Colorado Car Insurance

The Rocky Mountain state puts enough rough road conditions in the way of drivers that they need as few obstacles to worry about as possible. To make it easy for Colorado drivers to stay on top of their auto insurance needs, The Simple Dollar has found the essential facts, stats, regulations and resources that clearly prove that affordable auto insurance for Coloradans is an option.




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Stats in Your State

Seeing the monthly premium notice in the mail might make you jump out of your socks sometimes, but keeping perspective on Colorado average car insurance rates compared with the U.S. average is an important part of understanding how your insurance premium measures up to the other states. Traffic fatalities, along with auto accidents in general, have a significant impact on the price of insurance premiums; these numbers also have a strong correlation with the average price of car insurance.

Auto Insurance Premiums

The average insurance premium for Colorado drivers has danced around the national average of roughly $800 over the mid-2000’s, with the average insurance cost in the state dropping from $923 in 2003 to $729 in 2008.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Like most states in the U.S., Colorado saw a drop in its traffic fatalities between 2005 and 2011, due in large part to improvements in crash technology as well as driver education programs on alcohol, cell phone usage, and teen driving. In Colorado, you can be pulled over if a police officer suspects you are violating the state distracted driving laws; avoid being pulled over and seeing raises in insurance premiums by turning holding off on using the phone while driving.

Auto Repair Costs

Owing to its tough winters, which contribute to collisions and excessive wear and tear, Colorado car repair costs exceeded $397 in 2010, while the U.S. average was roughly $40 lower. In 2011, Colorado repair rates dropped to $359.05, but average costs in the state were still more than $25 higher than nationwide rates. Snow tires, chains, and other safety measures will help Colorado residents lower their exposure to risk, and thus avoid such costly repairs and insurance claims.

Rules in Your State

The first step to staying safe and legal on the road is knowing your state’s regulations. Steering clear of DUI’s, keeping up with current insurance requirements, and making sure teen drivers are in compliance with driving restrictions are three of the top priorities.

Colorado Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements

Colorado Statute 42-7-103
Auto insurance liability minimum limits:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury to another person
  • $50,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons per one accident
  • $15,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others per one accident

Medical payments required by auto insurance policies.
As of Jan. 1, 2009, Colorado requires mandatory “med-pay” coverage with all insurance policies. Consumers may opt out of this coverage by contacting their insurance provider in writing. Read more about the med-pay coverage requirements here.

Colorado Required Proof of Insurance

You must have a card issued by your insurer with the following information:

  • Name and address of Insurance Company
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Effective Date/Expiration Date of Policy
  • Accurate description of year, make/model, and vehicle identification number of registered vehicle
  • Name and address of Insured Driver

Colorado Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers: The Graduated Driver’s License

Hardship License for Minors?

Learner’s Permit Age:
15 years old and learner’s permit must be held for one year. Teen drivers must log 50 practice hours, 10 of which must be at night.

Restricted License Age:
16 years.

Drivers under 18 cannot have any passengers under 21 for the first 6 months of being licensed, unless it’s an immediate family member. At 6 months 1 passenger under 21 is allowed and unrestricted after 1 year.

Driving between midnight and 5 a.m. is also prohibited until the driver has been licensed for one year or turns 18.

Full License (Unrestricted) Age:
At 17 years, drivers are able to test for an unrestricted license.


Drinking and driving should never be taken lightly; Colorado state has strict penalties in place for those who break the law.

Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 9 months
Restore driving privileges during suspension? Restricted driving privileges considered if hardship is demonstrated.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? All first offenders.
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? $600 to $1000
Jail sentence for first offense? 5 days to 1 year

Representatives & Resources in Your State

Consumer advocacy in Colorado is steadily improving with the Department of Regulatory Agencies and the Department of State offering consumer assistance hotlines. Use their websites to prepare yourself in case of a claim dispute with an insurer, and contact them for assistance in filing complaints or detailed questions about your rights as a consumer.

Department of Regulatory Agencies
Division of Insurance
1560 Broadway, Suite 850
Denver CO, 80202
Get Directions

Colorado Department of State
Administrative Division
1700 Broadway, Suite 250
Denver, CO 80290
Get Directions

Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles
Department of Revenue
Division of Motor Vehicle
Section Name (Driver Control, Titles, Registration, etc.)
Denver, CO 80261-0016
Driver’s License Locations

National Association of Insurance Commissioners
2011 Guide to Auto Insurance
The NAIC guide provides a general resource of information for consumers about auto insurance, with general terms and information for consumers across the U.S.