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With so many insurance companies to choose from, it’s not always easy to find the best auto insurance in Colorado for your particular needs. Our team made it their mission to simplify the process by comparing the monthly premiums of several top providers. In this analysis, you will find our picks for the cheapest and best insurance carriers in The Centennial State.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Colorado
To find the cheapest auto insurance premiums in Colorado, you need to compare offerings from several different providers. Use the list of insurance carriers below to speed up your search:
|Cheapest Insurer||Driver Category|
|Liberty Mutual||Safe Drivers|
|USAA||Drivers in the Military|
|State Farm||Low Annual Mileage|
|Esurance||Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront|
Best Car Insurance Companies in Colorado
Our Geeks analyzed complaint data and policyholder reviews to identify the best insurers in Colorado. This table is a snapshot of our findings:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Colorado
In Colorado, drivers are required to carry car insurance coverage that meets the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 for Bodily Injury Liability Per Person
- $50,000 for Bodily Injury Liability Per Accident
- $15,000 for Property Damage Liability
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Colorado
If you are caught driving without car insurance on Colorado, you could have your license suspended and face other penalties. Even if you have insurance but do not carry proof of your policy details in your vehicle, a police officer may issue you a ticket, and you may be required to appear in court.
Failing to provide proof of mandatory minimum insurance could add 4 points to your driving record. All you need to have your license suspended in Colorado is 12 points in 12 months.
It can also be expensive. The first time you are caught driving without car insurance, you could be fined a minimum of $500. The minimum fine for a second or third offense is $1,000.
Colorado Car Insurance FAQs
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance covers the medical bills and property damage incurred by other parties in an accident that you cause, up to your policy limits. Depending on the terms of your policy, it might also cover accidents caused by people who are driving your vehicle with your permission.
Bear in mind, though, that once your policy limits are exhausted, you will be expected to pay the remaining damages out of your own pocket. Also, it is important to note that liability coverage won’t pay for your own injuries or damage to your vehicle after an accident that you cause. In this scenario, you would file a claim against the other driver’s auto insurance company and possibly against your collision coverage and other addon coverage if you purchased it.
What Is Colorado’s MedPay Option?
Colorado auto insurers must offer all prospective policyholders $5,000 in medical coverage to pay for injuries. MedPay will kick in no matter who caused the crash. You can opt out of this coverage, but if you do not fill out the necessary paperwork to do so, it will automatically be added to your insurance policy.
How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage Work in Colorado?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for expenses you incur in an accident with someone who has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover your damages. All insurance companies in Colorado must offer UM/UIM coverage, but you can waive this option if you so choose.
What Types of Car Insurance Are Available in Colorado?
Colorado insurers may offer a range of other insurance options including:
- Collision coverage, which covers vehicle repairs or replacement after a crash with an object or vehicle;
- Comprehensive coverage, which covers vehicle repairs and replacement due to non-accident-related factors including theft, extreme weather, and wildlife;
- Rental car coverage;
- Loan or lease gap coverage; and
- Roadside assistance or towing coverage.
What Types of Proof of Insurance Are Acceptable?
When you register your vehicle or renew your registration with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you will need to show proof of your car insurance policy. The following types of proof are accepted:
- An insurance card;
- A scanned copy of your insurance policy;
- A printout or fax of your insurance policy;
- An image of your insurance card taken on a cellular phone; or
- An email from your insurer.
What If I’m Caught With No Car Insurance While Driving a Friend’s Car?
If you are caught driving and are unable to show proof of insurance, your license is at risk of suspension – regardless of whether you own the vehicle. It is safest to avoid driving any car if you do not have an active insurance policy.
What Should I Do If I’m in a Car Accident with No Insurance?
Many hit-and-runs occur because drivers are not insured and are worried about the repercussions of being caught. Without insurance, you will be held personally liable for damages in an accident you have caused, and even if you were not at fault, your vehicle damage will not be covered. But leaving the scene of an accident is a serious crime and if caught, you could face jail time on top of the penalties associated with not being insured.
How Can I Get My Suspended License Reinstated?
If you are caught driving without insurance, your license may be suspended. In that case, you will need to pay a fee to have your license reinstated and to purchase car insurance. You will also need to make an SR-22 filing so your car insurance company notifies the state that your policy is active. Usually, this is required for three years after the initial suspension.
Can I Have the Penalties of Driving While Uninsured Reduced?
If you were pulled over and issued a ticket for failure to provide proof of your insurance, it is possible to have your ticket dismissed if you can prove that you had insurance at the time of the citation. Otherwise, your penalties may be reduced if you purchase insurance between the time of the citation and the date of your court appearance.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Many car accidents involve multiple at-fault parties. Comparative negligence is a legal system that assigns a percentage of liability to each at-fault party.
Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes section 13-21-111, you can recover damages against anyone who was more at fault in causing the crash than you were. However, your total damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Even if your case does not go to court, the claims adjuster might assign you a percentage of fault and adjust the settlement offer accordingly.
How Are Car Insurance Rates Calculated in Colorado?
In Colorado, car insurance companies are allowed to consider a wide variety of factors when calculating insurance premiums, such as:
- Where you live – if you stay in an area known for high levels of vehicle theft, your risk profile may be higher, and your premium may increase as a result;
- Your age, gender, and marital status – research shows that single drivers under the age of 25 are riskier policyholders as they have less on-the-road experience, while male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents than females;
- The age, make, and model of your vehicle – the safer your car, the lower your premium will be;
- How often and how far you drive – the longer you are on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident;
- Your driving record – a long history of traffic violations, accidents, or previous claims will likely boost your rates; and
- Gaps in coverage – because insurance is required by law, allowing yours to lapse is considered a bad sign by most insurers.
Do I Have to Report a Car Accident to Police in Colorado?
Pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes section 42-4-1606, you must report a car accident if it resulted in bodily injury, death, or property damage. You may report your crash to the nearest office of the local police or sheriff’s department.
Why Are Insurance Rates so High for Teen Drivers in Colorado?
Young drivers who have recently become licensed and are in the market for insurance might find themselves looking at relatively high premiums. Usually, premiums are calculated according to risk; the higher your chances of being involved in an accident, the higher your premium will be.
Teen drivers are generally deemed higher risk because they lack the experience to make safe, defensive driving decisions on a consistent basis. Research shows teen drivers frequently drink and drive, fail to stay within safe speed limits, and engage in distracting behaviors.
The NHTSA reports that car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths across America. There were over 2,000 teen drivers involved in fatal motor-vehicle accidents in 2016.
In Colorado, a total of 72 people were killed in accidents involving a driver between 15 and 20 years old in 2015, according to NHTSA data. While 25 of those fatalities were young drivers, a further 24 were occupants of other vehicles.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Colorado?
Anyone convicted of a DUI in Colorado faces both criminal and administrative penalties, as in other states. Not all offenses or offenders are the same, but it is possible to be incarcerated for your first drunk driving conviction. For a first offense, assuming your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is below 0.17 percent and there are no other aggravating factors, you may face the following penalties:
- Nine-month license suspension (up to two years);
- $200 fine (up to $1,500);
- Two days in jail (up to one year);
- 24 hours of community service (up to 120 hours)
Penalties increase if it’s a second offense, the driver’s impairment causes an injury or death, a minor is present during the stop, or other aggravating factors. Also, the state has a lesser charge (Driving While Ability Impaired, or DWAI) for driving with a BAC of between 0.05 and 0.08 percent.
Does It Matter Whether I’m Impaired by Alcohol or Marijuana?
Colorado drivers can be charged with a DUI regardless of the measurable amount of an impairing substance, whether it’s alcohol or marijuana, if the officer bases an arrest on other observations. However, Colorado has a “per se” maximum allowable concentration of active THC (the molecule that creates the “high” in marijuana) of five nanograms. Officers are trained to detect marijuana impairment and may order a chemical test for evidence.
Keep in mind that this includes medical use of marijuana, just as driving under the influence of legally prescribed painkillers violates the law if it causes impairment.
Distracted Driving Laws in Colorado
In the state of Colorado, there’s a blanket ban for cell phone use for drivers under the age of 18. Texting and emailing are also banned for all drivers. Cell phone use is permitted only to call police or emergency response services in the case of emergencies such as:
- If you have reason to fear for your life;
- If you believe a criminal act may occur;
- If you want to report a fire, traffic accident, or road hazard; or
- If you need to report a person driving in a reckless, careless, or dangerous manner.
For urgent calls that cannot wait until you are off the road, you are allowed to use a cell phone in designated parking areas or in the shoulder lane.
Colorado Car Accident Statistics
A total of 608 people were killed in car accidents in Colorado in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Between 2003 and 2012, 1,702 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver in Colorado, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.