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Comparing Car Insurance Rates in Colorado

Automobile insurance is required by statute in all states except New Hampshire as a matter of public policy to defray the ultimate costs of bodily injury and property damage incurred as a possible result of operating an automobile on public highways.

From experience, state legislators have observed that few individuals can afford the costs incurred as a result of an automobile accident and enacted laws to protect the public.

Automobile insurance requirements are state laws rather than federal ones, so they vary from state to state.

Be sure to stay in compliance by finding the best car insurance policy to fit your needs! Simply enter your ZIP code into the FREE tool above can get you started right away!

Car Insurance Costs in Colorado

The State of Colorado requires that the following limits of liability be carried by drivers in the State:

  • Bodily Injury Liability – your responsibility for bodily injury to others in the event of an accident involving an owned motor vehicle - $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident (referred to ordinarily as 25/50)
  • Property Damage Liability – your responsibility for property damage to others' property involving an owned motor vehicle - $15,000 per accident
  • Medical Coverage – as of 2000, insurers in Colorado are required to offer $5,000 worth of medical coverage to help defray the costs of emergency medical care for drivers and passengers in the event of an accident. (You may decline this coverage, but it is not recommended to do so.)

Obviously, this coverage may not be adequate for costs incurred in an accident. If you've experienced doctor's bills and hospital costs, you're aware of the inadequacy of $25,000 worth of coverage in a severe accident.

Then, too, property damage coverage is inadequate at $15,000 per accident. Replacing an entire vehicle if you're responsible for the accident destroying it can cost upward of $20,000.

Recommended coverage is as follows:

  • Bodily Injury Liability - $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability - $50,000 per accident
  • $5,000 Medical Coverage at least, depending upon your location and the distance to emergency medical care
  • $100,000/300,000 underinsured/uninsured motorists coverage
  • $500 deductible comprehensive coverage (theft, vandalism, animal damage, hail, and weather) for your own vehicle
  • $500 deductible collisions coverage (collision with another vehicle or item) for your own vehicle

Insurance costs vary according to a set criteria varying according to:

  • Location in which the car is garaged
  • Age, gender, and driving record of driver
  • Limits of liability
  • Automobile insured

In Colorado, for example premiums for a 35-year-old married male, driving a 2012 Ford Fusion, garaged in Sterling, CO, a relatively rural area of the state vary from $283 to $2,399 depending upon the insurance company.

On the other hand, premiums for that same individual living in the Denver Metro Area vary from $368 to $3,037, again, depending upon the insurance company. These variations underline the necessity of obtaining different quotations to maximize savings with regard to insurance.

These estimates are based upon the following limits of liability:

  • Bodily Injury Liability - $100,000/300,000
  • Property Damage Liability - $50,000
  • Medical Coverage - $5,000
  • $500 deductible Comprehensive (physical damage for your own vehicle)
  • $500 deductible Collision (physical damage for your own vehicle)
  • $100,000/300,000 underinsured/uninsured motorists

The premiums are in the State of Colorado as of the year 2012. Examples of these may be accessed at the State of Colorado's insurance website under DORA

Shopping for Car Insurance

Before beginning to shop for car insurance, collect the information you will need for a quotation:

  • Names, dates of birth, and drivers' license numbers of all drivers
  • Make, model, and VIN number for all automobiles you own – even the junker you have out behind the garage
  • Your chosen limits of liability
  • Physical damage coverage – deductibles – for comprehensive and collision to cover your own vehicle
  • Name and address of lender, if any, and the vehicle involved

Insurance Fraud – A Few Cautions

Premiums are a basis for purchasing insurance policies, but you should apply other criteria to the process. After all, a low insurance premium is great, but failure to cover the perils involved can leave you in a disastrous position.

Insurance companies may fail to provide adequate financial reserves to cover their losses, particularly in a catastrophic situation. Agencies, the individuals who sell insurance for companies, may commit fraud.

Now, the Colorado Department of Insurance makes available information on their website about complaints from consumers about insurance companies, agencies, and the licensing status of both. This helps prevent fraud from affecting a wise consumer.

Your best protection from insurance fraud is to carefully check with the Colorado Department of Insurance about licensing, solvency, and complaints.

Examine the section of the state website under Enforcement Actions. Because of the vigilance of this department, insurance fraud in Colorado is considerably less active than in the past.

Examining Insurance Companies and Agencies in Colorado

If you are new to the state, begin with asking your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives about agencies and companies that they trust and referrals to those agencies and companies.

Once you've narrowed down your personal choices to two or three, begin checks on them. Sources of information are as follows:

If you are inexperienced in purchasing insurance, choose an independent agent that sells insurance for a number of companies for advice and quotations. The information they have available can educate you in purchasing insurance policies, planning to protect yourself against loss, and give you advice about all types of insurance.

Make certain that you visit and get to know the agent with whom you are dealing because the personality of an agent may make a difference in how easily you can confide in that agent about your personal goals and needs.

Independent agents are licensed through the Colorado Department of Insurance, so you can check the agent's credentials through reasonable diligence.

Quotations and Shopping for Insurance

A good practice is to examine your insurance premiums for all types of insurance on an annual basis. Be certain to get two or three quotations for all the types of insurance you purchase:

  • Automobile Insurance
  • Homeowners or Renters Insurance
  • Umbrella Liability Coverage
  • Business Insurance – if any, and examine this possibility with your agent
  • Identity Theft Insurance
  • Flood Insurance – if needed

A responsible agency, if you use one, will be aware of the anniversary of your insurance policies, examine possible quotes and have them available for your examination. If this service isn't available, go on-line to get quotations for yourself.

Make sure that the quotations are believable and follow the current guidelines you have for insurance policies.

Education about Insurance

Insurance is a vital financial tool for individuals and businesses. Obviously, we cannot protect ourselves from every possible contingency, but we should protect ourselves and our investments as much as is fiscally responsible.

To do this, you must educate yourself about insurance, its purposes, and coverage available. A knowledgeable agent, books, and courses are available to help educate consumers with regard to insurance. A valuable website is NAIC, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, for education resources.

Insurance premiums are becoming larger portions of our budgets in Colorado as well as other states. Comparison-shopping, education, and use of available tools on the Internet can help us manage our money and the risks we take wisely.

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