Citations and accidents on your record will make your premium more expensive. Find out the best ways to save on car insurance in Colorado in our guide.
Why you can trust The Zebra
If you have been involved in an at-fault accident, filed a claim, or received a ticket for a major moving violation, you could be a good candidate for high-risk car insurance. Auto insurance for drivers with less-than-ideal records is commonly expensive, but the increase in rates you face depends on your auto insurance company, your driving history, and the area in which you live.
If you’re found responsible for causing an auto collision, you can expect your car insurance rates to jump. In Colorado, the average insurance rate after an at-fault crash is $2,017 compared to the national average of $2,012. A major incident like an at-fault collision will stay on your driving record for up to three years!
|Location||With At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||No At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best insurance company after an at-fault collision in Colorado is USAA. USAA’s typical rate increase after a crash is $576, resulting in a total price 29% less expensive than the average among all insurance companies. If you've been found at fault in a crash in Colorado, avoid GEICO and Progressive, on the pricier end of the spectrum.
|Insurer||Annual Rate After an At-Fault Accident|
Among the violations that earn drivers the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Colorado, car insurance premiums rise by $306 per year after a speeding citation, up to an average yearly price of $1,741.
|State||With a Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||No Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate||Yearly Rate Increase|
The foolproof way to get affordable car insurance after a speeding ticket is to shop around and compare the available options. The cheapest car insurance after a speeding ticket in Colorado is available via GEICO. GEICO’s average premium after a violation is $438 less than the state typical. If you are caught speeding in Colorado, Progressive is worth avoiding.
|Company||Annual Rate After a Speeding Violation|
If you are found guilty of distracted driving, your car insurance won't be cheap. In Colorado, car insurance prices typically go up by $166 annually. That's a 12% increase from the average annual premium in Colorado and 4% more than the national average cost of car insurance after a distracted driving offense.
|Location||With Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||No Distracted Driving — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
The best way to find affordable auto insurance following a distracted driving infraction is to explore your options. The cheapest auto insurance company following being cited for distracted driving in Colorado is USAA, with a typical rate of only $1,086 per year, 32% lower than the average distracted driving insurance premium by all insurers.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate With Distracted Driving|
Racing is an extremely serious infraction. Insurance companies typically penalize racing citations with major rate hikes — in fact, Colorado car insurance premiums rise by $940 annually following a ticket for racing. That's a 66% increase on the usual annual car insurance premium in Colorado!
|Location||With a Racing Citation — Annual Rate||No Racing Citation — Annual Rate||Yearly Rate Increase|
If you have been cited for racing, do your due diligence and shop around for the best rates. In Colorado, start with State Farm, which offers rates 22% cheaper than the state average after a citation for racing.
|Insurance Company||Annual Rate After Racing|
Among the most serious driving violations, reckless driving is a surefire way to raise your insurance rates. Car insurance companies increase rates by $725 each year following a reckless driving ticket. That's 51% higher than the average auto insurance rate in Colorado and 29% less than the national average penalty for reckless driving.
|Location||With Reckless Driving — Annual Rate||No Reckless Driving — Annual Rate||Annual Rate Increase|
If you're ticketed for reckless driving, shop around to get the most affordable rate. In Colorado, the best insurance company with a reckless driving ticket is USAA.
|Insurer||Annual Rate With Reckless Driving|
If you're looking for car insurance as a high-risk driver, the best thing to do is to do your research and find a policy that fits you.
The state of Colorado maintains and enforces a set of traffic laws designed to prevent motorists from engaging in unsafe and hazardous driving habits. Traffic laws in Colorado cover speed limits, reckless and distracted driving, racing, and at-fault accidents and penalize drivers for breaking the law.
Except when otherwise posted, you are speeding in Colorado if your speeds exceed:
In other cases, the maximum speed limit in Colorado is 75 miles per hour.
Individual jurisdictions in Colorado are granted the right to adjust minimum and maximum speed limits within their locale. Drivers should pay attention to posted speed limits while driving in Colorado.
Drivers in Colorado must also maintain a minimum speed limit that does not impede or impact the normal flow of traffic.
During inclement weather or hazardous road conditions, drivers should reduce their speed to a level that is “reasonable and prudent, ” even if it is below the posted speed limit.
The fine and specific offense for speeding in Colorado is based on how much a driver has exceeded a speed limit.
Surcharges are assessed for speeding in Colorado, in addition to the below penalties.
Class A traffic infractions and penalties in Colorado are:
Speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the reasonable and prudent speed is a class two misdemeanor in Colorado and results in:
Driving 25 miles per hour or more over the reasonable speed limit in a construction zone is a class one misdemeanor and subjects violators to:
In addition to the above penalties, points will be assessed against a driver’s license for speeding in Colorado.
If you drive with a “wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property, ” you are guilty of reckless driving in Colorado. In other words, intentionally ignoring the rules of the road or driving in an unsafe manner may result in you being charged with reckless driving.
In other circumstances, you may be charged with careless driving. Careless driving in Colorado is a “lesser included offense” that involves driving in a way that disregards the “width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and use of the streets and highways and all other attendant circumstances.”
In Colorado, reckless driving means you are driving in a dangerous manner. Careless driving, as a lesser charge, stems from driving negligently.
Reckless driving in Colorado is a class two traffic misdemeanor.
The first reckless driving offense for a violator in Colorado results in:
A second or subsequent reckless driving offense in Colorado leads to:
If reckless driving leads to the death of another driver or person, the violator may be charged with vehicular homicide.
Like reckless driving, careless driving in Colorado is a class two traffic misdemeanor.
The penalties for the first careless driving conviction in Colorado are:
A second or subsequent careless driving conviction in Colorado results in:
A careless driving offense in Colorado that leads to injury or death is a class one traffic misdemeanor and leads to:
Distracted driving in Colorado is considered a primary offense. Law enforcement officers are permitted to pull over and cite drivers even if their only offense is driving while distracted.
Distracted driving constitutes anything that prevents a driver from paying full attention to the road. Pets, eating, and grooming can all lead to a driver becoming distracted. Of course, the use of a wireless device while driving can also be dangerous.
A law banning cell phone use while driving was defeated in early 2018 in Colorado. To that end, adult drivers 18 years old or older are allowed to use cell phones for voice calls. They are also allowed to use a headphone in one ear.
Adults are not allowed to use wireless devices to enter data into their phones (such as texting) or browse the internet while driving.
Drivers under 18 years old in Colorado are prohibited from using cell phones while driving except in the case of an emergency or to report a crime.
Read here for more on texting and driving statistics.
The penalty for an adult guilty of distracted driving in Colorado is a class two misdemeanor traffic offense and results in:
An adult convicted of a distracted driving offense that causes injury or death to another is guilty of a class one misdemeanor and subject to:
A minor convicted of a first-time distracted driving offense is subject to:
A subsequent conviction for a minor guilty of distracted driving in Colorado will lead to:
Racing in Colorado is also referred to as engaging in a “speed contest.” A speed contest takes place when one or more vehicles:
Speed exhibitions are also unlawful in Colorado. A speed exhibition takes place when a vehicle:
In some cases, speed contests or exhibitions in Colorado may also be referred to as drag racing or otherwise considered aggressive driving.
A conviction for racing in Colorado is a class one traffic misdemeanor and results in:
A speed exhibition conviction in Colorado is a class two traffic misdemeanor and leads to:
Colorado became a fault-based state in 2003. After an accident, fault may be assigned to one or more drivers. Additionally, as a comparative negligence state, drivers may share some degree of fault for an accident.
If a driver is less than 50% at-fault for an accident in Colorado, he or she may seek compensation from the at-fault party. In such a case, compensation will be reduced based on the percentage the driver is found at fault for the accident.
All accidents in Colorado must be reported, either by the affected drivers or by a responding law enforcement officer.
The required car insurance coverage in Colorado is:
Drivers caught driving without car insurance in Colorado will receive four points against their driver’s license.
In addition, for a first-time offense of driving without insurance, a violator will be subject to:
A second offense for driving without insurance in Colorado results in:
A third offense for driving without insurance in Colorado subjects violators to:
Drivers who are covered by insurance but who cannot present proof of coverage may receive a ticket and may have to appear in court.
Sources and references:
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.