The average annual rate of $1,328 in Denver ZIP code 80219 is the most expensive for Colorado car insurance in the city – and the state, according to a CarInsurance.com analysis. Still, it is just $28 more than Pueblo ZIP 81003 and Aurora ZIP 80010. Those two neighborhoods tie for second costliest in the state at $1,300.
Many factors go into calculating car insurance rates, but a driver's location is typically used to kick off the process. Insurance companies assess ZIP codes’ risk levels based on the number and severity of car insurance claims within the area. They also use different formulas when deciding what you pay, which is why the price for the same policy varies significantly by insurer. For example, the highest rate from any carrier for ZIP 80219 in CarInsurance.com's analysis was $1,860 – more than double the lowest ($839).
The wide range in rates from different insurers shows why it's wise to compare car insurance rates. Enter your ZIP code in the average rate tool below to see the price for a policy in your neighborhood, as well as the highest and lowest cost fielded from six insurance companies.
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CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average auto insurance rates for a 2016 Honda Accord for nearly every ZIP code in the United States. We calculated rates using data for up to six large carriers (Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm).
Averages for the default result are based on insurance for a married 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/100 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $100,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage.
Averages for customized rates are based on drivers ages 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 for the following coverage levels: state minimum liability, liability of 50/100/50 and 100/300/100 with $500 deductible on comprehensive and collision. These hypothetical drivers have clean records and good credit. Average rates are for comparative purposes.
Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
State Minimum: Required liability coverage to drive legally in your state; some states mandate additional coverage, such as personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist.
Liability Only 50/100/50: $50,000 per person/$100,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $50,000 for property damage. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others.
Full Coverage 100/300/100: $100,000 per person/$300,000 maximum per accident for bodily injury; $100,000 for property damage; comprehensive and collision coverage with $500 deductible. Liability pays for injuries/damage you cause others. Comprehensive and collision pay for damage to your car.
Rates aren't equal through all the Mile High City’s ZIP codes. Moving from Southwest Denver to Five Points could mean a $200 rate reduction, and north toward Boulder could save you another $200.
Here are the 10 most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in Denver
Denver ZIP code
*Methodology for rates by ZIP code:
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to run auto insurance rates for a 2014 Honda Accord for more than 30,000 ZIP codes in the United States using six large carriers -- Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive and State Farm. (In cases where an insurer’s rate wasn’t available, another major carrier's rate was substituted.) Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage. This hypothetical driver has a clean record and good credit. The rate includes uninsured motorist coverage. Average rates are for comparative purposes. Your own rate will depend on your personal factors and vehicle.
Here's how Denver’s highest average rate ($1,328) for ZIP code 80219 compares to others:
$413 more than the least expensive average rate ($915) in Colorado, Fort Collins ZIP 80525
$212 more than the state average ($1,116)
$97 more than the national average rate ($1,231)
Here’s what the same driver would pay in the costliest ZIP codes in other large Colorado cities:
Aurora ZIP 80010: $1,300
Boulder ZIP code 80302: $1,052
Colorado Springs ZIP code 80914: $1,226
Denver car insurance requirements
Colorado state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability
Minimum property damage liability
Cheapest car insurance in Denver
Denver’s minimum car insurance requirements are relatively low compared to most states. The lowest liability limits your insurer offers is the cheapest policy you can buy. This will be the state minimum required to drive legally. In Denver, (written as 25/50/15) that means your liability car insurance would pay up to:
$25,000 for injuries you cause to others
$50,000 per accident
$15,000 for damage you cause to others' cars and property
The state average rate for a year of minimum coverage is $646, according to our rate analysis. If you increased your coverage to 50/100/50, you would pay just $79 more.
Best car insurance in Denver
If you want to be sure you don't wind up putting your assets at risk, consider buying higher liability car insurance limits. To protect your car you need optional physical damage coverages. To protect your assets, you should buy liability insurance in the following amounts:
$100,000 to pay for others’ medical bills
$300,000 to pay for injuries to others in an accident you cause
$100,000 to pay for damage to others’ property
You should also consider buying these optional coverages:
Comprehensive, which replaces stolen cars and covers damage to your car from floods, fire, hail, vandalism.
Collision, which pays for damage to your car from accidents.
If you have a newer model car, it makes sense to get comprehensive insurance and collision coverage. In Colorado, comprehensive costs $158 and collision costs $255, on average per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These optional coverages come with a deductible. That’s the amount you pay before your insurance company pays. Typical deductibles amounts are $1,000, $500 and $250 – you choose which one you want. The higher the deductible is, the lower your rate will be.
Colorado car insurance rates for coverage recommendations
With $1,000 deductible
With $500 deductible
With $250 deductible
*Average rate of six insurance carriers for a 2015 Honda Accord LX, from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Driving in Denver
Traffic in Denver: As with many major cities, traffic can be congested, especially during rush hour, but Denver did not make a list of the worst U.S. cities for traffic recently reported by USA Today.
Car crashes: Major accidents have resulted in an average of about 35 deaths a year in recent years (2012-2014).
Commuting: The average commute time in Denver is 26 minutes.
Public transportation: The U.S. Census Bureau says that the majority of riders in Denver who commute to work by public transportation are white (about 48 percent), Hispanic (about 32 percent) and black (about 16 percent). The bureau notes that commuting is the main reason people turn to mass transit.
High Occupancy Vehicle rules: The HOV lane, also known as the carpool or diamond lane, is designed to reduce traffic congestion and promote ride-sharing on freeways. In Colorado, only vehicles with at least two people, mass transit vehicles like buses, and motorcycles are allowed to use the lanes. Use may be restricted during specified hours.
Smog rules: In Denver you must have a 1982 or newer vehicle tested for emissions every two years; 1981 vehicles and older must be tested every year. Vehicles that are seven years old or less are exempt. After moving to Denver, your vehicle must be tested as part of the new registration process.
Bad intersection: Colorado Boulevard and 17th Avenue is considered one of the busiest intersections, with as many as 20,000 vehicles passing through it during the daily rush hour.
The information was gathered from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Texas A&M Transportation Institute, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, state transportation departments and city police departments.