Last Updated on October 1, 2020 by Andrew Lee
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.
The 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 coverage
- $2303 for basic full coverage
- $3284 for premium full coverage
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 methodology, we found the average premiums for a female driver in CO:
- $748 for state minimum coverage
- $1236 for basic full coverage
- $1748 for premium full coverage
Alamosa, a city with a population of 8,780 (2010, latest data), 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
- $1561 for premium full coverage
Minimum car insurance requirements
You legally must maintain car insurance as a Colorado resident. The state requires all drivers to 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 that claims that Colorado’s total vehicle occupant death rate is 5.8 per 100,000 residents.
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.