than 120 craft breweries and over 100 wineries.

For those who enjoy history, Colorado is also known as the Centennial State since the state was signed into statehood 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Mining for minerals and coal in the early days has left Colorado with many interesting places to explore, where visitors can learn about this important part of the state’s history.

With plenty to do for outdoor enthusiasts, major draws for those seeking delicious food and beverage and interesting historical sites, it’s no wonder people are drawn here – whether to set up house or just visit. Those who are driving are required to have auto insurance, so let the professionals at InsureOne help you find the best policy at affordable prices.

How Much Does Car Insurance in Colorado Cost?

Coloradans pay on average $2,120 for full coverage and $500 for the minimum state required liability insurance annually. Nationally, the average is $2,014 for full coverage and $622 for minimum, so drivers in Colorado are paying on average a little more for full and a lot less for minimum.

Many things go into what a person pays for the policy, including amounts of coverage, driving record, exact location, type of vehicle and much more. This means one person will have a different policy amount that the next person.

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What Does Full Coverage vs Minimum Liability Mean?

Those who choose full coverage are typically buying the minimum liability (bodily and property damage) plus comprehensive and collision for more protection. In Colorado, the minimum requirement is 25/50/15.

Colorado is an at-fault state, which means whoever causes the accident is responsible for repairs and injury costs (including funeral costs if someone dies). Minimum liability in this state consists:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury/death for one person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury/death for two or more persons
  • $15,000 property damage

These are the limits of what your policy will pay out (minus your deductible) if you cause an accident. Most people opt to increase these bare minimums since repair and medical costs are much higher than they used to be and anything past your upper limit will come out of your pocket. And you can be sued for costs.

Since your liability insurance will not pay for any of your damages and injuries in an accident you cause, you may choose to purchase full coverage and an optional medical package. Full coverage includes your liability as discussed above and:

  • Comprehensive coverage: Pays for damage and loss to your vehicle, usually when you are not behind the wheel such as hail, theft and other storms damage.
  • Collision coverage: Helps you pay for repairs to your vehicle after a covered event, such as an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

As mentioned, many people choose to purchase some form of medical coverage as well. In Colorado, you can buy Medical Payments (MedPay) coverage to help you cover the costs of health insurance deductibles, copayments and items your insurance doesn’t cover or if you do not have health insurance at all. Another good option is uninsured motorist coverage to protect yourself if you are hit by a driver with no insurance.

Affordable Car Insurance Rates Comparison by Cities in Colorado

If you live in a more remote section of Colorado you’ll likely pay less for your policy than someone who lives in one of the larger, more congested areas. However, that’s not always the case. Colorado Springs is certainly smaller in population but higher in car insurance rates. That may be due to a high population of young drivers either stationed at Fort Carson or attending college at Pikes Peak State College. Here’s a chart that compares some of the monthly prices for policies in different cities.

City Full Coverage Insurance Liability Insurance Coverage
Denver $158 $45
Colorado Springs $174 $45
Pueblo $198 $44
Breckenridge $145 $34
Durango $151 $34

We arrive at our average auto insurance costs by using a male driver, aged 30 with a clean driving record. Minimum liability is the state-required minimum. Full coverage is a 100K/300K/100K policy. Your costs will be different and based on your individual factors.

How Bundling Your Vehicle and Homeowners Insurance Can Save You Money in Colorado

Many people have heard of bundling, but aren’t aware of just how much they can save in Colorado by employing this method to lower their rates. As an example, let’s say you live in Denver and are paying the average amount of a full coverage vehicle policy there: $2,120 annually. Additionally, your home insurance in Denver averages $3,021 per year. Keep in mind that these are “average” figures we are using as an example. Your prices will be different.

If you combine those 2 with one insurance company, your bill may be a little more than $5,000 annually. If you bundle these 2 policies together with one insurer, you could be receiving a 15% discount, lowering your annual cost to close to $4,000. That’s quite a savings!

Check with your neighborhood InsureOne agent to see how much you can save by bundling. We can find you great ways to save money, as well as save you time by researching and comparing quotes to find out who is offering the best deal.

What Types of Auto Discounts are Available in Colorado?

Your focus is on finding the best auto insurance policy to keep your family protected while on the road in Colorado. But it never hurts to find ways to save money, as well. And there are plenty of ways you can do just that.

Besides discounts for a variety of factors, you can adjust your policy up and down for more coverage limits as well as increasing and decreasing your deductible. A policy with a higher deductible will cost less than one with a low deductible. Here are some others discounts you may qualify for:

  • Good Driver Discount – Drivers with no tickets, accidents or claims in a 3-5 year period can receive anywhere from 10-30% off.
  • Defensive Driving Discount – Young drivers, as well as senior drivers, can utilize this, usually worth a 5% off.
  • Military Discount – Current and former military members (as well as first responders and teachers) will find a price reduction to say thanks for their service.
  • New Car Discount – Buy a new car or stick with your trusty older steed. Having a new car with all of the latest safety features can net you about 10% off your plan, while older reliable vehicles with readily available parts and low repair costs can also save money.

This is just a partial list of all the discounts available. Drivers who work from home and drive less than 7,500 miles per year, as well as those who pay their bill up front are just a few more.

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Colorado Car Insurance Laws

Like a majority of states, Colorado wants drivers to assume financial responsibility when they cause an accident and/or damage property. As an at-fault state, your liability insurance is there to help others recover if you cause them harm. It will do nothing to help pay for your injuries and damages.

What are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Colorado?

Colorado only requires liability. This consists of bodily injury/death and property damage. In Colorado, drivers must have at least:

  • $25,000 bodily injury/death liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury/death liability per accident
  • $15,000 property damage

It’s not much when you think about the costs associated with a bad wreck. Today’s vehicles are usually worth more than $15,000, so if you happen to total someone’s car by hydroplaning during a rainy day, you may be on the hook for anything over that amount. This is why some people choose to increase their coverage levels.

What is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Colorado?

Since 1997, Colorado has maintained a database of insured vehicles. Insurers are required to report new and canceled policies so the state can compare its list of registered vehicles to its list of insured vehicles. If your vehicle lands on the uninsured list, you will receive a notice in the mail. Similarly, if you are caught driving an uninsured vehicle (even if it isn’t yours), you’ll be subject to penalties, including fines and losing your license.

Colorado is a state that assigns points against your driver’s license for infractions. If you accumulate enough points, you may lose your license. Those who receive a citation for driving without insurance or who do not comply with the letter may face penalties, including:

  • Four points against your license.
  • First offense: Minimum fine of $500, license suspension until you show proof you have coverage.
  • Second offense: Minimum fine of $1,000 and four months license suspension.
  • Third and subsequent offenses: Minimum fine of $1,000 and eight months license suspension.
  • Possible 40 hours community service.

If your license is suspended, you’ll have to pay a fee to replace it, as well as receive an SR-22 certificate requirement from the state. An SR-22 requirement puts you in the bracket of a high-risk driver, so your insurance rates may double or even triple. Insurance companies are required to notify the state anytime someone’s coverage lapses or is canceled.

What Factors Does Colorado Law Allow in Determining Your Premiums?

Insurance company’s underwriters plug a multitude of individual factors into their mathematical formulas to arrive at your unique rate. Some of these factors include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Driving History/Record
  • Credit Score
  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Coverage Limits/Deductibles
  • Vehicle Specifics

You cannot do much about your age, gender or location, but you can drive safely and accumulate a good driving record.

What Happens if I Damage Property While Driving in Colorado?

It depends on the circumstances and what exactly you damage. If you cause an accident and do damage to someone’s vehicle or something like a fence, you’ll be on the hook for the repairs or replacement of that vehicle or fence. Similarly, if you damage city-, county- or state-owned property, such as a stop sign, you’ll be responsible for fixing it.

Luckily, your property damage liability is there to help you pay for these damages. Keep in mind that intentional damage or damage done while driving under the influence may have a different outcome. Many insurers will not cover claims under these circumstances. Here are some average costs for repairing government-owned property:

  • Stop sign: Up to $500 once labor is factored in
  • Guardrail: Roughly $500 to $1,500 per linear foot
  • USPS mailbox: Somewhere between $1,000 (for the box) and $1,000 for labor
  • Highway sign: Up to $60,000 to replace a cantilever highway sign

You may not think it could happen to you, but if you start to slide on an icy Colorado road and run into a stop sign, you could be responsible for buying your city or state a new one.

What is Driving Like in Colorado?

Colorado has deserts on one end and mountains on the other. Depending on where you drive, you may contend with hot, dusty conditions or a blizzard. In 2020, the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the state a grade of C- overall for its infrastructure. The ASCE did say the condition of Colorado’s bridges is above average and its roads are in better condition that the national average.

How Many Car Accidents Happen in Colorado?

In 2022, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported a 7% increase in impaired driving fatalities from the previous year and a 51% increase in crashes involving cannabis. There were 745 people who lost their lives in fatal car crashes in 2022, up from roughly 695 in 2021. In 2020, Colorado had 622 traffic fatalities and in 2019, there were 597 fatalities.

In 2022, 36% of traffic fatalities in the state involved pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. This figure is the highest since 1975.

In 2023, CDOT launched the Advancing Transportation Safety Program to combat increasing fatalities with four main focus areas: safe roads, safe people, safe driving and post crash care.

How Many Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists are in Colorado?

In 2019, Colorado ranked #13 in highest number of uninsured drivers on the road with 16.3% of drivers on the roads with no coverage. Although it’s not required in Nevada, uninsured motorist coverage Is usually pretty cheap for the amount of protection it provides if you are involved in a hit and run or an accident with a driver that has no insurance.

Get the Best Car Insurance in Colorado Today

At InsureOne, our goal is to provide the best car insurance in a one-stop shopping experience that saves you money and time. Our agents will listen to your needs and find a policy tailor made to your unique situation. Reach out today to see what we can do for you. Give us a call at (800) 836-2240, check us out online or stop by one of our convenient locations.