Colorado drivers have a lot of choice for auto insurance, which is important since rates in the state fall a little above the national average, and shopping around can help you to get below it.
Meeting legal requirements for car insurance is just the beginning of getting the right coverage; finding the best company and policy for your needs can be a challenge, but our recommendations can help.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Colorado
Colorado state law requires that all drivers be financially responsible for damages and injuries in a crash where they are found at fault. This is accomplished with laws that require every driver carry at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident in bodily injury liability, as well as $15,000 in coverage for property damage.
There is also the option to carry insurance in a combined single limit, the minimum for which is $65,000. This will cover you for all liability combined in one, with no separate limits for each type of risk.
While there are no other state required limits for car insurance, those who finance or lease a vehicle will need to meet separate requirements laid out by the lender or leaseholder. These usually include required comprehensive coverage and collision coverage, but they may also include other requirements. Check with your lender for details on what they mandate for coverage.
Specifics of Colorado Auto Insurance
Colorado does not have unusual rules or regulations when it comes to car insurance, but it is worth noting that the fault laws in the state do allow lawsuits for pain and suffering.
When you are found at fault in an accident, you can be held responsible in court for any damage, injuries, or death that are the result of that accident. That means you can be sued and the judge can order you to pay amounts that may exceed your liability insurance coverage; as a result, the legal minimum is unlikely to be adequate especially in a serious accident.
As always, we started with companies that offer a great reputation. We looked for companies that have good ratings from trusted consumer research sources, and also used our own research into customer complaints to determine which Colorado insurance companies are offering great customer service and excellent claims handling to their customers.
Since rates are always a top concern when shopping for car insurance, we also looked for companies that have competitive rates. In combination with great service, a good rate makes an insurance company a top pick for the overall value offered. Since companies rate different types of drivers differently, we looked for companies that serve a variety of markets. This helps ensure our top picks are not just a good deal for those with a clean driving record and great credit.
All of our choices offer policies to everyone in Colorado. We left off any companies that have eligibility requirements, so if you qualify for a company such as USAA it is well worth checking them out in addition to our recommendations. These picks are a good choice regardless of where in Colorado you live, but some may have better rates for big city drivers and others serve rural drivers better.
Our Top Picks
These three companies top our list for the combination of reputation and rates that make a car insurance policy a great value in Colorado.
Geico is the nations second-largest insurer and has grown quickly in popularity in recent years thanks to some of the best rates around for car insurance. It is not a surprise that they also offer Colorado drivers some of the best rates across the board – regardless of experience, age, credit, or driving history, they remain competitive.
They also ranked in the top five in J.D. Power’s regional survey of auto insurance satisfaction, with high scores in every area. They offer the combination of service and price Colorado drivers are seeking.
Shelter ranked at number one in J.D. Power’s regional survey, winning their 2017 award for the best car insurance company in the area, including Colorado. As a regional company, they offer the service of a somewhat smaller company than many competitors, as well as the help of an agent with your insurance needs.
Shelter does not always rank as the least expensive car insurance company, and they tend to have better rates for drivers with a clean record. They are a great choice for those looking to bundle auto and home insurance, and also appeal to rural drivers with their long-standing farmers insurance program.
State Farm is the biggest personal insurance company in America, and they also offer some of the best rates to Colorado drivers. Although they do not have the image of a budget company, they rank well for rates for most types of driver.
They also rank among the best according to J.D. Power’s regional survey, and they have a very solid financial backing. With the personal service of an agent added in, State Farm is a great value for Colorado drivers.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Colorado
Colorado drivers can choose from a wide range of insurance companies both large and small. Before requesting quotes from any of them, however, make sure you know what kind of coverage you need.
As mentioned above, the legal minimum is far below the amount experts recommend to protect you in the event of a major accident. Colorado does have limits that are in the higher side compared to some other states, but those limits will be exceeded very quickly if an accident involves high-value vehicles or serious injuries.
Some insurance companies will quote their policies at the legal minimum automatically in order to make their rates appear lower; make sure you are only comparing policies that have the same coverage to make sure it is a true comparison. Decide on your limits and deductibles before you start, and then request quotes only with those numbers from each company.
An agent can be very helpful when it comes to adding some of the smaller companies in the state to your comparison list. These companies may not offer online quoting, so an independent agent can obtain numbers for you from many of them at once and save you some time.
The Bottom Line
Colorado car insurance can be pricey, but with some shopping around and careful attention to the fine print, you can get coverage that is above the legal minimum for rates that are below the state average. Do not leave the smaller, regional companies off your list – they offer some of the best service around and can often compete even with the biggest names in insurance.