Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Written by

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 22, 2020

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Colorado Statistics Summary 
Roadway Miles88,740
Vehicle Miles48,985 Million
Vehicles Registered4,632,430
Population5,607,154
Most Popular VehicleSubaru Outback
Uninsured Drivers13.3 Percent
Total Traffic Fatalities648
Speeding Fatalities230
DUI Fatalities177
Full Coverage Average Annual Premium$981.64

Liability Average Annual Premium$520.04
Collision Average Annual Premium$287
Comprehensive Average Annual Premium$174.61
Cheapest ProviderUSAA
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Colorado residents are a lucky bunch. With rolling mountains, a diversity of climates, and bustling cities, Coloradans have the opportunity to pursue whatever outdoorsy — or indoorsy — hobbies suit their needs.

If your hobby is collecting cars, though, you may have started to notice an uptick in the amount you're being charged for your car insurance. Car insurance rates in Colorado are on the rise alongside cost of living, according to Forbes. Rates seem set to continue rising, as well, at three times the rate of standard economic inflation.

What are you supposed to do? No one wants to dig deeper into their pockets for car insurance than they have to.

Don't fret just yet. We're here to help you better understand the car insurance policies that are available to you in Colorado and the ways you can save a bit of money in the long run.

Want to get a jump on our comprehensive guide? You can use our FREE online tool to start comparing car insurance quotes in your area.

Table of Contents

Colorado State Car Insurance Coverage and Rates

Let's dive into Colorado's cagey world of car insurance coverage and find the best policy for you.

Colorado Minimum Coverage

Colorado is an "at-fault" state. This means that if you get into an accident with someone else, law enforcement will determine which party is "at-fault." The person deemed to be responsible for the accident will then not only have to pay all of their own bills, but the bills of the injured party, as well.

In order to protect drivers from unexpected costs of these sorts, Colorado requires its drivers to maintain a minimum liability coverage of 25/50/15. You can see this ratio broken down in the table below:

CoverageMinimum
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
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*May be waived if rejected. UUM must be rejected in writing. MedPay may be rejected in writing or in the same way you buy insurance.

You'll notice that the aforementioned table includes Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage as well as Medical Payments. These two forms of insurance aren't mandatory for Colorado's basic coverage and can be rejected in writing at the time you go to purchase a policy.

Note, too, that the 25/50/15 divide is the minimum amount of insurance you need in order to drive legally throughout Colorado. It's recommended that you invest in a policy with more coverage, but if you want to at the minimum be legal, this is the ratio for you.

Forms of Financial Responsibility

You'll need to have proof of insurance — otherwise known as a form of financial responsibility — on your person when driving your car. Law enforcement will ask you to present proof of insurance if you happen to get pulled over, and you'll need to bring proof of insurance with you when you get your vehicle registered with a local DMV.

Valid forms of financial responsibility in Colorado include:

  • Valid Colorado insurance card
  • Declaration page
  • Binder/letter from an insurance company on company letterhead
  • Electronic proof of insurance, including insurer-provided electronic image made available on a cellphone, laptop, or other portable electronic device

Now that Colorado has allowed for proof of insurance to be provided via electronic device, you should never have to worry about being without a form of financial responsibility while driving.

Premiums as a Percentage of Income

Your insurance payments will come out of your Disposable Personal Income, or DPI. Your DPI consists of the money you're able to retain after paying taxes for the year.

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
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As you can see, average full coverage in Colorado costs $939.52 a year. With the standard household in Colorado bringing in $43,609.00 a year, that car insurance costs makes up 2.15 percent of a person's overall DPI.

That percentage will naturally rise or fall based on the kind of insurance you want to invest in.

Core Coverage

And what kind of coverage do you have available to you?

Type of CoverageAverage Annual Cost
Liability$520.04
Collision$287
Comprehensive$174.61
Full Coverage$981.64
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Full coverage consists of liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance all together, and it will keep you the safest while on the road. It is also, of course, the most expensive option on your list.

Additional Liability

You'll also have the option to include MedPay and UUM in your coverage. Before you do, though, you'll want to examine the loss ratios of the providers you're looking to work with.

What's a loss ratio? This percentage reflects the amount of money that insurance providers are spending on claims over the course of a year. Higher loss ratios mean that a company is more likely to pay out on MedPay or UUM claims, but also that the company may be less financially stable than its peers.

Comparatively, a low loss ratio suggests that a company is more financially stable but that they're less willing to pay out client claims.

Type of Coverage201220132014
Medical Payments (MedPay) 85.64%82.53%77.44%
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage96.63%96.81%95.82%
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You typically want to work with a company that has an average loss ratio — somewhere between 80 percent and 100 percent.

Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders

You'll be able to customize your policy further with car insurance add-ons. You'll have to check with your provider to see if the following are available to you, but each offers a unique type of coverage that can better protect your car — and your wallet — in the long run.

  • Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
  • Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
  • Non-Owner Car Insurance
  • Modified Car Insurance Coverage
  • Classic Car Insurance
  • Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance

Colorado Demographic Rates

It's a long-held driving myth that male drivers have to pay more for their car insurance than their female counterparts. In the vast majority of states, though, this myth has proven untrue. Take a look at the range of gender and age demographics below and see for yourself:

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
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
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
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
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
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
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From 25 to 55, women are more likely to pay more for their car insurance than their male counterparts. Age, though, does factor into the amount a driver has to pay for their coverage.

Teenage drivers, for example, have to pay significantly more than their older, married counterparts. Much of this is due to their limited driving experience, but it does suggest that age plays more of a role in rate distribution than gender does.

The Most Expensive and Least Expensive Rates by County

The county you live in will also impact your car insurance rate. Colorado's county rate distributions vary from $1,255.68 to $1,722.02. If you're just moving to Colorado, you might want to keep these rates in mind when searching for your perfect home.

Cheapest CountiesRateMost Expensive CountiesRate
Grand Junction$1,255.68Denver$1,722.02
Boulder$1,308.61Aurora$1,701.78
Estes Park$1,309.21Pueblo$1,591.16
Alamosa$1,323.07Limon$1,540.80
Durango$1,354.86Colorado Springs$1,538.77
Cortez$1,363.76Lakewood$1,510.47
Gunnison$1,369.97Arvada$1,456.29
Steamboat Springs$1,379.17Westminster$1,452.48
Glenwood Springs$1,383.08La Junta$1,440.19
Littleton Highlands Ranch$1,394.35Trinidad$1,439.49
Sterling$1,395.61Fort Morgan$1,430.75
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You'll also notice that high-density urban areas like Denver rack up higher car insurance rates than cities like Grand Junction or even its neighbor, Boulder.

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Colorado State Car Insurance Companies

With the basics of Colorado car insurance out of the way, what do the state's individual providers look like in comparison with one another?

The Largest Companies Financial Rating

One of the best places to start is with AM Best Ratings. These ratings reflect a company's overall financial health.

CompanyAM Best Rating
AllstateA+
American FamilyA
FarmersA
GeicoA++
Liberty MutualA
NationwideA+
ProgressiveA+
State FarmA++
TravelersA++
USAAA++
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As you can see, few providers in Colorado, and none of the ones mentioned here, drop beneath an "A" rating. This means that the vast majority of providers you examine while shopping for car insurance are going to be able to support your claims financially.

Companies with Best Ratings

From here, we can break up the companies by customer service rating.

JD Power insurance ratings ColoradoThe Hartford and CSAA Insurance Group come out on top of the listings here, offering more insight on Colorado's list of providers.

Companies with Most Complaints in Colorado

On the flip side of customer satisfaction comes customer complaints. While normally this gossip would be super juicy, Colorado offers us information that simultaneously entertains and disappoints.

Company NameTotal ComplaintsConfirmed ComplaintsComplaint RatioCompany NameTotal ComplaintsConfirmed ComplaintsComplaint Ratio
AIG 000MetLife430.17
Amica Mutual 420.15State Farm174620.21
Country Preferred 200.09Geico 620.21
Essentia000Nationwide Agribusiness 630.18
Farmers Alliance Mutual 000360 Insurance 110.2
Grange 000Farmers53180.2
Great Northern 100.08USAA32110.2
SECURA Supreme 100.15Horace Mann 100.22
Travelers Home and Marine 200.12Liberty Mutual43160.21
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That is to say, not many of the providers in the state have seen a significant number of complaints — save, that is, for State Farm.

Colorado Car Insurance Rates by Company

You'll also want to use a car insurance provider's available rates to help you choose which company to work with.

CompanyAverageCompared to State Average
Allstate F&C$5,537.17$1,644.85
AMCO Insurance$3,739.47-$152.85
American Family Mutual$3,733.02-$159.30
Farmers Ins Exchange 2.0$5,290.24$1,397.92
Geico Cas$3,091.69-$800.63
Progressive Direct$4,231.92$339.60
Safeco Ins Co of America$2,797.74-$1,094.58
State Farm Mutual Auto$3,270.76-$621.56
USAA CIC$3,338.87-$553.45
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As you can see, there's definite fluctuation in available average rates. With Allstate F&C coming in at prices of $5,537.17 and Geico at $3,091.69, there's a range that someone like you can take advantage of.

Colorado Commute Rates by Company

Of course, there are different factors that'll impact the rates providers are able to offer you. These include the distance you commute to work on a daily basis.

GroupCommute And Annual MileageAnnual Average
Allstate10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$5,537.17
Allstate25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$5,537.17
American Family10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,653.11
American Family25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,812.93
Farmers10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$5,290.24
Farmers25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$5,290.24
Geico10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,025.45
Geico25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,157.93
Liberty Mutual10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$2,797.74
Liberty Mutual25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$2,797.74
Nationwide10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,739.47
Nationwide25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,739.47
Progressive10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$4,231.92
Progressive25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$4,231.92
State Farm10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,190.31
State Farm25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,351.22
USAA10 miles commute. 6000 annual mileage.$3,244.04
USAA25 miles commute. 12000 annual mileage.$3,433.70
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Liberty Mutual is fairly generous with its long-term commuters, whereas USAA will charge you a near $200 more if you have to travel further than usual in the morning.

Coverage Level Rates by Company

The amount of coverage you take on will also, naturally, impact the rates you're expected to pay.

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

As your credit history relays your ability to pay back debts that you owe, car insurance providers will absolutely take this data into account when offering you a rate on one of their plans.

GroupCredit HistoryAnnual Average
AllstateGood$4,105.68
AllstateFair$5,439.82
AllstatePoor$7,066.00
American FamilyGood$2,895.90
American FamilyFair$3,452.49
American FamilyPoor$4,850.67
FarmersGood$4,739.93
FarmersFair$4,988.44
FarmersPoor$6,142.35
GeicoGood$2,465.94
GeicoFair$3,091.66
GeicoPoor$3,717.48
Liberty MutualGood$1,947.80
Liberty MutualFair$2,446.38
Liberty MutualPoor$3,999.04
NationwideGood$3,118.09
NationwideFair$3,578.13
NationwidePoor$4,522.20
ProgressiveGood$3,768.17
ProgressiveFair$4,108.11
ProgressivePoor$4,819.49
State FarmGood$2,352.76
State FarmFair$2,918.53
State FarmPoor$4,541.00
USAAGood$2,256.64
USAAFair$2,816.63
USAAPoor$4,943.34
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The better your credit history, as you can see, the less you'll have to pay for your car insurance.

Driving Record Rates by Company

We've already touched on the consequences of being a high-risk driver, but take a look at the ways different traffic infractions can raise your car insurance rates.

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

Finally, a provider's market share will also change the rates that they're able to offer you.

Company NameDirect Premiums WrittenMarket Share
State Farm$906,91819.81 %
USAA$467,07910.20 %
Geico$452,5859.89 %
Progressive$440,2749.62 %
Allstate$388,4458.49 %
American Family$384,8928.41 %
Farmers$330,4737.22 %
Liberty Mutual$319,1666.97 %
Travelers$129,1872.82 %
Nationwide$91,5472.00 %
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Number of Insurers in Colorado

When looking for car insurance coverage in Colorado, you'll have the option to pick from domestic providers, or providers who are local to the state, and foreign providers, or providers with coverage available nationally. The table below shows the number of licensed insurers in Colorado.

DomesticForeignTotal Number of Licensed Insurers
10848858
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There are more foreign providers available to Colorado residents than domestic, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give the domestic providers a look over while trying to find your ideal coverage.

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Colorado Laws and Legalities

Unless you're a trivia pro, no one's expecting you to memorize all of Colorado's state driving laws. We're here to help you break down the most important laws that you absolutely need to know to be a safe driver on the road.

Car Insurance Laws

Car insurance companies aren't able to change your rate based on their own whims. They have a little bit of freedom, but for the most part, they have to abide by the laws that Colorado's state government sets.

High-Risk Insurance

If you've ever had your license suspended or revoked, then you'll have had to file an SR-22. This form allows you to reinstate your license and is available through your insurance company.

What is an SR-22, though? The form effectively assures law enforcement and your provider that you have insurance coverage. If you cancel your policy, your insurer will get in touch with the local DMV, and your license will once again be suspended.

Your license can be suspending for any of the following reasons:

  • You were convicted of a DUI
  • Driving without insurance
  • History of reckless driving or repeat traffic offenses

Low-Cost Insurance

Unfortunately, Colorado does not have a plan in place designed to make paying for insurance easier on low-income households.

If you want to try and lower your insurance rates, try exploring some of the following discounts with your provider of choice:

  • Accident-Free Discount
  • Affiliation Discount (this would be any discounts through your employer, school, team, etc.)
  • Anti-Theft Discounts (i.e. if you have alarms, tracking systems, etc on your vehicle)
  • Auto-Pay Discounts (if you were to set up automatic payments from checking – some providers refer to it as a Paper-Saving Discount)
  • Good Student Discount
  • Homeowner’s Discount
  • Multi-car Discount
  • Green/Hybrid Car Discount (if you own/lease a hybrid or electric vehicle)

Be sure you shop around in order to find the best coverage for you that is equally cost-effective.

Windshield Coverage

There are no laws in the state of Colorado that require insurers to provide you with coverage that'll save you money while repairing a fractured or shattered windshield.

Automobile Insurance Fraud in Colorado

It's extremely difficult to commit automobile insurance fraud by accident. That said, the insurance industry sees 10 percent of its operating costs go to enduring fraudulent claims or accounts over the course of a year.

There are two different types of automobile fraud.

  • Hard fraud sees a driver deliberately falsifying a claim or faking an accident in order to receive compensation
  • Soft fraud sees a driver padding a claim or misrepresenting accident information to an insurance provider

Soft fraud is the more common of these two types of fraud.

Even though you may think you're just telling a white lie, soft fraud is considered a misdemeanor, and lying on your claim is considered a class 5 felony.

Statute of Limitations

You have a limited amount of time after an accident has taken place to file a claim with your insurance provider. In Colorado, you have three years to file in the case of property damage or bodily injury.

This time block begins on the day of your accident, so do what you can to move quickly and get the money you deserve.

Vehicle Licensing Laws

If your vehicle isn't insured or registered with a state DMV, you could face some serious consequences. Familiarize yourself with Colorado's state licensing laws so you can know what kind of trouble you want to stay out of.

Penalties for Driving Without Insurance

We've already noted that you absolutely need car insurance in order to drive legally on the road in Colorado. If you don't have insurance, not only could you end up paying out of pocket for a car accident, but you'll face serious legal consequences.

Did you know that 13.30 percent of drivers in Colorado are currently driving without insurance? That means that Colorado ranks at number 19 in the nation for most uninsured drivers on the road.

Take a look at the table below for a better understanding of the consequences of driving without insurance in Colorado:

PenaltyFirst OffenseSecond Offense
Fine$500 minimum$1,000 minimum
PointsFourFour
License SuspensionUntil you show proof of insurance to the DMV Four months
Community ServicePossible up to 40 hoursPossible up to 40 hours
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Teen Driver Laws

It's always an exciting — and slightly terrifying — time when a teen driver takes to the road for the first time. The fantastic news is that since 2002 and the integration of the Graduated Driver Licensing laws in Colorado, teen motor vehicle fatalities have decreased by 67 percent!

This means that teenager drivers are already much safer on the roadways of Colorado. Still, there are restrictions placed on teen licenses that new drivers will have to keep in mind.

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
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Teenagers also have a different point system applied to their license if they get caught violating traffic laws, as you can see below:

Time-framePoints requiring suspension
Within 12 months6
At any point before turning 187
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Older Driver License Renewal Procedures

License renewal requirements for drivers over the age of 66 aren't so different from those that apply to the general population. All residents, including older ones, must have their licenses renewed on a five-year basis.

The general population, though, can renew their licenses two times online before having to make the trek to the DMV. Alternatively, they can handle every other renewal by mail.

Drivers over 66 will have to either go to the DMV in person or have their licenses renewed every other five years by mail.

New Residents

If you're just getting settled in Colorado, congratulations and welcome to the Centennial State! You'll have to register your vehicle with a local DMV within thirty days of declared residency, or within 90 days of moving into a home in Colorado.

You'll need the following forms to receive a Colorado-based license:

  • A valid driver's license from your previous state of residence
  • Social security card
  • Two proofs of your current Colorado address
  • Proof of lawful presence
  • Money to pay for licensing fees

Rules of the Road

Like we've already said, Colorado is an at-fault state. You'll need to be especially careful while on the road, and abide by the rules of the road with care.

Keep Right and Move Over Laws

On Colorado roadways, if you're driving slower than the posted speed limit or the traffic around you, you'll need to keep to the right-hand lane of the road.

You'll also need to move to the right-hand lane if you notice an EMS vehicle or state-sponsored car with its lights on coming in your direction. These vehicles include:

  • Firefighters
  • Ambulances
  • Utility Workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Utility Trucks
  • Drivers with Hazard Lights on

Speed Limits

You'll need to abide by Colorado's posted speed limits if you want to avoid a ticket.

Type of RoadwaySpeed Limit
Rural Interstates75 mph
Urban Interstates65 mph
Other Limited Access Roads65 mph
Other Roads65 mph
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Note that these are the maximum speeds you can go while on the road in Colorado, and you can face consequences that include fines if you are caught going over them.

Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws

Passengers in your car — and you, of course — are required to wear a seat belt after turning 16 years old. While not wearing a seat belt is only a secondary offense — meaning that you can't be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt alone — you'll need to keep one on you for your own protection.

If a passenger under the age of 16 is caught not wearing a seat belt, the offense jumps to a primary and you can be pulled over without any other reason needed.

No one is allowed to ride in the cargo area of a truck, either, unless that area is fully or partially enclosed on all four sides.

There are also specific car seat laws in place designed to keep passengers under the age of eight safe while on the road. Take a look at the table below:

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
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Note that violating a car seat law is considered a primary offense, and you can be pulled over immediately if law enforcement spots a child in your car who is not in their appropriate car seat.

Ridesharing

With the rise of Uber and Lyft, more and more drivers are interested in using their cars as part of their careers. If you want to start ridesharing, you'll need to make sure that your provider of choice offers ridesharing car insurance.

In Colorado, the following providers make ridesharing insurance available:

  • Allstate
  • American Family
  • Farmers
  • Geico
  • MetLife
  • SafeCo
  • State Farm
  • USAA

Red Light Cameras

Colorado uses red light cameras to keep an eye on any drivers that might behave inappropriately at red lights. While no points will be applied to your license if you get caught, you can still receive a significant fine.

Puffing Laws

In the colder days of winter, you may like to start your car and let the windshield defrost while you head back into your home, where it's warm. Unfortunately, this behavior — called "puffing" — is illegal in Colorado, as leaving your car running while unintended can enable vehicle left.

Safety Laws

Making good decisions while on the road does more than keep your insurance rate low. It keeps you and the other drivers around you safe. That's why Colorado has legislation in place designed to motivate drivers to operate their cars more safely.

DUI Laws

You should never get behind the wheel if you've had several drinks over the course of an evening. If you get caught driving while intoxicated, you face misdemeanor charges up until your fourth offense. After the fourth time you're caught, you'll be charged with a class 4 felony.

It should be noted that Colorado has two levels of intoxicated driving that it assesses drivers on:

  • A DUI see drivers operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher
  • A DWAI, or Driving While Ability Impaired, sees drivers operating motor vehicles with a blood alcohol content between .05 and .07 percent.

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
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Note that driving while or after using marijuana results in the same charges as driving while intoxicated.

Distracted Driving Laws

Colorado has a number of cellphone-oriented laws in place, as well, designed to keep drivers focused on the road ahead of them:

Hand-held banNo
Young drivers all cellphone banUnder 18 years old
Texting banAll drivers
EnforcementPrimary
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If you're caught violating any of the aforementioned restrictions, then you could face the following consequences:

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
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Driving in Colorado

Safety is a big issue while driving through Colorado. You need to be aware of what's going on around you at all times in order to keep yourself safe in your vehicle. There are some things, though, that you can't look out for.

Let's explore some of the obstacles to safety in Colorado — not to scare you, but rather to encourage you to keep your eyes open.

Vehicle Theft in Colorado

Not all vehicle thieves are out in the world looking for sports cars. In fact, in Colorado, sports cars don't even rank on the top ten list of vehicles most commonly stolen.

RankModelYearNumber of Thefts
1Honda Civic19971,380
2Honda Accord19971,167
3Ford Pickup (Full Size)2005595
4Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee1999594
5Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)2000450
6Dodge Pickup (Full Size)2001308
7Subaru Legacy1996215
8Acura Integra1994208
9Toyota Camry1989203
10Toyota Corolla2014170
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Hondas, as a matter of fact, are among the most commonly stolen vehicles. Why? Practicality, most likely, but also availability.

You can also learn a little bit more about where you'll need to keep a closer eye on your car by knowing which cities in Colorado see the most theft.

CityNumber of Thefts
Denver3,487
Colorado Springs1,928
Aurora1,000
Lakewood623
Pueblo528
Thornton352
Westminster322
Arvada197
Greeley186
Commerce City183
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Urban areas like Denver, of course, see more thefts due to their larger populations.

Risky Behavior While Driving

But what about dangers besides theft? What do those statistics look like?

Fatalities by Road Type

The type of road a person is driving on can impact her likelihood of getting into an accident.

Type of Roadway2008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rural296252247227233244228260266277
Urban252213203220241238260285342369
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Rural roads and urban roads in Colorado see roughly the same number of fatalities, meaning that you should be equally careful on both types of roads within the state.

Fatalities by Weather

One thing we can't control is the weather. Let's take a look at how many fatalities in Colorado occur due to the state's varying environment.

Weather ConditionDaylightDark, but LightedDarkDawn or Dusk
Normal3811161
Rain8140
Snow/Sleet10120
Other3001
Unknown25410412521
TOTAL31311714723
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Fatalities by Person Type

Person type can also impact the number of accidents Colorado sees over the course of a year. "Person type" here describes a person in relationship to the car that's in an accident; passengers, pedestrians, and so on.

Vehicles Type20132014201520162017
Passenger Car141176163187199
Light Truck - Pickup7756776678
Light Truck - Utility85708585104
Light Truck - Van146212427
Light Truck - Other00102
Large Truck1110131826
Bus00011
Total Occupants331319364383437
Motorcycle8794106125103
Pedestrian5063597992
Bicyclist and Other Cyclist1210131616
Other/Unknown Nonoccupants22550
Total Nonoccupants647577100108
Total Traffic-Related Fatalities482488547608648

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As you can see, it's most often passengers who are insured in traffic fatalities.

Fatalities by Crash Type

There are also a number of different types of crashes that take place in Colorado, as you can see:

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
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It's single vehicles that most likely end up in fatal accidents.

Five-Year Trend For The Top 10 Counties

But how have the number of fatalities risen or fallen in Colorado over the past several years?

County Name20132014201520162017
Adams County3332446064
Arapahoe County2130374645
Boulder County1216192431
Denver County4042525449
El Paso County6353484877
Garfield County7881021
Jefferson County4342554841
Larimer County2024334436
Pueblo County1419122034
Weld County3555555566
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As you can see, Colorado's vehicular fatalities are on the rise. This is all the more reason for you and the drivers around you to take greater care while on the road.

Fatalities Involving Speeding by County

You also don't have to pretend that you're Speed Racer while driving through Colorado. Speeding has resulted in a number of fatalities over the past several years, and unlike the weather, it's an element of these fatalities that we can control.

County Name201520162017Three-Year Total
Adams County17192056
Arapahoe County17191753
Denver County28221565
Douglas County48820
El Paso County15222966
Garfield County561021
Jefferson County22201860
Larimer County9151640
Pueblo County441624
Weld County25112056
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Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver

Likewise, we can control whether or not we get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated. We've already touched on the consequences of driving while drunk in Colorado, and yet the fatalities involving a person who is intoxicated are on the rise.

County Name201520162017Three-Year Total
Adams County11151844
Arapahoe County12131338
Boulder County53412
Denver County15182053
Douglas County45312
El Paso County17202461
Garfield County37515
Jefferson County1991341
Larimer County8121131
Pueblo County331016
Weld County19131345
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Teen Drinking and Driving

You should also note that the above statistics involve teen drivers who've been drinking, too. Recently, Colorado has seen a significant number of teenage drivers arrested for drinking and driving, as you can see below:

Number of ArrestsArrests per One Million PeopleRank Nationally
217172.037
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EMS Response Time

If you happen to get in a car accident, you'll want to get in touch with Colorado EMS as quickly as you possibly can. The response time of the EMS will vary based on where your accident has taken place, as you can see:

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
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The good news is that regardless of whether you're in a rural or urban environment, EMS will be able to get you from the site of your accident to a hospital in less than an hour.

Transportation

With those details out of the way, let's take a look at your daily commute through Colorado.

Car Ownership

The vast majority of Colorado residents keep two cars in their driveways. It's interesting to note, though, that just under 5 percent operate without cars on a daily basis. While you're not going to see that percentage impacting traffic all too much, it does speak to the use of public transportation in Colorado's more rural areas. More on that in a minute, though.

Commute Time

The commutes in Colorado are not short. The vast majority of commutes tend to range between 5-34 minutes. That said, over 14 percent of Colorado drivers spend between 45-89 minutes in their car during a commute. That's not quite the terrifying "super-commute," but it's darn close.

That said, Colorado's calculated average commute comes in at around 24 minutes, putting it a smidge under the 25.4 minute national average.

Commuter Transportation

Finally, a significant majority of drivers in Colorado prefer to make their way to and from work on their own. There's nothing wrong with that — everyone gets to choose their own music this way, even as traffic may get a little bumpy.

Top Cities for Traffic Congestion

And speaking of traffic: there are a number of cities in Colorado with congestion that gets a bit overwhelming. Denver, as you might expect, tops out this list, with Boulder, Greeley, and a few other cities just behind.

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%
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If you live in any of these areas, do your best to get out of bed early, or else you risk running late to work.

With that, we come to the end of our comprehensive guide to Colorado car insurance. With this foundation in place, you'll be able to move forward and find the best car insurance policy for your driving style. We don't want you to overpay for your car insurance. We just want to make sure that you're protected while on the road.

Exciting to start comparing rates? Use our FREE online tool to start looking at quotes in your area.