If you are a driver in Colorado, car insurance is mandatory. Car insurance laws are enforced by Division of Insurance of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. At first, Colorado was a no-fault state. The law was later changed to help prevent claims abuses and reduce the cost of insurance rates. Read to learn more about Colorado car insurance requirements, rates, programs, plans and discounts.
Required Car Insurance
The law also requires you to purchase liability auto insurance to help you cover the cost of property damage and injuries caused to others in the event of an accident that you might cause. The following minimum limits apply to your liability insurance:
- $25,000 for injuries per person per accident
- $50,000 for total injuries per accident
- $15,000 for property damage.
All other car insurances are optional.
Optional Car Insurance
Colorado car insurance companies also offer a variety of optional car insurance coverage types. These include:
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Medical payment coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Rental car coverage
- Loan/lease gap coverage
- Roadside assistance/towing coverage.
NOTE: Leasing companies and banks will require you to have comprehensive and collision car insurance on any financed vehicle.
Colorado Car Insurance and Registration
The Department of Motor Vehicle requires you to provide proof of car insurance before they register or renew your car registration. The following as proof of insurance are accepted by the DMV:
- Copy of car insurance policy
- Insurance card
- Printout or fax of insurance policy
- E-mail from insurer
- Image of Colorado car insurance card on a cellular phone.
NOTE: You should register your car on time or else face some penalties or fines.
Failure to Hold Insurance
If you are caught driving without a car license in Colorado, you face the following penalties:
- 4 points on your driver’s license
- A minimum fine of $500
- License suspension until you show proof of insurance if it is your first offense
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 8 months if you have been convicted more than once
- Required community service.
Not only will you face the above penalties but also pay much higher insurance rates whenever you renew your insurance cover.
Failing to Carry Proof of Insurance
You must show proof of car insurance if you are involved in a traffic accident or stopped by a police officer. If you have car insurance but you fail to show proof, you will still be issued a ticket for failing to carry proof.
SR-22 insurance filing is done by drivers who have caused accidents or those who have been convicted of serious violation of traffic regulations. SR-22 can be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicle through your car insurance company. SR-22 insurance guarantees that you will hold and maintain minimum coverage for 3 years. If you fail to file an SR-22, you will face the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Vehicle registration suspension
- License plates suspension.
If you transfer to a new car insurance carrier, you have to get your new carrier to file an SR-22 before cancelling current SR-22 and insurance policy.
Alternative Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
Car insurance companies have the right to deny insurance coverage for high risk drivers. So, if you are considered a high risk driver, you can apply for insurance coverage through Colorado Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan which is part of the Western Association of Automobile Insurance Plans (WAAIP). Through this plan, Colorado car insurance companies share the risk associated with high-risk drivers. Colorado requires all car insurance companies to participate in this plan to ensure that all drivers regardless of their driving records get insurance cover. To get started, you can apply for insurance coverage to WAAIP plans through any local car insurance agent in Colorado.
Insurance frauds involve the following:
- False claims
- Falsifying car repairs
- Forged proof of insurance
- Unlicensed car insurance agents etc.
Car insurance frauds not only cost insurance companies but also insurance consumers. If you suspect car insurance fraud, report it immediately to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This body will then report it to your state agency via an online fraud reporting system.
You can contact the Colorado Division of Insurance if you have any question related to your car insurance policy. You can do so through the following means:
- By phone at (303) 894-7490
- Online through Request for Assistance form
- By e-mail to [email protected]
This body can answer all your questions about Colorado car insurance policies, agents, as well as consumer rights.
Determining Your Car Insurance Rates
In Colorado, car insurance companies are allowed to use the following factors when calculating your insurance rates:
- Driving history
- Marital status
- Age & gender
- Neighborhood or city’s safety
- Car make and model.
If you are convicted of DUI and DWI violations, you will get some points on your driver’s license which might increase your insurance rates.
Car Insurance discounts in Colorado
Many Colorado car insurance companies offer several discounts to help cut the total costs of your car insurance. You can therefore save on your car insurance by taking advantage of the following discounts:
- Homeowner’s discount
- Safe driver discount
- Good student discount.
- Multi-car discount
- Safety device discount
- Anti-theft discount
- Accident prevention course discount.
In fact these discounts can save you a lot of money, but the best way to get low cost insurance premiums is by keeping a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Colorado
Driving a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase your car insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org, the 2013 most stolen cars in Colorado include:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Camry
- Acura Integra
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- Ford Explorer
- Chevrolet Pickup (Small Size).