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The Full Colorado Auto Insurance Guide [Providers + Coverage]

Colorado Statistics Summary 
Annual Road Miles88,740
Vehicle Miles Driven: 48,985 Million
Vehicles Registered in State4,632,430
Population5,607,154
Most Popular VehicleSubaru Outback
Uninsured Drivers13.3 Percent
Total Driving Fatalities2008-2017
Speeding: 230
DUI: 177
Annual PremiumsLiability: $520.04
Collision: $287.00
Comprehensive: $174.61
Cheapest ProviderSafeco
Geico

Do you love a good cheeseburger? If so, you have Colorado to thank for the cheeseburger. That isn’t the only thing Colorado has to offer.

Mountains.

Fishing.

Hiking.

Colorado’s leading industry is tourism, so it is no surprise it has a lot to offer its residents.

With all the beauty to take in and outdoor activities, who wants to spend time looking for cheap car insurance?

We are guessing you don’t want to and you came to the right place. Let us do the work for you so you can save your money and your time.

We will cover everything from the required coverages and cheapest companies to licensing laws and vehicle thefts. So sit back and get ready to find out everything you need to know about Colorado insurance.

Think you are ready to take the plunge and get some quotes? Go ahead and enter your zip code here to use our free comparison quote tool.

Table of Contents

Colorado Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

Finding the right insurance company for your needs can be difficult. We are going to help you find which company could be a good fit for you, but we are also going to cover state laws.

If you are new to Colorado, you may not know the legal requirements that are necessary. So, let’s go ahead and cover exactly what coverage you have to obtain before driving in Colorado.

– State’s Car Culture

When most people think of Colorado, they think outdoorsy. When most people think of outdoorsy vehicles, they think Subaru.

So you guessed it, Subaru is the make of choice most Colorado residents pick for their vehicle. Out of the top ten vehicles of Colorado, Subaru makes half of them.

Another popular choice is a sport utility vehicle. Nine of those top 1o vehicles fall in the category of an SUV. It is no surprise with the mountainous terrain and snow in Colorado.

No matter what vehicle you choose, you will need to buy car insurance for it. How much do you need? We will answer that question and more.

– Colorado Minimum Coverage

Like most states, Colorado requires a minimum amount of insurance on your vehicle before you can legally drive on the roads.

Colorado Minimum Coverage Requirements
Bodily Injury Liability$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Property Damage Liability$15,000 per accident
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage*$25,000 per person
$50,000 per accident
Medical Payments (MedPay)*$5000

You must carry the above the limits, but please remember this is the minimum limit required.

Minimum limits required by states are usually very low. While they may be cheaper upfront with your monthly premium, if you were to get into an accident they may not be enough to cover the loss.

Kiplinger suggests a limit of “bodily injury coverage of at least $100,000 per person, and $300,000 per accident, and property damage coverage of $50,000, or a minimum of $300,000 on a single-limit policy.”

Liability limits are used when you get into an accident and you are the one at fault. Colorado is an at-fault state. This means that if you get into an accident, the person at fault files insurance. Their liability limits will pay for the person that is not at fault.

This is why it is important to carry enough coverage. If you get into an accident and found at fault, you are responsible for making sure the other party can get back on the road.

Colorado law requires insurance companies to offer $5,000 med-pay coverage to insureds. You must decline this coverage or it will automatically be added to your policy. Medpay is medical coverage, outside of health insurance, which can be used no matter who is at fault.

– Forms of Financial Responsibility

You must be financially responsible if you were to get into an accident. Due to that responsibility, you must show proof of your security. In Colorado, that comes in the form of an auto insurance policy.

You must show proof of insurance any time a police officer requests or in the event of an accident. You will also have to show proof when registering your vehicle or reinstating your driver’s license.

Forms of financial responsibility can be an insurance card, binder (proof from the company), or electronic proof on your cellular device.

Colorado also offers police officers an online database called Colorado’s Motorist Insurance Identification Database (MIIDB). This system is updated daily from registrations and matches with insurance company information. This is helpful to prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel of an uninsured vehicle.

Failure to provide proof could result in a ticket or your car being confiscated.

– Premiums as a Percentage of Income

Insurance takes an average of 2.35 percent from American’s income. How much are Colorado residents putting towards insurance?

Colorado Car Insurance as a Percentage of Income
Annual Full Coverage
Average Premiums
Monthly Full Coverage
Average Premiums
Annual Per Capita
Disposable Personal Income
Monthly Per Capita
Disposable Personal Income
Percentage of Income
$939.52$78.29$43,609.00$3,634.082.15

They are putting a little less at 2.15 percent. Over the years of 2012 – 2014, income has gone up and insurance has gone up as well, but the average percent has stayed about the same.

Want to figure out what percent of your income is going towards insurance? You can use our free calculator.

CalculatorPro

– Core Coverage

There are three core components of an insurance policy – liability coverage, comprehensive, and collision.

We discussed liability coverage in the required minimum limits, now let’s take a look at comprehensive and collision coverage.

Comprehensive and Collision covers your car. These coverages are usually based on a deductible. The higher the deductible is the lower the annual premium. So, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you pay the first $1,000 of the claim and the insurance company will pick up the remaining amount for a covered loss.

Below is a table of NAIC data showing average prices based on state minimum coverage.

Type of CoverageAverage Annual Cost
Liability$520.04
Collision$287
Comprehensive$174.61
Full Coverage$981.64

Full coverage is the option to have all three coverages.

– Additional Liability

Loss ratio data is used to show how much a company earns in premiums and how much they pay out in claims. If a company makes $50,000 in premium and pays $25,000 in claims, the loss ratio is fifty percent.

Loss ratios too high could mean the company isn’t making money and could be in financial distress. If they are too low, this could mean the company doesn’t pay out very well in claims.

This table shows loss ratios for optional additional liability you can purchase in Colorado.

Type of Coverage201220132014
Medical Payments (MedPay) 85.64%82.53%77.44%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage96.63%96.81%95.82%

– Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

There are many additional options you can add to your policy. Below is a list of commonly added coverages.

It is important to relay information correctly to your insurance provider so they can assess your needs and make sure there is no gap in coverages.

– Male vs. Female Rates

Demographics play a role in how much you pay for insurance.

CompanyMarried 35-year old femaleMarried 35-year old maleMarried 60-year old femaleMarried 60-year old maleSingle 17-year old femaleSingle 17-year old maleSingle 25-year old femaleSingle 25-year old male
Allstate F&C$3,397.34$3,180.33$3,056.13$3,088.23$11,732.84$12,322.40$3,748.22$3,771.84
American Family Mutual$2,552.17$2,552.17$2,302.28$2,302.28$6,182.18$8,292.20$2,552.17$3,128.70
Farmers Ins Exchange 2.0$3,095.55$3,068.12$2,804.12$3,023.70$11,703.79$11,788.62$3,401.12$3,436.88
Geico Cas$1,962.23$2,140.86$2,069.94$2,343.70$6,116.54$6,472.19$1,797.35$1,830.71
Safeco Ins Co of America$1,859.15$1,810.08$1,578.98$1,736.25$5,559.53$6,061.99$1,877.93$1,897.98
AMCO Insurance$2,490.00$2,536.58$2,226.47$2,354.68$6,292.06$8,057.66$2,863.59$3,094.73
Progressive Direct$2,593.20$2,426.75$2,250.01$2,245.05$8,765.26$9,802.10$2,926.11$2,846.92
State Farm Mutual Auto$2,048.74$2,048.74$1,842.60$1,842.60$5,901.90$7,471.21$2,293.13$2,717.20
USAA CIC$2,232.85$2,232.55$2,126.52$2,134.62$5,582.30$6,398.91$2,873.09$3,130.10

Age is a huge factor in determining your premium. Teen drivers can pay between $4000-$8000 more than someone older with more driving experience.

Best Colorado Car Insurance Companies

If you are required to have insurance, where are you going to get it?

Chances are if you can name one company, you can name ten more behind it. The choice of where to buy your insurance is tough.

You want to get the cheapest provider, but you also want to find a company that is great about paying claims and has helpful customer service representatives.

A lot goes into what makes a company a good fit for your needs. If you have a long commute, poor credit, or a not so great driving record, certain companies might be a better fit for you than another.

We are going to take a look at the biggest, the best, and the worst. First up, let’s dig in to find the companies with the best financial ratings.

– The Largest Companies Financial Rating

You definitely have a choice of financially sound companies in Colorado.

CompanyAM Best Rating
State FarmA++
USAAA++
GeicoA++
ProgressiveA+
AllstateA+
American FamilyA
FarmersA
Liberty MutualA
TravelersA++
NationwideA+

All of the top ten largest companies have ratings of A or higher in financial ratings. AM Best is the widely-known credit agency that focuses on the insurance world.

– Companies with Best Ratings

You definitely want a financially sound insurance company in the event of a claim, but you also want a company with great customer service.

JD Power is an excellent resource for customers as they use customer reviews to rate companies.

The average for the Southwest region is 823 out of a 1000 score. Two companies, The Hartford and State Farm, are among the best.

– Companies with Most Complaints in Colorado 

With all the good, there is sometimes a complaint. Larger companies will have more customers which makes them suspectable to more complaints. Because of this, we look at the complaint ratio to get a good look at the number of complaints.

Company NameTotal ComplaintsConfirmed ComplaintsComplaint RatioCompany NameTotal ComplaintsConfirmed ComplaintsComplaint Ratio
AIG000MetLife430.17
Essentia000Nationwide Agribusiness630.18
Farmers Alliance Mutual000360 Insurance110.2
Grange000Farmers53180.2
Great Northern100.08USAA32110.2
Country Preferred200.09Geico620.21
Travelers Home and Marine200.12Liberty Mutual43160.21
Amica Mutual420.15State Farm174620.21
SECURA Supreme100.15Horace Mann100.22

Complaint data is provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, NAIC.

– Cheapest Companies in Colorado

Money is usually what gets you in the door at most insurance companies. Customer service and great claims keep you with the same company.

So who is the cheapest in Colorado? Let’s take a look.

Cheapest CompaniesRateMost Expensive CompaniesRate
USAA$782.90American Hallmark$4,408.66
USAA Casualty$807.74LM Insurance Corporation$3,761.54
Hartford Casualty$819.44LM General$3,397.64
Progressive Direct$845.84Metropolitan Casualty$2,751.98
National General Assurance$863.50Metropolitan Property and Casualty$2,733.37
Owners$866.89Pharmacists Mutual$2,667.51
Horace Mann$898.52Electric$2,276.12
Nationwide Private Client$904.90Safeway$2,133.85
The Cincinnati$909.15Employers Mut Cas Co$2,107.18
Nationwide Mutual$923.95Safeco Insurance Company of America$1,979.75
IDS Property Casualty$925.55National Farmers Union Prop & Cas$1,851.67
Garrison Property and Casulty$950.27Arizona Auto$1,837.51
CSAA General$956.30360$1,799.90
Auto-Owners$960.90Loya$1,791.13
Nationwide Agribusiness$993.66Country Casualty$1,727.11
Farmers Insurance Exchange$1,032.77Amica Mutual$1,658.20
United Fire & Casualty$1,034.94American National General$1,638.35
Geico Casualty$1,058.89Encompass Indemnity$1,613.30
Colorado Farm Bureau Mutual$1,069.23Mendota$1,600.02
Grange Insurance Association$1,080.59Allstate Fire and Casualty$1,548.48

USAA is usually one of the cheapest companies a state has to offer. Keep in mind, USAA is a company for veterans, military personnel, or eligible family members.

Now, let’s dig into the factors that make up your insurance premium. Commuting, credit history, driving record, and coverage amounts are all things that can make or break that low insurance premium.

– Commute Rates by Companies

Do you travel for work? If you do, you will want to pay attention to this section.

Colorado residents spend an average of 23.7 minutes commuting to work, which is just a few minutes shorter than the average US worker’s commute of 25.5 minutes.

Cost by Company with Different Annual Commutes  
GroupCommute And Annual MileageAnnual Average
Allstate10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$5,537.17
Allstate25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$5,537.17
Farmers10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$5,290.24
Farmers25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$5,290.24
Progressive10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$4,231.92
Progressive25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$4,231.92
American Family25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,812.93
Nationwide10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,739.47
Nationwide25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,739.47
American Family10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,653.11
USAA25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,433.70
State Farm25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,351.22
USAA10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,244.04
State Farm10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,190.31
Geico25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,157.93
Geico10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,025.45
Liberty Mutual10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$2,797.74
Liberty Mutual25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$2,797.74

Not all companies rate higher for longer commutes. If you do have a commute, you might want to take a look at companies like Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, or others that do not have a higher rating for longer commutes.

– Coverage Level Rates by Companies

If you have more coverage the chances are high that you will be paying for your insurance than the guy with lower coverages. That may be true with most companies, but not all of them. Check out Nationwide insurance rates.

Cost by Company with Different Coverage Levels  
GroupCoverage_TypeAnnual Average
FarmersHigh$6,013.62
AllstateHigh$5,856.45
AllstateMedium$5,518.14
AllstateLow$5,236.91
FarmersMedium$5,215.47
FarmersLow$4,641.62
ProgressiveHigh$4,535.53
ProgressiveMedium$4,244.39
ProgressiveLow$3,915.86
American FamilyHigh$3,842.92
American FamilyMedium$3,809.91
NationwideLow$3,748.13
NationwideMedium$3,740.53
NationwideHigh$3,729.76
American FamilyLow$3,546.22
State FarmHigh$3,487.06
USAAHigh$3,486.28
GeicoHigh$3,454.92
USAAMedium$3,338.66
State FarmMedium$3,272.35
USAALow$3,191.66
State FarmLow$3,052.89
GeicoMedium$3,034.95
Liberty MutualHigh$2,969.02
Liberty MutualMedium$2,787.15
GeicoLow$2,785.20
Liberty MutualLow$2,637.04

Nationwide’s lower coverage actually is more than the higher coverage. It is always great to take a look at all your options. They may surprise you with a lower rate or one that isn’t nearly as high as you thought it would be.

– Credit History Rates by Companies

Did you know your credit can affect your interest rates, homebuying opportunities, and car loans? It definitely does, but what some do not know is that it also affects your insurance rates.

Lower credit history can make it look like you have a hard time paying bills on time and you have a higher likelihood of filing a claim.

Cost by Company with Different Credit History  
GroupCredit HistoryAnnual Average
AllstatePoor$7,066.00
FarmersPoor$6,142.35
AllstateFair$5,439.82
FarmersFair$4,988.44
USAAPoor$4,943.34
American FamilyPoor$4,850.67
ProgressivePoor$4,819.49
FarmersGood$4,739.93
State FarmPoor$4,541.00
NationwidePoor$4,522.20
ProgressiveFair$4,108.11
AllstateGood$4,105.68
Liberty MutualPoor$3,999.04
ProgressiveGood$3,768.17
GeicoPoor$3,717.48
NationwideFair$3,578.13
American FamilyFair$3,452.49
NationwideGood$3,118.09
GeicoFair$3,091.66
State FarmFair$2,918.53
American FamilyGood$2,895.90
USAAFair$2,816.63
GeicoGood$2,465.94
Liberty MutualFair$2,446.38
State FarmGood$2,352.76
USAAGood$2,256.64
Liberty MutualGood$1,947.80

Let’s look at Allstate rates. The difference between good and poor credit can cost you almost $3000 a year.

Things happen and hardships occur. If your credit is less than desirable, look for a company like Geico that doesn’t rate as much on credit.

– Driving Record Rates by Companies

Your driving record is probably the most obvious factor in getting your rate. All insurance companies request your driving record and take it into consideration.

Most of us have seen those flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. If you haven’t, good for you. Those tickets can be expensive. Court costs, fees, and possible attorney costs can put a dent in your wallet. But, how much is it going to cost you in insurance?

Cost by Company with Different Driving Record  
AllstateWith 1 DUI$6,643.37
AllstateWith 1 accident$5,431.34
AllstateWith 1 speeding violation$5,350.87
AllstateClean record$4,723.09
American FamilyWith 1 DUI$5,122.27
American FamilyWith 1 accident$3,915.14
American FamilyWith 1 speeding violation$3,131.89
American FamilyClean record$2,762.77
FarmersWith 1 accident$5,743.39
FarmersWith 1 DUI$5,665.21
FarmersWith 1 speeding violation$5,283.78
FarmersClean record$4,468.57
GeicoWith 1 DUI$3,928.75
GeicoWith 1 accident$3,395.15
GeicoWith 1 speeding violation$2,858.30
GeicoClean record$2,184.55
GroupDriving_RecordAnnual Average
Liberty MutualWith 1 DUI$2,978.75
Liberty MutualWith 1 speeding violation$2,891.61
Liberty MutualWith 1 accident$2,869.91
Liberty MutualClean record$2,450.68
NationwideWith 1 DUI$4,991.57
NationwideWith 1 accident$3,930.20
NationwideWith 1 speeding violation$3,163.26
NationwideClean record$2,872.86
ProgressiveWith 1 accident$5,115.10
ProgressiveWith 1 speeding violation$4,278.14
ProgressiveWith 1 DUI$3,869.05
ProgressiveClean record$3,665.41
State FarmWith 1 accident$3,532.80
State FarmWith 1 DUI$3,270.76
State FarmWith 1 speeding violation$3,270.76
State FarmClean record$3,008.73
USAAWith 1 DUI$5,192.84
USAAWith 1 accident$2,973.13
USAAWith 1 speeding violation$2,750.39
USAAClean record$2,439.12

Speeding tickets are usually a lesser increase while accidents and driving under the influence can heavily increase your rate.

– Largest Car Insurance Companies in Colorado

State Farm is, by far, the largest company writing in Colorado. It is followed by USAA and Geico.

RankCompany GroupDirect Premiums WrittenLoss RatioMarket Share
1State Farm Group$906,91877.60%19.81%
2USAA Group$467,07986.16%10.20%
3GEICO$452,58598.99%9.89%
4Progressive Group$440,27469.82%9.62%
5Allstate Insurance Group$388,44578.44%8.49%
6American Family Insurance Group$384,892100.38%8.41%
7Farmers Insurance Group$330,47363.89%7.22%
8Liberty Mutual Group$319,16686.69%6.97%
9Travelers Group$129,18791.67%2.82%
10Nationwide Corp Group$91,54786.32%2.00%

– Number of Insurers by State

There are a total of 858 insurers available to Colorado residents.

Number of Licensed Insurers in Colorado
  
DomesticForeignTotal Number of Licensed Insurers
10848858

Domestic carriers are formed within the state, while foreign carriers are formed under the laws of a different state.

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Colorado Laws

You have got your insurance and you know what companies to look at for it. Next, the laws of the state to keep you a legal driver.

In this section, we are going to look at certain state laws, licensing laws, and rules of the road to keep drivers safe.

Laws can be as confusing as trying to pick an insurance provider. We will help you understand as we breakdown some different Colorado laws.

 – Car Insurance Laws

State laws make a huge impact on insurance providers. They can mandate how insurance policies are mandated to which companies will be responsible to pay out for a claim.

– How State Laws for Insurance are Determined (p 234 NAIC)

The General Assembly makes state laws pertaining to fraud, at-fault status, road safety, car seat laws, and laws of that nature.

In regards to insurance law, like filing forms and rates, the insurance carrier must file those before they use them in practice. The State Insurance Commissioner can step in if he or she sees rates as excessive.

– Windshield Coverage

As you are driving down the interstate, you hear the crack of a rock hitting your windshield. Soon, you see a giant crack going down your windshield. Does insurance cover your windshield? Well, that answer depends on your coverage.

Most companies have windshield coverage under comprehensive. If you do not have comprehensive coverage, you will more than likely be the one responsible for replacing your windshield.

Colorado has no unique law concerning the use of aftermarket parts or certain repair shops.

– High-Risk Insurance

If you have been convicted of driving under the influence or driving without insurance, you may be required to file an SR-22.

SR-22 is a filing, not an insurance policy. This means the insurance carrier must file an SR-22 with the state DMV office proving you have insurance. If you lapse or cancel your insurance, your insurance company will then notify DMV of your insurance status.

If you are unable to find insurance in a normal market, Colorado has an option for you. The Colorado Automobile Insurance Plan is a residual market for drivers with lengthy records and who are unable to find insurance elsewhere.

Please remember, this is not a low-cost plan. When you move outside a normal insurance market, you will pay a premium. This is the last resort to keep you legal while driving on the roads.

– Low-Cost Insurance

Currently, Colorado does not have any low-cost insurance plans. The best way to get the lowest rate is to shop your insurance and keep a clean driving record.

– Automobile Insurance Fraud in Colorado

Insurance fraud is a serious crime in Colorado, as it is in most states.

Fraud can be classified into two different types, hard and soft. Hard fraud is knowingly fabricating an event to commit fraud. Soft fraud is exaggerating or fabricating details of a loss or claim that did actually happen.

Fraud can happen at any level. At the insured level filing the claim to the adjuster manipulating the details.

Filing a fraudulent claim in Colorado is a felony and can get your up to three years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.

– Statute of Limitations

Statute of limitations is the set amount of time you have from when the loss occurred to when you can file the claim or seek damages.

Colorado Statute of Limitations 
Property DamageBodily Injury
3 years3 years

You have three years to file a claim or sue for property damage or bodily injury. After the allowed time limit has expired, you can no longer file.

It is always best to file a claim as soon as possible. Once a loss has occurred, witnesses and evidence can decrease in accuracy over time.

– Vehicle Licensing Laws

If we keep your car legal on the roads with insurance, our next step is to keep you legal as a driver.

We are going to breakdown licensing laws next. When to renew, if you are new to the area, or a teen – we will have information for you all.

First up, the Real ID and what it is and if you have to get it.

– Real ID

In 2005, congress pass the Real ID Act. This act makes for stricter laws regarding the issuance of driver’s licenses so they can be used to fly commercial flights and enter federal buildings.

Colorado is compliant with these stricter laws and if you have a Real ID license, you can continue to fly on commercial airlines and use your license as identification to enter federal buildings.

– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

As we discussed earlier, you must have insurance to drive in Colorado.

Driving without insurance is very costly. Taking the chance of driving without coverage is a game no one should play. There are serious consequences for driving without insurance.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance  
PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond Offense
Fine$500 minimum$1,000 minimum
PointsFourFour
License SuspensionUntil you show proof of insurance to the DMVFour months
Community ServicePossible up to 40 hoursPossible up to 40 hours

Fines, community service, license suspension, and points on your record are all punishments if found guilty for driving without insurance.

Once you get insurance to get your license reinstated, you will face higher premiums with the possibility of SR-22 and reinstatement fees.

– Teen Driver Laws

Teen drivers are very costly to insure. Teens are inexperienced and not matured drivers.

Colorado helps ease teens into driving with a graduated licensing program.

Graduated Licensing System for Teens
RestrictionsLearner's PermitRestricted LicenseUnrestricted License
Age15 - if enrolled, attending, and participating in driver's ed
15 1/2 - if completed a four-hour driver-awareness course
16 - if none of above
If under 18, one year after obtaining learner's permit17 - if held restricted license 12 months
18 - otherwise
PassengersMust be supervised by a licensed parent/guardian or their licensed adult appointeeFirst six months - no passengers under 21
Second six months - limit of one passenger under 21
(exceptions: siblings, family emergencies)
No restrictions
HoursNo restrictionsFirst year - no driving between midnight and 5 a.m. (exceptions: presence of a parent/guardian, driving to and from school activities or work, family emergency, being an emancipated teen)No restrictions
Cell phone useForbiddenForbiddenForbidden if under 18
Pre-requisitesIf under 18, parent or guardian must sign an affidavit of liabilityCompletion of 50 hours supervised driving, 10 of which at nightIf under 18, holding a restricted license for one year

– Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

All Colorado drivers must renew their driver’s licenses every five years, no matter of age. All drivers must also have proof of vision at every renewal.

The difference between older drivers and younger is how you can renew. Older drivers, 66 years and older, can only renewal every other year by mail. You must go to your local DMV office in the years you can not mail.

– New Residents

Welcome to Colorado!

According to the Colorado DMV, once you become a Colorado resident you have 30 days to get your new license and ninety days to register your vehicle.

In order to become a resident of Colorado you must fall into one of the below categories:

  • Own or operate a business in Colorado
  • You are gainfully employed in Colorado
  • Live in Colorado for 90 consecutive days

You must bring your current out of state license to turn in when getting your new Colorado license. You must also show proof of residency and social security number.

– License Renewal procedures

All Colorado drivers must renew their licenses every five years. Each renewal also requires proof of a vision test.

If you are under the age of 66 years, you may renew online or mail for two consecutive renewal terms.

If your license has been suspended during a renewal term, you must also complete a written test.

– Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)

Colorado uses a points system when you receive driving violations. All drivers start with zero points.

Age of DriverNumber of points for suspension during any time periodNumber of points for suspension within 12 monthsNumber of points for suspension within 24 months
17 & Under7 or more6 or moreN/A
18-2114 or more9 or more12 or more
21 and overN/A12 or more18 or more

Below is a list of infractions along with their point value.

  • Speeding (5-9 MPH over the limit): One point
  • Failure to yield right-of-way: Three points
  • Improper passing: Four points
  • Failure to show proof of insurance: Four points
  • Speeding (10-19 MPH over the limit): Four points
  • Careless driving: Four points
  • Speeding (20-39 MPH over the limit): Six points
  • Reckless driving: Eight points
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: 12 points
  • Speed contests: 12 points
  • Evading an officer: 12 points
  • Speeding (40+ MPH over the limit): 12 points
  • Leaving an accident scene: 12 points

– Rules of the Road

If you are new to Colorado, you may not know all the rules of the road. Even if you have lived in Colorado for a while, you still may not be aware of certain road laws.

We are going to take a look at speed limits, ridesharing, and more in this next section.

We are trying to save you money on your insurance, so we also want to avoid any unwanted fees and fines for tickets.

– Fault vs. No-Fault

As we mentioned earlier. Colorado is an at-fault state. The party found at fault for the accident is held liable to pay for damages with their insurance coverage.

Colorado also follows modified comparative negligence. This means if you are found under 50 percent at fault, you are legally allowed to receive compensation. However, your compensation will be adjusted for the percentage you are found at fault.

– Seat belt and car seat laws

Any passengers in the front seat, 16 years and older, must use a safety restraint.

Passengers fifteen years and under also follow strict laws for safety belt and car seat usage. Child safety laws are a primary offense and you can be pulled over for this offense.

Colorado Car Seat Requirements  
Type of Car Seat RequiredAgeWeight
Rear-Facing Child Safety SeatUnder one year oldUnder 40 pounds if under one year old
Under 20 pounds if over one year old
Forward Facing or Rear Facing Child Safety SeatOne to four years old20 - 40 pounds
Forward Facing Safety Seat, Booster Seat, or With Safety Belt-Positioning DeviceFour to eight years oldOver 40 pounds
Seat Belt or Child Restraint SystemOver eight years oldNo weight restrictions when over eight years old

– Keep Right and Move Over Laws

Colorado law is pretty standard when it comes to moving over laws. If you see flashing lights, whether, from police or tow truck, you must vacate the closest lane if possible. If vacating the lane is not possible, you must slow your speed.

You must also follow keep right laws. In Colorado, you must keep right unless you are passing a slower vehicle or if returning to the right line is unsafe or due to traffic.

– Speed Limits

Most, if not all, roads should have posted speed limit signs. Here is a list of speed limits in Colorado. Please remember these are subject to change, especially if you are in a construction zone.

Speed Limits 
Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstates75 mph
Urban Interstates65 mph
Other Limited Access Roads65 mph
Other Roads65 mph

– Ridesharing

Ridesharing has become a popular side hustle. With companies like Uber and Lyft, drivers have the flexibility to work when they can.

If you are interested in becoming a ridesharing driver, you will want to check with your current auto insurance provider to verify coverage.

The following companies offer ridesharing coverage in Colorado.

  • Farmers
  • USAA
  • Geico
  • Allstate
  • Safeco
  • State Farm
  • MetLife
  • American Family
  • Insurance Requirements Other Laws

– Automation on the Road

Cars are becoming more autonomous than ever before. First, they started with adaptive speed control and then cars began parking themselves and having steering assist. Now, cars can even drive themselves without human interaction to maneuver them.

Data found that 94 percent of accidents are due to human error. Researchers are hoping that with autonomous vehicles, accidents and fatalities will be dramatically lowered.

Colorado allows autonomous vehicles to be used as long as they follow state laws and regulations.

– Safety Laws

Safety is a huge part of why we have insurance and state laws. Every state wants to keep their drivers safe on roadways.

We are going to take a look at two major safety hazards on all roadways which are, distracted driving and driving under the influence.

– DUI Laws

There are two levels of driving under the influence in Colorado.

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – When a driver’s blood alcohol content 0.08 percent or higher.
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) – When a driver’s blood alcohol content 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent.

Driving under the influence can be deadly. It can also be very costly. Not only on your record and with regards to insurance but also the fines and fees.

Penalties for a DUI    
Penalty TypeFirst Driving While Ability
Impaired (DWAI)
First Driving Under the Influence (DUI)Second DUI or DWAIThird and Subsequent DUIs and DWAIs
Revoked LicenseEight points on licenseNine monthsOne yearTwo years
ImprisonmentTwo days to 180 daysFive days to one year10 days to one year60 days to one year
Fine$200-$500$600-$1000$600-$1500$600-$1500
Community Service24 to 48 hours24 to 48 hours48 to 120 hours48 to 120 hours

– Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws

While marijuana is legal for recreational use in Colorado, you can not drive while under the influence of marijuana. Drivers using marijuana and driving will face the same penalties as drivers under the influence of alcohol.

– Distracted Driving Laws

Texting is banned for all drivers. Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use a wireless device while driving.

Cellphone and Texting Restrictions 
Hand-held banNo
Young drivers all cellphone banUnder 18 years old
Texting banAll drivers
EnforcementPrimary
Penalties for Illegal Handheld Use While Driving  
Class of DriverFirst OffenseSecond and Subsequent Offenses
Minor Drivers (all cellphone use)Class A traffic infraction
One point on license
$50 fine
One point on license
$100 fine
Adult Drivers (text messaging)Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense
Four points on license
$300 fine
Bodily injury or proximate cause of death to another, class 1 misdemeanor
Four points on license
$1000 fine and/or up to one year imprisonment

Cell phones have become a huge source of distraction while driving. Looking away from the road for a second can have catastrophic consequences.

Driving in Colorado

In our last section, we are going to look at driving in Colorado. We are going to cover a lot of statistics in regard to roadway fatalities in Colorado.

We want to keep drivers informed about where and when most accidents and thefts occur to keep you and your loved ones safe.

First, we are going to look at theft.

– Vehicle Theft in Colorado

Ever park your car and go into a store to come out and find your car no longer parked where you left it?

I have never had that feeling, but I can only imagine the sinking feeling one must get.

Make/ModelYear of VehicleThefts
Honda Civic19971,380
Honda Accord19971,167
Ford Pickup (Full Size)2005595
Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee1999594
Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)2000450
Dodge Pickup (Full Size)2001308
Subaru Legacy1996215
Acura Integra1994208
Toyota Camry1989203
Toyota Corolla2014170

Honda Civic was top of the list with 1997 models being the most popular.

We talked earlier about your city and zip code making a difference in your premium. One thing companies look at is the crime rate in your city and zip code. Below is a chart showing a six-year trend in the top 10 worst cities in Colorado for car theft.

Cities with the Worst Vehicle Theft 
CityNumber of Thefts
Denver3,487
Colorado Springs1,928
Aurora1,000
Lakewood623
Pueblo528
Thornton352
Westminster322
Arvada197
Greeley186
Commerce City183

– Road Fatalities in Colorado

Road fatalities happen even with the safest of drivers. We are going to look at National Highway Safety Administration data on when, where, and who of traffic fatalities in Colorado.

– Most fatal highway in Colorado

The US-160 in Colorado is the most fatal highway in Colorado. It crosses the state east to west and has seen 111 fatalities in the last 10 years.

– Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition

Most drivers think dark, rainy nights would be the time more accidents and fatalities would happen, right?

While most fatalities are in the “unknown” category, it is important to see that more fatalities are noted during normal, daylight hours as opposed to dark and poor weather conditions.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or DuskOther / UnknownTotal
Normal3811161066
Rain8140013
Snow/Sleet10120013
Other300104
Unknown254104125210504
TOTAL313117147230600

– Fatalities (All Crashes) by County

Here is a listing of traffic fatalities in all counties in Colorado.

County20132014201520162017
Adams3332446064
Alamosa23452
Arapahoe2130374645
Archuleta24331
Baca20208
Bent31102
Boulder1216192431
Chaffee12344
Cheyenne23000
Clear Creek80432
Conejos11202
Costilla03242
Crowley10001
Custer02011
Delta103036
Denver4042525449
Dolores20120
Douglas1217132419
Eagle411754
El Paso6353484877
Elbert31325
Fremont879109
Garfield7881021
Gilpin11510
Grand13415
Gunnison43922
Hinsdale00100
Huerfano13242
Jackson00112
Jefferson4342554841
Kiowa10011
Kit Carson53144
La Plata12571011
Lake00121
Larimer2024334436
Las Animas92183
Lincoln84412
Logan65684
Mesa1913201716
Mineral00121
Moffat02460
Montezuma95344
Montrose46739
Morgan667313
Otero52830
Ouray02321
Park67383
Phillips11100
Pitkin22011
Prowers15420
Pueblo1419122034
Rio Blanco01122
Rio Grande42521
Routt40455
Saguache21164
San Juan12010
San Miguel26131
Sedgwick32102
Summit13384
Teller52534
Washington44212
Weld3555555566
Yuma24343

Take a look at the top 10 counties for the most fatalities.

Counties with the Most Traffic Fatalities     
County Name20132014201520162017
El Paso County6353484877
Weld County3555555566
Adams County3332446064
Denver County4042525449
Arapahoe County2130374645
Jefferson County4342554841
Larimer County2024334436
Pueblo County1419122034
Boulder County1216192431
Garfield County7881021

– Traffic Fatalities

More fatalities occur on urban roads than on rural.

Type of Roadway2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rural296252247227233244228260266277
Urban252213203220241238260285342369

– Fatalities by Person Type

The number of fatalities with pedestrians and motorcyclists are on the rise, but passengers of vehicles remain the highest number of fatalities.

Person TypeVehicles Type20132014201520162017
OccupantsPassenger Car141176163187199
Light Truck - Pickup7756776678
Light Truck - Utility85708585104
Light Truck - Van146212427
Light Truck - Other00102
Large Truck1110131826
Bus00011
Total Occupants331319364383437
MotorcyclistsMotorcycle8794106125103
NonoccupantsPedestrian5063597992
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist1210131616
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants22550
Total Nonoccupants647577100108
Occupants, Motorcyclists, and NonoccupantsTotal Traffic-Related Fatalities482488547608648

– Fatalities by Crash Type

Here is a look at the last five years in type of crash with a fatality. Total fatalites have risen over 150 in the last five years.

Colorado Fatalities by Crash Type     
Crash Type20132014201520162017
Total Fatalities (All Crashes)*482488547608648
- (1) Single Vehicle284273305344335
- (2) Involving a Large Truck5663648687
- (3) Involving Speeding151168217211230
- (4) Involving a Rollover197166195212228
- (5) Involving a Roadway Departure287285304295330
- (6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)118127153200190

– Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties

Counties with the Most Traffic Fatalities     
County Name20132014201520162017
El Paso County6353484877
Weld County3555555566
Adams County3332446064
Denver County4042525449
Arapahoe County2130374645
Jefferson County4342554841
Larimer County2024334436
Pueblo County1419122034
Boulder County1216192431
Garfield County7881021

– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

Take a look at the top ten counties for speed-related deaths.

Colorado Fatalities Involving Speeding by County    
County Name201520162017Three-Year Total
El Paso County15222966
Denver County28221565
Jefferson County22201860
Weld County25112056
Adams County17192056
Arapahoe County17191753
Larimer County9151640
Pueblo County441624
Garfield County561021
Douglas County48820

– Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver

Many counties have seen a steady rise in the number of alcohol-related deaths.

Colorado Traffic Fatalities Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC 0.08 percent or greater)    
County Name201520162017Three-Year Total
El Paso County17202461
Denver County15182053
Weld County19131345
Adams County11151844
Jefferson County1991341
Arapahoe County12131338
Larimer County8121131
Pueblo County331016
Garfield County37515
Boulder County53412
Douglas County45312

– Teen Drinking and Driving

Colorado ranks high, at number seven, for underage DUI arrests.

DUI Statistics for Under 18  
Number of ArrestsArrests per One Million PeopleRank Nationally
217172.037

– EMS Response Time

In the event of an accident, you want to know that emergency medical teams can get to you quickly and get you to a hospital even faster.

Location of IncidentTime of Crash to EMS NotificationNotification to ArrivalArrival at Scene to Hospital ArrivalTime of Crash to Time of Hospital Arrival
Rural7.3312.0136.6848.96
Urban1.335.0922.2328.16

In urban areas, EMS can get to a scene of an accident and all necessary parties to a hospital in under 30 minutes. You are looking at under 50 minutes if you have an accident in a rural area.

– Transportation

Now let’s take a look at car ownership, commuting, and traffic.

All graphs are from DataUSA. Colorado is shown in orange while the United States average is shown in gray.

– Car Ownership

Like most Americans, most Colorado families own two cars.

– Commute Time

The average Colorado resident commutes 24 minutes to work which is close to the US average of 25.5 minutes.

– Commuter Transportation

A large majority of Colorado residents drive to work alone.

– Traffic Congestion in Colorado

No one likes sitting in traffic. If you have to commute to work every day, you will want to add some extra time to your driving time if you work in the below areas.

CityHours Spent in TrafficPeak (Time in Traffic)Daytime (Time in Traffic)Overall (Time in Traffic)
Denver3613%7%8%
Boulder2413%10%10%
Greeley127%7%6%
Colorado Springs158%6%7%
Pueblo75%4%4%

In 2018, traffic stats on INRIX show Denver as the 19th most congested city in the United States.

We hope this information has helped you and you are well on your way to buying the cheapest insurance. Don’t forget you can get started here by entering your zip code in our free comparison tool.

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