What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Colorado?

If you want to operate a vehicle in Colorado, you need to carry insurance. Your policy must have at least 25/50/10 liability limits to meet the minimum car insurance requirement in Colorado. It covers the following:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage

Although this fulfills Colorado’s minimum car insurance requirements, sometimes purchasing a policy with higher limits is better. There are several factors to consider when calculating how much insurance you need in Colorado.

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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

25/50/15 limits mean your insurer will cover third-party costs from medical fees up to $50,000 for each accident, with a $25,000 limit per individual. They also cover $15,000 worth of property damage.

Understanding what your liability limits mean is crucial because Colorado is an at-fault state. It means you’re obliged to cover the other driver’s medical and repair expenses if you cause an accident. Costs from accidents are usually higher than the state minimum coverage threshold — once you’ve exhausted your limits, you’ll have to pay for the remaining amount from your pocket. Increasing your limits is typically encouraged — it may raise your annual premium, but it provides you more protection while driving.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Colorado?

The average cost of car insurance in Colorado is $1,450 per year. You may get a significantly different rate when applying for quotes since insurers consider several factors when setting premiums. These include your age, driving experience, driving history and credit score. Which city you live in and the provider you choose also affects your rates.

USAA offers the cheapest minimum liability insurance in Colorado at $295 per year on average. Their policies, however, are only available to present and former members of the military and their families. A more widely available option is GEICO — you can purchase a policy with similar coverage for an annual average premium of $373.

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Colorado driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

The table above shows rates for policies with Colorado’s minimum car insurance requirements of 25/50/15. MoneyGeek used the profile of a 40-year-old male with no violations and good credit driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in Colorado.

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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Colorado While Leasing a Car?

If you want to lease a car in Colorado, you still have to purchase insurance. Having a policy with limits following Colorado’s minimum car insurance requirements may not suffice. Insurance requirements for car leases in Colorado are different from those of the state because each lender sets its own minimums.

Most leasing companies require you to have full coverage insurance, meaning it includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Liability limits should also typically be at least 100/300/50.

If you’re planning to lease a car, make sure to call your leasing company and ask for specific details about their process and requirements.

MoneyGeek recommends getting full coverage car insurance with liability limits of at least 50/100/50. You may also consider adding uninsured motorist insurance to your policy, even if it isn’t part of Colorado’s car insurance requirements. 16.3% of Colorado drivers do not have insurance — if you get into an accident with one of them, you may not receive compensation for your expenses even if they were at fault. These are factors you need to consider when figuring out how much car insurance you need.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Colorado

There are steep penalties in Colorado for drivers caught driving with no insurance. These are as follows:

  • Fines worth at least $500 for the first offense and at least $1,000 for subsequent offenses
  • Up to 40 hours of community service
  • Suspension of your driver's license until you provide proof of insurance
  • 4 points against your driver’s license

If you want to have your driver’s license reinstated, you must pay a $40 fee. You’ll also need to file for an SR-22 and carry it for three years.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Colorado

Drivers who want to understand Colorado’s car insurance laws have several questions. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked ones.

Yes, you are required to carry car insurance in Colorado. Drivers must be able to show proof of financial responsibility if the police pull them over. Driving uninsured in Colorado may result in various penalties, including fines, community service and license suspension.

You need to show proof of insurance to get your car registered in Colorado. The other requirements are as follows:

  • VIN verification certificate
  • Photo ID
  • Emission test results

If you previously lived elsewhere and registered your car there, you also need to show an out-of-state title and registration.

The minimum car insurance requirement in Colorado is a policy with 25/50/15 coverage limits. It means your insurance protects you against the cost of damages from the other driver’s medical and repair expenses if you are at fault in an accident.

Generally, insurance follows the car, not the driver. If you give someone permission to drive your car and they cause an accident, your policy will cover the other driver’s damages.

That said, it has its benefits. If you have a medical condition that no longer allows you to drive, you’ll still be protected on the road even if someone else is behind the wheel. The same logic applies to car owners who have private drivers chauffeuring them.

Purchasing car insurance without a driver’s license may be challenging since it’s one of the first things insurers ask for, but it is possible. Although it’s not legally required, some insurers may not allow you to purchase policies without it.

If you don’t have a driver’s license, an option is to purchase your policy from small, regional companies or local independent agents.

Colorado is a tort state. It means if you get into an accident and are found to be at fault, you have to pay for the other driver’s expenses for injuries and property damage. If these exceed your policy’s liability limits, you’ll have to use your savings to cover the rest.

PIP is not required in Colorado due to it being an at-fault state. All policies, however, automatically have MedPay coverage worth $5,000. Since it is not part of Colorado’s car insurance requirements, you can refuse it in writing.

Uninsured motorists are not part of Colorado’s minimum car insurance requirements, but you may want to add this coverage to your policy. Colorado has the 13th-most uninsured drivers in the nation. Uninsured motorist coverage can help you with damages in case of a collision with one of these drivers.

If your car sustains damages in an accident, its value decreases even after extensive repairs. Colorado is one of the states where you can file for diminished value compensation. It’s even possible to file a diminished value claim if you are uninsured.

You must file the claim within two years of when the accident happened for it to be processed. However, you cannot claim diminished value if you were at fault or if something other than a collision caused the damage.

Your car insurance requirements significantly change after a DUI. For one thing, you’ll need to file SR-22 insurance and carry it for a time. It tells insurers that you’re a high-risk driver, which typically results in higher premiums when you renew your policy. The difference in rates is considerable. A driver with no violations pays $1,450 annually on average. Having a DUI on your record increases it to around $2,187 per year.

There are only five states requiring car owners to complete a CARCO inspection before they can buy insurance. Colorado isn’t one of them.

A CARCO inspection is a pre-insurance review of your car’s condition. Car insurance providers sometimes use it to prevent the fraudulent filing of claims.

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About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.