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Colorado Car Insurance

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You'll find everything you need to know about Colorado car insurance here, as we explain what different types of auto insurance cover, provide expert advice on how much insurance to buy and provide average Colorado car insurance rates by ZIP code so you know what to expect to pay, as well as see how much you can save by comparing quotes.

Colorado's highest and lowest state car insurance rates are found along the Interstate 25 corridor -- as is just about everything in Colorado. Drivers in Black Forest pay dramatically more than those in Fort Collins, 125 miles north. You can see how nearly every ZIP in the state compares below. Enter your ZIP code, gender and choose among six age groups and three coverage levels to see what you can expect to pay for car insurance in your neighborhood.

Denver ZIP code 80219 is the most expensive in the state for car insurance, costing drivers an average of $1,680 for full coverage, based on a CarInsurance.com rate analysis. The state average is $1,404, which is $40 less than the national average of $1,355. Regardless of your location, however, you can save hundreds of dollars by comparing prices among insurers, because prices for the same policy will vary significantly. That's because no two insurers use the same formula for setting rates.

 

Cheap Colorado car insurance


Though it's never wise to pick coverage amounts on price alone, the cheapest car insurance policy you'll get is almost always the one that just meets the state required minimum you need to drive legally. In Colorado, that means your policy will pay $25,000 for medical costs to those you injure in an accident, up to $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 for damage you to other cars and property. Your state minimum liability insurance, outlined below, does not pay for damage to your car.

 

Colorado car insurance requirements

Colorado state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability$25,000/$50,000
Minimum property damage liability$15,000

Best Colorado car insurance

It's never a good idea to choose car insurance solely on cost. Even a minor accident can exceed the limits of a bare-bones policy with state minimum liability only. Jumping from state minimum up to higher liability limits with comprehensive and collision costs more, but drivers will pay $1,044 more a year, or $87 a month. Just hiking your protection up to 50/100/50 is only an additional $59 a year, less than $5 a month.

Coverage limitsAverage annual rate
Liability Only – state minimum$592
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD$651
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD$500 Comp/Collision deductible$1,636

 

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Colorado from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

 

Recommended car insurance coverage

If you’re on board to buy more than bare-bones coverage, you may be wondering exactly how much more car insurance you need.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and broken glass and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. These optional coverages are usually quite cheap. Colorado  drivers pay, on average, $287 a year for collision and $175 annually for comprehensive. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage are optional in Colorado. These coverages pay for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, starting at $5,000 and up to $25,000. In most states, including Colorado, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

Who has the cheapest auto insurance in Colorado? Rates by company

If you want to see how major insurers compare on price for three coverage levels, see average rates in the chart below:

CompanyState minimum
Geico$335
State Farm$356
Farmers$464
Progressive$681
Allstate$695
Company50/100/50
Geico$333
State Farm$414
Farmers$496
Allstate$732
Progressive$745
Company100/300/100
Geico$813
State Farm$1,241
Farmers$1,516
Progressive$1,559
Allstate$1,889

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Colorado from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Colorado car insurance laws

 

Proof of insurance via smartphone: Colorado law allows drivers to show electronic proof of insurance during a traffic stop. Thirty-one states total allow this.

Penalty for driving without insurance: A first offense will get you a $500 fine and four points on your driving record. Penalties escalate with fines of not less than $1,000, license suspension and community service if you are caught driving without insurance multiple times. And don't even think about driving during an insurance suspension: your license can be revoked for a full year.

Penalty for driving without registration: In Colorado, driving without registration is a class B traffic infraction, which has a $15 minimum penalty and a $100 maximum penalty.

DUIs: Penalties for a first Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense the penalties are:

  • 12 points towards a suspension of your license
  • $300 to $1000 fine
  • 5 days to 1 year of jail time
  • 48 to 96 hours public/community service
  • DUI stays on your record for 7 years

Total loss/Salvage title: There's no specific threshold for what's a total loss in Colorado. Most insurance companies will determine a vehicle to be a total loss when costs of repairs are between 51 to 80 percent of a vehicle's actual cash value (ACV), or basically when the repairs costs are more than the value of the vehicle and other associated claim costs (rental car, storage fees, and so on).

No age restriction for owning and insuring a car: Minors can buy and register a car in Colorado, as long as they have a driver's license or permit for identification purposes and are able to buy insurance. However, it may be difficult for minors to find someone who will sell them a vehicle; contracts with minors are typically voidable, so usually a dealer or private seller will require a parent or guardian to co-sign. The same holds true for car insurance policies, since they are also a form of a contract.

Largest car insurance companies in Colorado by market share

2016CompanyDirect premiums written Market share (%)
1State Farm827,14320.39
2USAA386,3159.52
3Allstate375,0739.24
4Geico365,7979.02
5Progressive363,0578.95
6American Family340,3858.39
7Farmers326,1228.04
8Liberty Mutual259,5366.40
9Travelers99,5162.45
10Nationwide88,3692.18

Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2016.

STATE CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

To drive legally in Colorado, you must have liability insurance with at least limits of:

25 / 50 / 15

Bodily injury liability limits of $25,000 per person in an accident you cause, up to $50,000 per accident, and property damage liability of $15,000. 

Click here for an explanation of liability requirements numbers

HOW MUCH IS CAR INSURANCE IN COLORADO? The average car insurance rate in Colorado is:
$1,404 per year
16th most expensive state in the U.S.
DRIVING IN COLORADO
In our independent study of the best and worst states for driving, Arizona was the
38th BEST STATE
70% percent of roads are in poor/mediocre condition
16.2% of the drivers on the roads are uninsured
9.1% traffic-related deaths per 100,000 population
2.93% of the average annual median household income is spent on car insurance
49 hours of commuter delay per year in the state's most congested city, Denver

Full report: Best and worst states for driving

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