Free Auto Insurance Comparison
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UPDATED: Apr 3, 2020
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|Colorado Statistics Summary||Details|
|Vehicle Miles||49 Billion|
|Most Popular Vehicle||Subaru Outback|
|Total Traffic Fatalities||648|
|Full Coverage Average Annual Premium||$981.64|
|Liability Average Annual Premium||$520.04|
|Collision Average Annual Premium||$287|
|Comprehensive Average Annual Premium||$174.61|
|Two Cheapest Providers||Geico and State Farm|
If you’re living in Colorado, you’re lucky. The recreational activities at your doorstep are endless and the beauty around you is breathtaking.
You may have noticed your car insurance rates rising recently. In fact, car insurance in Colorado has been rising three times the pace of inflation, according to the Denver Post.
Higher bills are something no one looks forward to. But what choice do you have? You don’t have to feel stuck. We’ll help you navigate the insurance requirements as well as help you find ways to save.
One great way to save is to compare auto insurance quotes and find the lower rate and then switch to that company. You can compare quotes right here for free.
Colorado Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
The average Colorado resident drives just under 37 miles a day for a total of 13,443 in a year. Every mile on the road is a mile of risk for something to go wrong, especially when you live where ice and snow are possible half the year.
You need car insurance, but knowing how to get started finding the right kind of coverage can feel overwhelming.
You don’t need to worry. We’ll help you learn what is required, what you might want, and where you can find it for the best price.
Colorado is a “fault” state. If you cause an accident, you are responsible to pay for all the damages. The state of Colorado requires car insurance with the minimum limits of 25/50/15 for anyone who drives. This is known as “basic coverage.”
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can be rejected in writing. If not rejected, it will automatically be applied to a basic policy.
|Colorado Minimum Coverage Requirements||Rate|
|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|
*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.
If, on the off chance, you have 25 or more vehicles registered in your name, you have the option to self-insure. According to the Colorado General Assembly:
Self-insurance. Any individual who has over 25 vehicles registered to his or her name may qualify as a self-insurer by applying for a certificate of self-insurance from the state Insurance Commissioner.
The Insurance Commissioner must ensure that the individual will be able to pay the minimum coverages required by the state. For more information on self-insurance, contact the state’s Division of Insurance within the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
The average person doesn’t have 25 vehicles! So, chances are pretty high you need traditional auto insurance. Now you know how much insurance you’re required to have.
But is the requirement enough? Probably not if you have assets or future assets to protect. Imagine you have the minimum required limits and you cause an accident which totals a $60,000 truck. Your policy will pay the $15,000 limit, and you’ll be responsible for the remaining $45,000.
Most experts recommend liability limits of 100/300/50.
The Wall Street Journal recommends the following rule of thumb in regards to insurance coverage limits:
Make sure you’re covered for an amount equal to the total value of your assets (Add up the dollar values of your house, your car, savings, and investments).
Keep in mind that basic coverage provides you with liability protection. It does not pay to repair or replace your vehicle following an accident that you cause or after non-accident related damage. Full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision insurance, is what you need for that protection.
If you have a lease or loan, you will likely be required to carry full coverage.
Next up, we’ll look at the average Colorado resident and what he or she pays for car insurance. What you pay will probably vary from this, but this will give you a baseline idea.
Your Disposable Personal Income (DPI) is what you make after taxes have been taken out. The table below shows Colorado car insurance as a percentage of income:
|Annual Full Coverage|
|Monthly Full Coverage|
|Annual Per Capita|
Disposable Personal Income
|Monthly Per Capita|
Disposable Personal Income
|Percentage of Income|
Basic coverage is what is required by law. Full coverage includes liability, comprehensive, and collision insurance. We’ll break down the average cost of each.
|Type of Coverage||Average Annual Cost|
We’ve examined some statistics about what car insurance costs the average Coloradan. Now, we’re going to look at an important statistic concerning insurance companies: loss ratio.
Why does this stat matter? What is a loss ratio? Well, a loss ratio shows you the comparison of the premiums taken in to the claims paid out. It matters because it shows you where a company’s money is going: into the company or back to the consumer.
Murphy and Prachthauser sum it up well:
Lower pay loss ratio means the insurance company is paying more for salaries, defense costs, and advertising, rather than paying the policyholders who purchased their coverage. All other things being equal, try to find car insurance companies with a higher pay loss ratio.
|Type of Coverage||2012||2013||2014|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||85.64%||82.53%||77.44%|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage||96.63%||96.81%||95.82%|
Add-ons, Endorsements, Riders
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage is included in a basic policy unless the consumer rejects it in writing. Before you reject it, consider the following statistics about uninsured motorists in Colorado:
|Percentage of Motorists without Insurance||Colorado's Rank Nationally|
Over 13 percent of Colorado drivers don’t have insurance! If they cause an accident with you and you don’t have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, you will wish you did.
Medical Payments is another coverage that is included in a basic Colorado policy but can be rejected in writing or in the form in which the policy was purchased (e.g. internet or phone).
There are several additional coverage options that you can learn more about to decide if they’re a good choice for your situation. We’ll look at those right here:
- 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-by-the-mile car insurance plans are growing in popularity, but currently, there are no companies offering by-the-mile plans in Colorado.
Progressive and Allstate both offer usage-based programs in Colorado. With these programs, you can get a discount based on how well and how much you drive.
Male Versus Female Rates in Colorado
We compiled actual quotes for hypothetical 25-year-olds. One hypothetical person was male, the other female. Besides that difference, all other variables were equal. Here’s how their rates compared:
Both companies charged the female driver more than the male.
In another study, we compared rates for 55-year-olds and with identical demographic and driving history information, besides gender, you can see how their rates compared:
Once again, the female quotes are slightly higher than the male quotes.
Cheapest and Most Expensive Colorado Insurance Rates by ZIP Code
Live in a neighborhood with busy roads or frequent thefts? Insurers may charge you more. The tables below show which ZIP codes have the most expensive and cheapest rates.
|Cheapest ZIP Codes in Colorado||City||Average by ZIP Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|81504||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,291.13||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,321.67||GEICO||$2,158.40||Liberty Mutual||$2,350.84|
|81505||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,299.49||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,391.99||GEICO||$2,106.05||Liberty Mutual||$2,360.44|
|81507||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,312.39||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,300.31||GEICO||$2,236.13||Liberty Mutual||$2,360.44|
|81501||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,314.33||Allstate||$5,134.33||Farmers||$4,336.53||GEICO||$2,236.13||Liberty Mutual||$2,434.26|
|80525||FORT COLLINS||$3,334.66||Farmers||$4,695.19||Allstate||$4,308.76||Liberty Mutual||$2,448.71||USAA||$2,707.04|
|81503||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,338.85||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,452.48||GEICO||$2,158.40||Liberty Mutual||$2,360.44|
|81506||GRAND JUNCTION||$3,346.16||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,308.80||GEICO||$2,158.40||Liberty Mutual||$2,434.26|
|80521||FORT COLLINS||$3,347.76||Farmers||$4,523.55||Allstate||$4,199.55||Liberty Mutual||$2,415.11||GEICO||$2,799.30|
|80526||FORT COLLINS||$3,361.56||Farmers||$4,637.80||Allstate||$4,199.55||Liberty Mutual||$2,361.92||GEICO||$2,799.30|
|80528||FORT COLLINS||$3,393.99||Farmers||$4,632.36||Allstate||$4,319.84||Liberty Mutual||$2,448.71||USAA||$2,749.54|
|80524||FORT COLLINS||$3,397.23||Farmers||$4,678.84||Allstate||$4,558.04||Liberty Mutual||$2,415.11||USAA||$2,707.04|
|80549||WELLINGTON||$3,419.33||Allstate||$4,571.00||Farmers||$4,517.83||Liberty Mutual||$2,574.62||State Farm||$2,743.35|
|81523||GLADE PARK||$3,420.49||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,510.33||GEICO||$2,236.13||Liberty Mutual||$2,562.30|
Denver’s average rates are nearly $500 higher than Grand Junction’s.
|Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Colorado||City||Average by ZIP Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|80047||AURORA||$4,547.13||Allstate||$6,074.05||Farmers||$5,683.22||Liberty Mutual||$3,565.22||State Farm||$3,687.16|
Cheapest and Most Expensive Colorado Insurance Rates by City
ZIP codes only give insight into a few cities’ rates, so let’s take a look at car insurance rates by city.
|Cheapest Cities in Colorado||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Grand Junction||$3,322.24||Allstate||$5,474.60||Farmers||$4,358.02||GEICO||$2,179.02||Liberty Mutual||$2,389.97|
|Fort Collins||$3,388.15||Farmers||$4,696.20||Allstate||$4,352.61||Liberty Mutual||$2,417.45||USAA||$2,757.68|
|Wellington||$3,419.32||Allstate||$4,571.00||Farmers||$4,517.83||Liberty Mutual||$2,574.62||State Farm||$2,743.35|
|Glade Park||$3,420.49||Allstate||$5,559.67||Farmers||$4,510.33||GEICO||$2,236.13||Liberty Mutual||$2,562.30|
|Glen Haven||$3,468.96||Farmers||$4,916.37||Allstate||$4,291.74||Liberty Mutual||$2,618.37||GEICO||$2,879.57|
|Monte Vista||$3,488.11||Allstate||$5,021.13||Farmers||$4,822.69||GEICO||$2,533.48||Liberty Mutual||$2,599.59|
|Cimarron||$3,499.94||Allstate||$5,235.78||Farmers||$4,336.23||State Farm||$2,717.05||Liberty Mutual||$2,734.33|
Clifton and Grand Junction have the cheapest car insurance rates in the state.
|Most Expensive Cities in Colorado||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Cherry Hills Village||$4,274.05||Farmers||$6,150.27||Allstate||$5,954.43||Liberty Mutual||$3,261.13||GEICO||$3,375.68|
|Beulah||$4,258.06||Allstate||$6,153.61||Farmers||$5,941.29||Liberty Mutual||$3,078.33||American Family||$3,353.48|
|Pueblo West||$4,237.11||Allstate||$6,244.99||Farmers||$5,447.51||Liberty Mutual||$3,149.36||GEICO||$3,268.81|
|Deer Trail||$4,231.16||Farmers||$6,520.12||Allstate||$5,470.96||Liberty Mutual||$2,838.41||State Farm||$3,395.95|
|Fort Carson||$4,204.82||Allstate||$6,083.85||Farmers||$5,557.52||Liberty Mutual||$2,867.51||State Farm||$3,357.87|
|Idaho Springs||$4,194.17||Allstate||$6,032.22||Farmers||$5,510.99||Liberty Mutual||$3,168.00||GEICO||$3,170.65|
|Yoder||$4,188.72||Allstate||$5,685.45||Farmers||$5,647.34||Liberty Mutual||$2,646.84||State Farm||$3,548.46|
|Indian Hills||$4,187.74||Farmers||$5,975.56||Allstate||$5,645.56||Liberty Mutual||$2,975.13||USAA||$3,281.91|
|Buffalo Creek||$4,171.50||Farmers||$5,663.46||Allstate||$5,569.05||Liberty Mutual||$2,929.81||USAA||$3,350.30|
Colorado Car Insurance Companies
You have so many options for who to use as your insurer. It’s hard to know where to begin. Who’s going to give me the best rates? Who is going to be the easiest to work with? Who’s good?!
We’ll answer those questions and show you how to get started finding the best insurance company for you.
When you choose a car insurance company, its reputation matters as much as or more than its rates. We’ll show how the largest companies rate in the areas of financial stability and customer satisfaction.
AM Best is a credit rating agency. They evaluate insurance companies and then give them a grade based on their financial stability. The table below shows the ten largest insurance companies in Colorado by market share with their AM Best rating.
|Company||AM Best Rating|
Customer Satisfaction Ratings
Companies in Colorado With the Least and Most Complaints
When you deal with an insurance company, ideally, you’ll work together and both be satisfied with the outcome. That doesn’t always happen, and when the consumer is dissatisfied, he or she can file a complaint. Those complaints, whether justified or not are considered in the complaint ratios shown below.
Obviously, a large company will have more complaints than a small company due to the sheer volume of business they conduct, so what matters more than the number of complaints is the complaint ratio.
How many complaints does a company receive per one million dollars of business? The answer is the complaint ratio.
These are the companies that had the best complaint ratios in the state.
|Company Name||Total Complaints||Confirmed Complaints||Complaint Ratio||Company Name||Total Complaints||Confirmed Complaints||Complaint Ratio|
|Farmers Alliance Mutual||0||0||0||360 Insurance||1||1||0.2|
|Travelers Home and Marine||2||0||0.12||Liberty Mutual||43||16||0.21|
|Amica Mutual||4||2||0.15||State Farm||174||62||0.21|
|SECURA Supreme||1||0||0.15||Horace Mann||1||0||0.22|
Next are the companies that had the worst complaint ratios.
|Company Name||Total Complaints||Confirmed Complaints||Complaint Ratio||Company Name||Total Complaints||Confirmed Complaints||Complaint Ratio|
|Occidental Fire & Casualty||21||5||12.36||Financial Indemnity||8||1||1.03|
|Young America||39||15||2.74||Permanent General of Ohio||49||15||0.95|
|National General||11||3||1.78||Nationwide Affinity||8||3||0.85|
|Alpha Property & Casualty||6||2||1.39||Nationwide Mutual||10||2||0.84|
|Arizona Automobile||41||8||1.37||IDS Property Casualty||14||3||0.79|
|Twin City Fire||44||2||1.18||Liberty Mutual Fire||10||3||0.78|
|Permanent General||7||2||1.16||Viking Insurance||4||1||0.75|
Complaint Ratios for Colorado’s 10 Largest Car Insurers
Here’s how the largest companies by market share compare for complaint ratios.
|Insurance Company||Market Share||Premiums Written||Complaint Ratio|
|State Farm Group||19.81%||$906,918||0.19|
|Allstate Insurance Group||8.49%||$388,445||0.34|
|American Family Insurance Group||8.41%||$384,892||0.3|
|Farmers Insurance Group||7.22%||$330,473||NR|
|Liberty Mutual Group||6.97%||$319,166||0.36|
|Nationwide Corp Group||2.00%||$91,547||0.17|
Colorado Car Insurance Rates by Company
Below is a list of the most expensive and the cheapest car insurance companies in Colorado by their average rates.
|Cheapest Companies||Rate||Most Expensive Companies||Rate|
|USAA Casualty||$807.74||LM Insurance Corporation||$3,761.54|
|Hartford Casualty||$819.44||LM General||$3,397.64|
|Progressive Direct||$845.84||Metropolitan Casualty||$2,751.98|
|National General Assurance||$863.50||Metropolitan Property and Casualty||$2,733.37|
|Nationwide Private Client||$904.90||Safeway||$2,133.85|
|The Cincinnati||$909.15||Employers Mut Cas Co||$2,107.18|
|Nationwide Mutual||$923.95||Safeco Insurance Company of America||$1,979.75|
|IDS Property Casualty||$925.55||National Farmers Union Prop & Cas||$1,851.67|
|Garrison Property and Casulty||$950.27||Arizona Auto||$1,837.51|
|Nationwide Agribusiness||$993.66||Country Casualty||$1,727.11|
|Farmers Insurance Exchange||$1,032.77||Amica Mutual||$1,658.20|
|United Fire & Casualty||$1,034.94||American National General||$1,638.35|
|Geico Casualty||$1,058.89||Encompass Indemnity||$1,613.30|
|Colorado Farm Bureau Mutual||$1,069.23||Mendota||$1,600.02|
|Grange Insurance Association||$1,080.59||Allstate Fire and Casualty||$1,548.48|
Largest Car Insurance Companies in Colorado
|Insurance Company||Premiums Written||Market Share|
|State Farm Group||$906,918||19.81%|
|Allstate Insurance Group||$388,445||8.49%|
|American Family Insurance Group||$384,892||8.41%|
|Farmers Insurance Group||$330,473||7.22%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||$319,166||6.97%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||$91,547||2.00%|
There are hundreds of licensed insurers to choose from in Colorado, 858 to be exact.
|Domestic||Foreign||Total Number of Licensed Insurers|
Comparing quotes will help you know where to get started. Once you find the company that offers the best rates to you, do some more research into their financial rating, customer satisfaction rating, and complaint ratios. Then, you can confidently choose your insurer.
Don’t stop now that you know how to choose an insurance company! Make sure your rates stay as low as possible by being a good driver. We’ll show you the laws you need to know to keep your driving record clean.
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It would take a long time to memorize every law in Colorado. It’s important to follow the laws, but it can be confusing. We’ll help clear the confusion by listing some of the driving laws most important to know.
Car Insurance Laws
Insurance companies in Colorado don’t have free reign to set rates however they want. Although they have leeway, they are governed.
Car Insurance Rate-setting Regulations
While rates are regulated by “open competition,” if the insurance commissioner decides the rates are excessive or could be harmful to the company’s solvency, the commissioner will regulate the rates.
If your license has been revoked or suspended, you may need to file an SR-22 to have your licenses reinstated. The SR-22 form is available from your insurance company but it is not an insurance policy.
The form is just assurance that you will have car insurance coverage. If your policy is canceled, the form ensures the insurer will notify the DMV of insurance cancellation, at which point, your license will be suspended.
You can change insurance companies while you’re required to file an SR-22, but you must get a new SR-22 with the new company before the old one goes out of effect.
Your license may be suspended for any of the following:
- A DUI conviction
- Driving without insurance
- Repeat traffic offenses
Some insurance companies may offer windshield replacement with comprehensive coverage, but there are no laws requiring insurers to cover windows.
Automobile Insurance Fraud in Colorado
The insurance industry estimates that fraud accounts for 10 percent of its operating costs. Why does that matter? If 10 percent of an insurance company’s income goes to fraudulent activities, that essentially means 10 percent of your premiums are being thrown away.
If companies didn’t have to throw that money out, they could reduce your rates.
There are two classifications of fraud: hard and soft.
- Hard Fraud – A purposefully fabricated claim or accident
- Soft Fraud – A misrepresentation of information to the insurance company
Soft fraud is more common than hard fraud. Twenty to 40 percent of consumers admitted to lying to their insurer about one of the following:
- Number of annual miles driven
- Number of drivers in the household
- How the vehicle would be used
Misrepresentation to an insurance company is considered a misdemeanor and falsifying claims is a class 5 felony.
Colorado has employed an Insurance Fraud Unit to investigate fraudulent activity throughout the state. According to the Attorney General’s Office, The Unit also works closely with other agencies including the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Colorado Division of Insurance, FBI, and local police departments.
They are working to eliminate insurance fraud in the state.
Statute of Limitations
The length of time you have to make a claim in Colorado cannot exceed the state’s statute of limitations.
|Property Damage||Bodily Injury|
|Three years||Three years|
The clock starts ticking on the day of the accident. Any lawsuit or claim about that accident will be dismissed if it’s made more than three years after that date.
In the case of an accident-related fatality, the statute of limitations is two years from the day of the death.
Vehicle Licensing Laws
These are important laws to get familiar with. Your car has to be registered and insured to go on the road. If not, you’ll pay.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
Colorado has a Motorist Insurance Information Database (MIIDB) program to which the police and DMV have access. Registration information is updated in the MIIDB daily and insurance information is updated weekly or more. The following table lists the penalties for driving without insurance in Colorado:
|Penalty||First Offense||Second Offense|
|Fine||$500 minimum||$1,000 minimum|
|License Suspension||Until you show proof of insurance to the DMV||Four months|
|Community Service||Possible up to 40 hours||Possible up to 40 hours|
Proof of Insurance
The following forms of proof of insurance are accepted in Colorado
- Electronic – picture of current insurance card or pdf file of coverage on a phone, tablet, or another electronic device
- Insurance Card
- Declaration Page
- Letter/Binder – from the insurance company on their letterhead
Affidavit of Non-use
According to the Colorado DMV, “Colorado residents who wish to register vehicles that will not be operated for a period of time or are temporarily residing out of state with valid out of state insurance, may complete the Affidavit of Non-use and submit it to their county motor vehicle office.”
Teen Driver Laws
Since adopting Graduated Driver Licensing laws in 2002, teen motor vehicle fatalities have dropped 67 percent! Here are the restrictions and requirements parents and teens need to know.
|Restrictions||Learner's Permit||Restricted License||Unrestricted License|
|Age||15 – 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 permit||17 – if held restricted license 12 months|
18 – otherwise
|Passengers||Must be supervised by a licensed parent/guardian or their licensed adult appointee||First six months – no passengers under 21 |
Second six months – limit of one passenger under 21
(exceptions: siblings, family emergencies)
|Hours||No restrictions||First 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 Use||Forbidden||Forbidden||Forbidden if under 18|
|Pre-requisites||If under 18, parent or guardian must sign an affidavit of liability||Completion of 50 hours supervised driving, 10 of which at night||If under 18, holding a restricted license for one year|
Older Driver License Renewal
Older drivers must get their licenses renewed every five years, which is the same requirement for the general population. The only difference is how they can renew. The exceptions to getting a license renewed in person are as follows:
- General population – limited to two consecutive renewals online before having to go in person or every other renewal by mail
- Over 66 years old – every other renewal may be by mail
New Resident Licensing
If you’ve recently moved to Colorado, you may be curious about when you’re required to get a Colorado license. The Colorado DMV website says you need a Colorado license within 30 days of residency. The residency requirements are as follows:
- Own or operate a business in Colorado OR
- Are gainfully employed in Colorado OR
- Reside in Colorado for 90 consecutive days
Your valid driver license from your previous state of residence should be enough for you to not have to take a driving or written exam. When you go to the DMV to get a Colorado license, be prepared with the following documentation:
- A valid driver license from the previous state of residence
- Proof of your social security number
- Two proofs of current Colorado address
- Proof of lawful presence
- Money for fees
After becoming a Colorado resident, you must register your vehicle within 90 days.
Driver licenses must be renewed every five years. You should not wait until your license expires.
Renewals may be completed online, in person, or by mail. There are restrictions on renewing online or by mail:
- May renew by mail only every other renewal
- Limited to two times in a row renewing online
- Those 66 years and older are limited to renewing by mail every other renewal at most
Rules of the Road
Colorado is a fault state, so the person at fault in an accident is responsible to pay for damages done to the other party. A fault state is also known as a tort state.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws
When driving, you must keep right when traveling slower than the average speed of traffic around you. On roads with a speed limit over 65 mph, the left lane is reserved for passing.
When stationary vehicles with emergency lights are presents, drivers must vacate the lane nearest those vehicles if safe to do so, or they must slow down.
|Type of Roadway||Speed Limit|
|Rural Interstates||75 mph|
|Urban Interstates||65 mph|
|Other Limited Access Roads||65 mph|
|Other Roads||65 mph|
Colorado requires drivers and front seat passengers 16 years old and older to wear a seatbelt. A violation is a secondary offense. You can’t be pulled over for no seatbelt use alone. But you can be pulled over for another offense and ticketed for failure to wear a seatbelt. The minimum fine is $65.
For unbelted passengers under 16 years old, the offense is primary and you may be pulled over for that reason alone.
Riding in the cargo section of a pick-up truck is prohibited unless the cargo area is fully or partially enclosed on all four sides.
Car Seat Laws
|Type of Car Seat Required||Age||Weight|
|Rear-facing Child Safety Seat||Under 1 year old||Under 40 pounds if under 1 year old|
Under 20 pounds if over 1 year old
|Forward-facing or Rear-facing Child Safety Seat||1–4 years old||20–40 pounds|
|Forward-facing Safety Seat, Booster Seat, or With Safety Belt-Positioning Device||4–8 years old||Over 40 pounds|
|Seat Belt or Child Restraint System||Over 8 years old||No weight restrictions when over 8 years old|
The following insurance companies offer coverage for ridesharing services:
- State Farm
- American Family
The level of coverage available for ride-sharing varies. Some of these companies won’t provide coverage while a customer is in the car, others will with a surcharge, but none of these companies will drop you for offering ride-sharing services.
Colorado was the first to pass a regulatory bill for ridesharing companies in 2014. The bill requires ride-sharing companies to provide their drivers with insurance from app on to app off. Experts say this bill protects other consumers from rising insurance costs to subsidize ride-sharing insurance costs.
Automation on the Road
Red Light Cameras
|Statewide or localized?||Statewide (requires local ordinance)|
|Who receives citation?||Vehicle owner|
|Who is liable?||Driver|
|What image is captured?||Tag and driver|
|Penalty?||$75, no points|
Red light cameras are used in Colorado. The fine for a violation is $75 and there are no points added to your record. If you are stopped in person for a red light offense, the fine is $110 and four points are added to your license.
Speed Enforcement Cameras
|Statewide or localized?||Restricted to construction and school zones, residential areas, or adjacent to a municipal park; requires local ordinance and officer must be present|
|Citations issued to whom?||Owner|
|Who is liable?||Driver|
|What image is captured?||Tag and Driver|
|Penalty?||$40 maximum fine ($80 in school zones), no points, warning only for first violation within 10 mph of speed limit|
Speed enforcement cameras are also used in Colorado. If you are stopped the traditional way, the fine is $151 and four points are added to your license.
When it’s cold outside and your vehicle has frost on the windshield, you may be tempted to start it and let it warm up while you go back inside. That’s called “puffing” and in Colorado puffing is illegal. The reasoning behind this law is to prevent vehicle theft.
The only exception is that you can use remote start if you have it because then your vehicle is locked and the keys aren’t in the ignition.
Without a standard, each person would decide for himself or herself how to drive best. Sometimes they’d make good decisions, and sometimes not.
The first three DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors. The fourth and following offenses are class 4 felonies. There is no official lookback period, so any DUI, no matter how far in the past can be considered in your sentence.
Colorado has two levels of intoxicated driving offenses:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Blood alcohol content 0.08 percent or higher
- Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) – Blood alcohol content 0.05 percent to 0.07 percent
The penalties for driving under the influence in Colorado are below:
|Penalty Type||First Driving While Ability|
|First Driving Under the Influence (DUI)||Second DUI or DWAI||Third and Subsequent DUIs and DWAIs|
|Revoked License||Eight points on license||Nine months||One year||Two years|
|Imprisonment||Two days to 180 days||Five days to one year||10 days to one year||60 days to one year|
|Community Service||24 to 48 hours||24 to 48 hours||48 to 120 hours||48 to 120 hours|
A law went into effect recently eliminating a loophole and mandating all persons with a felony DUI conviction to spend time behind bars.
Drug-impaired Driving Laws
Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal and is subject to the same penalties as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Distracted Driving Laws
|Young drivers all cellphone ban||Under 18 years old|
|Texting ban||All drivers|
The table above outlines the cellphone and texting restrictions in Colorado. The penalties for using a handheld device illegally while driving are as follows:
|Class of Driver||First Offense||Second and Subsequent Offenses|
|Minor Drivers (all cellphone use)||Class A traffic infraction|
One point on license
|One point on license|
|Adult Drivers (text messaging)||Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense|
Four points on license
|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
The point system for minors under 18 years old using a handheld device while driving are as follows:
|Timeframe||Points requiring suspension|
|Within 12 months||6|
|At any point before turning 18||7|
The point system for 18 to 21 year olds using a handheld device while driving are as follows:
|Timeframe||Points requiring suspension|
|Within 12 months||9|
|Within 24 months||12|
|At any point between ages 18 and 21||14|
The point system for adults 21 and older using a handheld device while driving are as follows:
|Timeframe||Points requiring suspension<|
|Within 12 months||12|
|Within 24 months||18|
Colorado Can’t-miss Facts
There are a lot of interesting facts about Colorado. We’re going to focus on some of the facts related to driving that are interesting and helpful to know.
You don’t want to miss what’s next: The hottest vehicles for thieves. Is your car on the list?
Vehicle Theft in Colorado
Even in the safest cities and states, you need to cautious of potential vehicle thefts. Vehicle thefts are rising in the state.
Top Make and Model for Theft
The table below shows the top 10 most stolen vehicles in Colorado.
|Rank||Make/Model||Year of Vehicle||Thefts|
|3||Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2005||595|
|4||Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||1999||594|
|5||Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||2000||450|
|6||Dodge Pickup (Full Size)||2001||308|
Vehicle Theft by City
Now, we’ll look at the top 10 Colorado cities by number of thefts:
|City||Number of Thefts|
Risky and Harmful Behavior
For your information, we’ve listed the statistics of driving-related fatalities below by county.
Read also about The penalties for a DUI conviction in Colorado.
Fatality Rates by County
Fatality Rates Rural Versus Urban
|Type of Roadway||2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
Fatalities by Person Type
|Person Type||Vehicles Type||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017|
|Occupants||Light Truck – Pickup||77||56||77||66||78|
|Occupants||Light Truck – Utility||85||70||85||85||104|
|Occupants||Light Truck – Van||14||6||21||24||27|
|Occupants||Light Truck – Other||0||0||1||0||2|
|Nonoccupants||Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||12||10||13||16||16|
|Occupants, Motorcyclists, and Nonoccupants||Total Traffic-elated Fatalities||482||488||547||608||648|
Fatalities by Crash Type
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)*||482||488||547||608||648|
|(1) Single Vehicle||284||273||305||344||335|
|(2) Involving a Large Truck||56||63||64||86||87|
|(3) Involving Speeding||151||168||217||211||230|
|(4) Involving a Rollover||197||166||195||212||228|
|(5) Involving a Roadway Departure||287||285||304||295||330|
|(6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||118||127||153||200||190|
(1) Crash Involved Only One Coded Vehicle
(2) Crash Involved at Least One Large Truck
(3) Crash Involved at Least One Vehicle Speeding
(4) Crash Involved at Least One Vehicle That Rolled Over
(5) Crash Involved at Least One Vehicle That Departed the Roadway (FHWA Definition)
(6) Crash Occurred Within an Intersection or Within the Approach to an Intersection
*A Fatality Can Be in More Than One Category. Therefore Sum of the Individual Cells Will Not Equal the Total Due to Double Counting
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-impaired Driver by County (BAC 0.08 percent or greater)
Teen Drinking and Driving
Unfortunately, Colorado ranks number seven nationally for under 18 drunk driving arrests.
DUI Arrests Under 18
|Number of Arrests||Arrests per One Million People||Rank Nationally|
Under 21 Drinking and Driving Fatalities
Per every 100,000 people, Colorado experienced 1.2 alcohol-related fatalities for residents under 21 years old. Colorado ranks at exactly the U.S. average for deaths per capita in that age group.
EMS Response Time
|Location of Incident||Time of Crash to EMS Notification||Notification to Arrival||Arrival at Scene to Hospital Arrival||Time of Crash to Time of Hospital Arrival|
How does the commute look for Colorado residents? How many own a car? How do they get to work? We’ll answer those questions next.
In Colorado, 40.9 percent of households owned two cars in 2018. That’s slightly above the national average of 40.3 percent.
The average commute time lasted 23.7 minutes in 2018, which is slightly lower than the national average. A little more than 2 percent of workers have “super commutes,” which are 90 minutes or longer.
Almost 75 percent of Coloradoans drive alone on their daily commute. Equal numbers of workers either carpooled or worked at home at 8.5 percent.
Top Cities for Traffic Congestion
|City||Hours Spent in Traffic||Peak (Time in Traffic)||Daytime (Time in Traffic)||Overall (Time in Traffic)|
Now, you have a great foundation for understanding what you need for insurance, what you can expect your rates to be, and how you can stay safe and obey the traffic laws.
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