Buying car insurance is a must in Colorado. Like most states, they require all drivers to maintain coverage that meets specific minimums. Understand these insurance requirements to avoid fines and other penalties. Below is the lowdown on Colorado car insurance and driver safety.

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Average cost of car insurance in Colorado

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), the average person in Colorado spends $777.74 per year on car insurance.

They broke this figure down to:

$473.55 is the average annual liability insurance expenditure.

$255.36 is the average annual collision insurance expenditure.

$158.40 is the average annual comprehensive insurance expenditure.

Young Drivers in Colorado

CO car insurance premiums for young drivers depend greatly on the coverage. Premiums are more affordable for minimum coverage based on the state’s requirements. Our research found the average premiums for a young driver in CO are:

  • $1550 for state minimum coverage1,
  • $2303 for basic full coverage2 and
  • $3284 for premium full coverage3.

Premiums change from city to city. Young drivers can pay higher or lower depending on the city of residence.

Female Drivers in Colorado

A 35-year-old female can expect to pay less than a novice driver. Using our methodology4, we found the average premiums for a female driver in CO:

  • $748 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1236 for basic full coverage and
  • $1748 for premium full coverage.

Alamosa, a city with a population of 8,780 (2010, latest data5), on average offered the best rates for a female driver.

Senior Drivers in Colorado

A senior driver with a clean driving record can find reasonable rates in the state of Colorado. Our study found that the average premiums for a 68-year-old driver to be as follows:

  • $712 for state minimum coverage,
  • $1024 for basic full coverage and
  • $1561 for premium full coverage.

Minimum car insurance requirements

You legally must maintain car insurance as a Colorado resident.

The state requires all drivers carry liability insurance at a minimum. Your coverage needs to be good for at least $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury/death and $15,000 for property damage.

It’s important to note that liability insurance only covers damage to the other driver and their car (if you are deemed responsible for the accident). Because of this, most Colorado drivers opt for additional coverage.

Options for additional car insurance coverage include collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, medical payment coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, rental car coverage, loan/lease gap coverage, and roadside assistance/towing coverage.

Colorado used to be a no-fault state but the laws were changed in 2003. It is now a fault, or tort, state where one party must be deemed responsible before an insurance provider steps in to pay for damages.

Violations and penalties 

Failing to have car insurance in Colorado is taken very seriously.

First time offenders will receive a $500 fine and up to 40 hours of community service. Your driver’s license will also be suspended until proper insurance is obtained.

Second-time offenders will receive a $1,000 fine and up to 40 hours of community service. You must spend between ten days and one year in jail. Your license will be suspended for four months.

Subsequent offenses result in a $1,000 fine, 40 hours of community service, ten days to one year of jail time, and an eight-month driver’s license suspension.

In Colorado, just having car insurance isn’t all that matters. You must also be carrying proof of that insurance if you’re involved in an accident or traffic stop. Failing to have this proof on you will result in the same penalties outlined above.

Driving safety in Colorado

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 81% of drivers and front-seat passengers in Colorado wear their seatbelts compared to the 86% national average.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there were 546 total driving fatalities in 2015. Among those, 151 were caused by alcohol impaired driving. That’s 28% of the total.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out another study which claims that Colorado’s total vehicle occupant death rate is 5.8 per 100,000 residents.

Final thoughts

Don’t think about skipping on car insurance if you’re a Colorado resident. Getting caught without the minimum liability coverage will result in a serious penalty.

0
licensed drivers in Colorado, 2014
0
privately insured vehicles in Colorado

Source: StatistaInsurance Information Institute

1State minimum coverage includes the minimum liability insurance limits required in your state but excludes the following:
  • No Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
  • No Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Car Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
2Basic full coverage includes:
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $50,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person/$100,000 Per Accident
  • $25,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $750 Deductible Collision And Comprehensive Coverage
  • $50 Towing Coverage
  • No Rental Reimbursement Coverage
  • No Full Glass Coverage
3Premium full coverage includes:
  • $250,000 Bodily Injury Liability Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $250,000 Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Coverage Per Person / $500,000 Per Accident
  • $100,000 Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage
  • $250 Deductible Comprehensive Coverage And No Deductible Collision Coverage
  • $75 Towing Coverage
  • $30/day Rental Reimbursement, Max Of $900
  • Full Glass Coverage
4Methodology: To achieve accurate results we obtained estimates for 10 cities in the state: 5 of the largest cities and 5 randomly picked smaller cities. For each city, we collected premiums for 3 levels of coverage: state minimum coverage, basic full coverage and premium full coverage. We used 3 different driver profiles for the case studies. For the young driver profile we used a 20-year-old single male or female with 1 year driving experience. Second, the profile fit that of a 35-year-old married female with 12 years of driving experience. The last profile we used in our studies is a male senior driver who was 68-year-old with 45 years of driving experience. The vehicle we used for all three driver profiles was a 2012 Honda Accord EX.
5Latest data: The U.S. census is conducted every 10 years as per requirement of the United States Constitution. The 23rd edition and the latest data is the 2010 United States Census. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_Census
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