Colorado Car Insurance Laws

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

Auto insurance requirements in Colorado

Colorado requires all motorists to carry car insurance. Furthermore, proof of this coverage must be kept with you at all times while driving and must be shown to a law enforcement official at their request. Not carrying the required coverage puts you and other drivers at risk and can also lead to severe penalties.

Read our guide to find out more about insurance options and required coverages in the state of Colorado.

Minimum Liability Coverage: 25/50/15
$25,000 bodily injury per person
$50,000 bodily injury per accident
$15,000 property damage per accident

The above requirements are imposed by Colorado, though a lender or leasing company could require additional coverage in an effort to protect their investment and shield your vehicle against physical damage. This is commonly known as full coverage

Liability coverage in Colorado

Liability coverage is a legally required auto coverage in Colorado that goes toward paying for bodily injuries and property damage that you cause in an at-fault accident. This coverage also steps in to cover the injured party’s pain and suffering as well as their lost wages. Please note that your own liability coverage only ever pays others and will never cover your injuries or any damages to your own property.

What are Colorado's state-mandated car insurance limits?

An insurance limit is the maximum that a car insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. Liability coverage limits are determined at the state level and are typically split into three categories: bodily injury per person, bodily injury per accident, and property damage. In Colorado, the minimum is listed as 25/50/15.[1] If you decide to carry the minimum liability coverage, the following amounts are the most that your insurance company will pay:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person is the maximum amount an insurer will pay for injuries you cause to a single person in an auto accident.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident is the total amount that can be paid for all injuries that you cause in an accident in which more than one person is hurt.
  • $15,000 in property damage per accident is the maximum dollar amount that your insurance company will pay for damage that you cause in an accident.

Do Colorado's required insurance minimums provide enough coverage?

Insurance mandates in Colorado are roughly on par with those in most other states. Still, the bare minimum coverage is not recommended as it does not go very far in protecting you or your assets. Unfortunately, emergency care costs can cause your liability limits to evaporate quickly, especially if you injure multiple people. Likewise, the $15,000 property damage limit is substantially lower than the average cost of a new vehicle. 

Regarding your own, Colorado requires no coverage at all. As such, if you want to keep yourself fully protected, you should look into adding extra coverage and increasing your current liability limits.

Colorado is a diminished value state

Colorado is a diminished value state, meaning drivers are allowed to recover diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurance company. When your vehicle experiences an accident, even if it is fully repaired to its pre-loss condition, the resale value decreases. The involvement in a collision makes your car’s value lesser than similar vehicles that have not experienced an accident. A diminished value claim allows you to recoup the losses you might experience when selling your car.  

Since Colorado is one of the 15 states that offer compensation for diminution in value, you may file by contacting the at-fault party’s insurer. In order to file a diminished value claim in Colorado, certain requirements must be met.

CO diminished value claims requirements:

  • You must not be at fault
  • You must provide documentation (photos, repair records, and proof of vehicle value from a trusted source) 
  • You must file within 2 years of the incident
  • You must have uninsured motorist coverage

Colorado's penalties for driving without proof of insurance

Uninsured driving is taken very seriously in the state of Colorado. If found guilty of driving with no insurance in Colorado, you can expect the following penalties to apply:[2]

Penalty 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd (or Subsequent) Offense
Drivers license points added 4 points 4 points 4 points
Fine $500+ $1,000+ $1,000+
License suspension Until you can show proof of insurance 4 months 8 months
Community service Up to 40 hours Up to 40 hours Up to 40 hours

Optional car insurance coverage in Colorado

Colorado law requires only liability coverage in order to be legal in the state. However, most insurance companies offer a wide range of other coverages that can further protect you and your assets. Some of the more common options available include the following:

  • Comprehensive: A coverage that pays for vehicle damages caused in non-collision circumstances such as theft or weather-related events. 
  • Collision: A coverage that pays for vehicle damages resulting from a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. 
  • Loan/lease payoff: A coverage that helps pay the difference between what’s owed on a loan and the car’s actual cash value. This is commonly known as gap coverage.
  • Medical payments: A coverage that goes towards paying the medical expenses for both you and those in your vehicle after an accident. This coverage is available regardless of fault.
  • Rental car reimbursement: A coverage that helps pay for a rental car while yours is unable to be driven.
  • Roadside assistance: A coverage that helps if you need a tow, have a flat tire, dead batteries, or in a scenario in which your vehicle has broken down.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: A coverage that helps pay for injuries sustained by an insured — or underinsured — driver.

Why adhering to Colorado's car insurance requirements is important

Having car insurance in Colorado is not only a legal requirement, but it’s also a great way of protecting yourself and your assets. Most drivers could benefit from adding coverage or at least increasing the current limits imposed by the state. However, some may be worried about a rise in your premiums after adding such coverage. If you are concerned about added costs, it may be time to start shopping for a cheaper auto policy. With The Zebra, you can see insurance quotes from the nation’s top carriers side-by-side. Just enter your ZIP below to get started. 

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
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