Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in Colorado

The Zebra
Dec. 4, 2018

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.


What goes into car insurance rates for high-risk drivers in Colorado:

  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. View Colorado driving laws

Find cheap car insurance in Colorado!


What effect does an at-fault accident have on auto insurance in Colorado?


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!


COLORADO CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOLLOWING AN AT-FAULT COLLISION
LocationWith At-Fault Accident — Annual RateNo At-Fault Accident — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
Colorado$2,017$1,435$582
National Average$2,012$1,397$615

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 percent 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.


CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOLLOWING AN AT-FAULT ACCIDENT IN COLORADO — CHEAP PROVIDERS
InsurerAnnual Rate After an At-Fault Accident
USAA$1,441
State Farm$1,565
American Family$1,827
GEICO$1,927
Progressive$2,496


Does getting a speeding ticket in Colorado result in higher car insurance rates?


Among the violations that earns 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.


COLORADO CAR INSURANCE PRICES FOLLOWING A SPEEDING TICKET
StateWith a Speeding Ticket — Annual RateNo Speeding Ticket — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Colorado$1,741$1,435$306
National Average$1,727$1,397$330

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.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER A SPEEDING TICKET IN COLORADO — AFFORDABLE COMPANIES
CompanyAnnual Rate After a Speeding Violation
GEICO$1,303
State Farm$1,358
USAA$1,358
American Family$1,385
Progressive$1,983


How does a distracted driving violation affect car insurance in Colorado?


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% less than the national average cost of car insurance after a distracted driving offense.


COLORADO CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER A DISTRACTED DRIVING TICKET
LocationWith Distracted Driving — Annual RateNo Distracted Driving — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
Colorado$1,601$1,435$166
National Average$1,570$1,397$173

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.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER DISTRACTED DRIVING IN COLORADO — CHEAPEST COMPANIES
Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate With Distracted Driving
USAA$1,086
GEICO$1,124
USAA$1,130
State Farm$1,178
American Family$1,385


How do racing violations affect car insurance in Colorado?


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!


LocationWith a Racing Citation — Annual RateNo Racing Citation — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Colorado$2,375$1,435$940
National Average$2,397$1,397$1,000

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 percent cheaper than the state average after a citation for racing.


CAR INSURANCE RATES AFTER RACING IN COLORADO — CHEAPEST COMPANIES
Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate After Racing
State Farm$1,846
American Family$2,066
GEICO$2,105
Progressive$2,304
USAA$2,479


Will a reckless driving ticket raise my auto insurance rates in Colorado?


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.


COLORADO CAR INSURANCE RATES WITH A RECKLESS DRIVING CITATION
LocationWith Reckless Driving — Annual RateNo Reckless Driving — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
Colorado$2,160$1,435$725
National Average$2,395$1,397$998

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.


AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER A TICKET FOR RECKLESS DRIVING IN COLORADO — CHEAPEST CARRIERS
InsurerAnnual Rate With Reckless Driving
USAA$1,816
State Farm$1,846
American Family$2,066
GEICO$2,105
Progressive$2,304

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.


Compare rates today!


Driving Laws in Colorado

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.

 

Speeding in Colorado

When Are You Speeding In Colorado?

Except when otherwise posted, you are speeding in Colorado if your speeds exceed:

  • 20 miles per hour on narrow, winding highways or blind curves
  • 25 miles per hour in business districts
  • 30 miles per hour in residential districts
  • 40 miles per hour on open mountain highways
  • 55 miles per hour on open highways that are not a part of the interstate system and are not four-lane expressways or freeways
  • 65 miles per hour on surfaced four-lane highways that are part of the interstate system or expressways

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.

Penalties for Speeding In Colorado

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:

  • $30 for speeding one to four miles per hour over the reasonable and prudent speed
  • $70 for speeding five to nine miles per hour over the reasonable and prudent speed
  • $135 for speeding 10 to 19 miles per hour over the reasonable and prudent speed
  • $200 for speeding 20 to 24 miles per hour over the reasonable and prudent speed
  • $30 for exceeding the safe speed on a bridge or other elevated structure
  • $50 for driving at a slow enough speed to impede traffic
  • $100 for driving at a speed that is not reasonable and prudent for the given road conditions

Speeding 25 miles per hour or more over the reasonable and prudent speed is a class two misdemeanor in Colorado and results in:

  • 10 to 90 days in jail
  • $150 to $300 in fines

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:

  • 10 days to one year in jail
  • $300 to $1, 000 in fines

In addition to the above penalties,points will be assessedagainst a driver’s license for speeding in Colorado.

 

Reckless Driving in Colorado

What Is Reckless Driving 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.

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Colorado

Reckless driving in Colorado is a class two traffic misdemeanor.

The first reckless driving offense for a violator in Colorado results in:

  • 10 to 90 days in jail
  • $150 to $300 in fines
  • Eight points added to driver’s license

A second or subsequent reckless driving offense in Colorado leads to:

  • 10 days to six months in jail
  • $50 to $1, 000 in fines
  • Eight points added to driver’s license

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:

  • 10 to 90 days in jail
  • $150 to $300 in fines
  • Four points added to driver’s license

A second or subsequent careless driving conviction in Colorado results in:

  • 10 days to six months in jail
  • $50 to $1, 000 in fines
  • Four points added to driver’s license

A careless driving offense in Colorado that leads to injury or death is a class one traffic misdemeanor and leads to:

  • 10 days to one year in jail
  • $300 to $1, 000 in fines

 

Distracted Driving in Colorado

What is Distracted Driving in Colorado?

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, use of a wireless device while driving can also be dangerous.

A lawbanning cell phone use while drivingwas 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.

Penalties for Distracted Driving in Colorado

The penalty for an adult guilty of distracted driving in Colorado is a class two misdemeanor traffic offense and results in:

  • $300 in fines
  • Four points added to driver’s license

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:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Up to $1, 000 in fines
  • Four points added to driver’s license

A minor convicted of a first-time distracted driving offense is subject to:

  • $50 in fines
  • One point added to driver’s license

A subsequent conviction for a minor guilty of distracted driving in Colorado will lead to:

  • $100 in fines
  • One point added to driver’s license

 

Racing in Colorado

What is Racing in Colorado?

Racing in Colorado is also referred to as engaging in a “speed contest.” A speed contest takes place when one or more vehicles:

  • Participate in a race or time trial
  • Rapidly accelerate
  • Exceed “reasonable and prudent speeds”
  • Perform one or more lane changes in an attempt to gain an advantage on another competitor

Speed exhibitions are also unlawful in Colorado. A speed exhibition takes place when a vehicle:

  • Squeals its tires while in motion or parked
  • Rapidly accelerates
  • Swerves or weaves into traffic rapidly
  • Leaves visible tire marks on the roadway
  • Produces smoke from tire slippage

In some cases, speed contests or exhibitions in Colorado may also be referred to as drag racing or otherwise considered aggressive driving.

Penalties for Racing in Colorado

A conviction for racing in Colorado is a class one traffic misdemeanor and results in:

  • Possibility of 10 days to one year in jail
  • $300 to $1, 000 in fines
  • 12 points to a driver’s license
  • License suspension for one year
  • Possible community service
  • Vehicle may be impounded
  • Possible installation of an immobilization device for up to 14 days (or 14 to 30 days for subsequent offenses)

A speed exhibition conviction in Colorado is a class two traffic misdemeanor and leads to:

  • Possibility of 10 to 90 days in jail
  • $150 to $300 in fines
  • Five points to a driver’s license
  • Possible community service
  • Vehicle may be impounded
  • Possible installation of an immobilization device for up to 14 days (or 14 to 30 days for subsequent offenses)

 

At-fault Accidents in Colorado

What is An At-fault Accident in Colorado?

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 percent 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:

  • $25, 000 for bodily injury or death to one person
  • $50, 000 for bodily injury or death to two or more people
  • $15, 000 for property damage

Penalties for At-fault Accidents in Colorado

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:

  • At least $500 in fines
  • License suspension until insurance is purchased
  • Up to 40 hours of community service

A second offense for driving without insurance in Colorado results in:

  • At least $1, 000 in fines
  • License suspension for four months
  • Up to 40 hours of community service

A third offense for driving without insurance in Colorado subjects violators to:

  • At least $1, 000 in fines
  • License suspension for eight months
  • Up to 40 hours of community service

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:

Don't forget to share!