Driving in Colorado
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The state of Colorado had 4,066,580 licensed drivers in 2016, the last year for which data was available from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. That means that there are plenty of people in Colorado who need auto insurance.

According to a study done by Quadrant Information Services on behalf of U.S. News, the national average rate for auto insurance from the 10 largest car insurance companies by market share is $3,953. There’s a lot of variation in that average rate, though, and we’ll take a closer look at the factors that affect the cost of car insurance for residents of Colorado. Important variables include age and gender, marital status, whether you live in an urban or a rural area, and habits that affect the type of risk you pose to an auto insurance company, such as credit score and driving habits.

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Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado


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How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in Colorado

U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35 and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Colorado?

The data provided by Quadrant Information Services can help us help you figure out what to budget for car insurance as a resident of Colorado. This information reveals how rates differ among the state’s nine largest auto insurance companies based on customers’ demographics, annual mileage, driving habits, and location.

Colorado residents pay the highest average rates with Allstate, at $5,537, while Farmers is close behind at $5,290. From there, there’s a significant drop to Progressive’s average price of $4,232. Nationwide and American Family follow at $3,739 and $3,733, respectively. The most affordable half of the group includes USAA at $3,339, State Farm at $3,271, Geico at $3,092, and Liberty Mutual at $2,798.

In general, married 60-year-old women and men pay the lowest rates in Colorado. Geico, however, charges lower rates to single 25-year-olds and married 35-year-old women. In most cases, insurance companies charge lower rates to women than men within the same age group, but there are enough exceptions to that rule that consumers shouldn’t count on it.

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Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado for a 60-Year-Old


Married 60-year-old female

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When it comes to married 35-year-old men and women and single 25-year-old men and women, there’s a lot of variation. Among these four groups, those who pay the highest average rates and those who pay the lowest average rates change from company to company. This is a case where it really pays to shop around.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado for a 35-Year-Old


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Single 17-year-old men and women should expect to pay the highest average auto insurance rates in Colorado. Every major insurance company in Colorado charges the highest average rates to these groups. Furthermore, in every case, the men pay more than the women. Four of the nine companies, American Family, Nationwide, Progressive, and State Farm, charge at least $1,000 more to men in this age group. The smallest difference between women’s average rates and men’s average rates is from Farmers, which charges $11,704 to the former and $11,789 to the latter, though Farmer’s also has the second-highest rates overall for this demographic, so don’t go there looking to save money. The lowest rates in this age group are from USAA for women, at $5,582, and Liberty Mutual for men, at $6,062.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado for a 17-Year-Old


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We next looked at how the number of miles you drive annually affects your insurance rates, broken down into average travel of 6,000 miles annually and 12,000 miles annually. The good news is that in Colorado, many consumers paid the same rate regardless of annual mileage driven. Five of the nine car insurance companies in the study had the same average rate for both groups: Allstate, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, and Progressive. The remaining four companies charged higher rates to customers who accumulated more miles, but the differences weren’t that big, ranging from about $125 to around $260.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado Based on Miles Driven


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Next, the study examined the pricing differences between low, medium, and high coverage types. Customers of every insurance company but one paid the lowest average rates for low coverage and the highest average rates for high coverage, with medium coverage falling somewhere between the two. Nationwide is an anomaly here, because Nationwide customers pay an average of $3,748 for low coverage, $3,741 for medium coverage, and $3,730 for high coverage.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado Based on Coverage Level









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Credit history is valued by insurance companies as a means of evaluating a customer’s overall level of responsibility, and it's the next factor on our list. Each of the nine insurance companies in the study charge the lowest average rates to customers with good credit, higher rates to customers with fair credit, and the highest rates to customers with poor credit. The differences between these rate tiers can vary a lot. For example, Liberty Mutual shows an average rate of $1,948 for good credit, about $500 more for fair credit, and an additional $1,550 on top of that for poor credit, even though Liberty Mutual has one of the lowest average rates for poor credit customers overall. If you are shopping for car insurance in Colorado and have poor credit, also check out Geico, which has the lowest average rate for this group, at $3,717. Allstate’s average rate of $7,066 is the highest in the study for this group.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado Based on Credit Score









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Car insurance companies also consider customers’ driving records when setting rates, so the study looked at rates for drivers with a clean driving record, with a single speeding violation, with a single accident, and with a DUI. With most insurance companies, drivers with a single DUI offense paid the highest average rates out of these groups. However, Farmers, Progressive, and State Farm charged a higher average rate to drivers with one accident, while Progressive also charged a higher average rate to drivers with one speeding violation, and State Farm’s average rates for a speeding violation and a DUI are the same. It’s clear that any of these violations will make a driver’s rate go up. It’s also clear that drivers with any of these violations should shop around for insurance because there is a lot of variation.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado Based on Driving Record


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Colorado drivers with a clean driving record paid the lowest rates with Geico ($2,185) and the highest rates with Allstate ($4,723). Those with one speeding violation saved the most with USAA ($2,750) and paid the most with Allstate ($5,351). Drivers with one accident should consider Liberty Mutual ($2,870) and avoid Farmers ($5,743). Those with a single DUI paid the lowest average rates with Liberty Mutual ($2,979) and the highest with Allstate ($6,643).

The study also looked at average rates for 20 Colorado cities. Grand Junction ($3,322) and Loveland ($3,367) residents had the least expensive rates, while residents of Denver ($4,452) and Aurora ($4,486) paid the most.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Colorado by City


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Colorado Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

Colorado requires liability insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage.

The minimum for bodily injury liability coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, and the minimum for property damage liability coverage is $15,000 per accident.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Colorado

In Colorado, customers can expect to pay the lowest overall rates by sticking with low coverage, maintaining a good credit score, and avoiding scenarios that can blemish their driving record.

The cost of car insurance in Colorado also varies based on your particular city or town. Of Colorado’s major metro areas, Aurora has the highest average car insurance rates, at $4,486, with Denver close behind at $4,452. Of the state’s top cities, residents of Grand Junction pay the lowest rates ($3,322), followed by Loveland ($3,367) and Fort Collins ($3,388). Auto insurance companies aren’t exactly forthcoming about the processes they use to determine rates, but if you live in a ZIP code with high car theft or accident rates, chances are your rates will be on the higher side because you and your car will be at a higher risk.

Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Colorado

Regardless of what state you live in, auto insurance companies will always charge higher rates to drivers who pose a higher risk. That means inexperienced drivers, such as teenagers and young adults, pay very high rates, which eventually go down as they gain experience and demonstrate responsibility behind the wheel. Other factors, such as being married and maintaining good credit, are also seen by insurance companies as signs of responsibility and worthy of lower insurance rates.

Where you live within the state of Colorado also plays a significant role in how much you can expect to pay for insurance, with urban dwellers generally being charged more because they are more at risk for damage to their car from accidents or theft.

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Colorado

Finding the cheapest car insurance in Colorado isn’t any different than getting cheap auto insurance in other states. The best way to save money on car insurance, at least among matters within your control, is to maintain a clean driving record. If you avoid speeding tickets, crashes, DUIs, and other moving violations, you’ll save money in more ways than one.

Beyond that, your best bets are to shop around and to look for common car insurance discounts. Multipolicy discounts, also known as bundling discounts, are a popular offering from most major insurance carriers. These discounts kick in when you insure multiple vehicles with the same company or purchase more than one policy from the same carrier – combining auto with homeowners or renters insurance, for example. Other common discounts include good driver discounts, student discounts, good student discounts, employer or affinity discounts (if you work for a company or are a member of a club with a group rate with a specific insurance company), and discounts for your profession, such as teachers, active members of the military, and veterans. A certificate of completion from an approved driver training course nets a discount from some companies. If you have a short commute or don’t drive very often, see if you meet your insurer’s threshold for a low-mileage discount, if available.

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Some insurance companies let you save even more money with discounts for your specific vehicle. If your car is new or comes with certain anti-theft or safety systems, you may qualify for a break on your premiums. Some companies will also give you a break if you opt in to a tracking program, which uses a car-based tracking device or smartphone app to report your driving habits to your insurance company. Check to see if you can get a discount by enrolling in paperless billing, online billing, or automatic payment systems.

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Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Colorado

Let’s take a look at Colorado’s laws that relate specifically to car insurance, as well as some important laws to remember while driving in Colorado. It might not seem like the rules of the road have much to do with auto insurance, but moving violations and other driving-related offenses can add points to your driver’s license and make you seem like a bigger risk to insurance companies. That, in turn, can make your auto insurance rates go up.

Colorado Driving Laws and Punishments

Driving laws and penalties vary from state to state, and Colorado’s laws are worth a review for residents and visitors. Keep in mind that if you are convicted of these offenses or other driving violations, they can result in higher auto insurance rates.

In Colorado, adult drivers are allowed to use cell phones for voice calls, though they may not text or use the internet while driving. Drivers under age 18 may not use wireless devices while driving except in an emergency.

Drivers under 18 who are convicted of using a wireless device while driving face a $50 fine and see one point added to their license for the first offense and receive one point and a $100 fine for subsequent offenses. These offenses are considered Class A traffic infractions. Adults who are convicted of text messaging while driving face more serious consequences. The first offense is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carry penalties of four points and a $300 fine, and subsequent offenses are considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties of four points plus up to a year in prison, a fine of $1,000, or both.

In a lot of states, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Impaired (DWI) are interchangeable. Colorado considers them to be separate but related offenses, though they use Driving While Ability is Impaired (DWAI) instead of DWI.

These offenses are based on blood alcohol concentration, measured by percent. For adults, DWAI is the lower of the two, with a limit of 0.05 percent. The limit for a DUI is 0.08 percent for drivers older than 21 and 0.02 percent for drivers younger than 21.

For the first DWAI offense, penalties consist of eight points on your driver’s license, a fine of $200 to $1,500, up to a year in jail, and up to 96 hours of community service. For the first DUI offense, your driver’s license will be revoked for nine months, a fine of $600 to $1,000 will be imposed, and you could spend up to a year in jail and serve up to 96 hours of community service. For the first DWAI or DUI offense for drivers under age 21, their driver’s license will be suspended for three months to a year, and they'll receive a penalty of four points on their driver’s license.

The penalties increase for subsequent offenses. In some cases, the court may order an ignition interlock device. In addition to these court-imposed penalties, the state Division of Motor Vehicles has the right to suspend your license.

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Drivers who do not meet Colorado’s minimum insurance requirements are breaking the law by driving. If your insurance policy is canceled or lapses, or if you fail to show proof of insurance when requested by a police officer during a traffic stop, you are in violation of the law. Note that if you have insurance but are unable to show proof, the officer will probably look it up in the state database, but you can still be issued a ticket for failing to carry proof of insurance.

The penalties for driving without insurance in Colorado are steep and include a fine of at least $500, four points on your driver’s license, and community service. Furthermore, your license will be suspended. For the first offense, you can have your license reinstated by showing proof of insurance, but for subsequent offenses, the suspension can last up to eight months. If you let your insurance lapse, your rates will likely go up when you reapply for insurance.

Colorado Car Insurance FAQs

Is car insurance required in Colorado?

Yes, car insurance is required in Colorado. Colorado requires motorists to carry auto insurance with specific minimums. If you recently moved to Colorado or are registering a vehicle, you should be prepared to shop for liability insurance.

Which cars are required to be insured in Colorado?

Any car that is registered in Colorado must carry Colorado’s minimum insurance.

When should I get car insurance in Colorado?

You’ll need car insurance before you can register a vehicle in Colorado, whether you just moved to the state or just purchased a new vehicle. The Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles needs to see proof of insurance that meets the state minimum requirements before processing a new registration.

What happens if my car is not properly insured in Colorado?

Colorado has a variety of penalties for drivers who cannot provide proof of insurance upon request. The penalties can include four points on your driver’s license, a minimum fine of $500, possible driver’s license suspension, and community service.

Is Colorado a no-fault state?

Colorado is not a no-fault state. Colorado currently uses the fault system, also known as the tort system. This means responsibility, or fault, is established for an accident, and that determines who is eligible for compensation.

In a no-fault state, any driver involved in an accident can collect compensation from their own insurance company regardless of whether they had a role in causing the crash. Colorado was a no-fault state until 2003, but the law was changed to reduce the cost of insurance premiums and help prevent abuse of their insurance system.

Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in Colorado?

Uninsured motorist coverage is not required by the state of Colorado.

Is liability insurance required in Colorado?

Yes, liability insurance is required in Colorado with specific minimums. Drivers in Colorado must carry coverage for bodily injury and property damage. The minimum for bodily injury liability coverage is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The minimum for property damage liability coverage is $15,000 per accident.

If you are caught without liability insurance In Colorado, the penalties can include four points on your driver’s license, a minimum fine of $500, possible driver’s license suspension, and community service.

Does Colorado accept digital insurance cards?

Colorado is one of many states that accepts digital insurance cards. If you need to show proof of your auto insurance policy, you can pull up your smartphone instead of digging through your wallet or your glove box for a paper card. If you are in Colorado and would like to use a digital insurance card, contact your insurance provider for guidance.

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