Colorado Car Insurance
When buying an insurance policy in Colorado there are a variety of requirements that must be met in order for the policy to satisfy Colorado State law. The most obvious requirement that drivers in Colorado have to meet is maintaining minimum levels of liability coverage on their vehicle. These minimum levels are set by the state government and are mandatory for every Colorado resident that wants to operate a vehicle on a public road. The liability coverage required by the state of Colorado consists of three different categories, bodily injury to a single person, bodily injury for a single accident and property damage. The minimum required coverage for bodily injury to a single person is $25,000 while the single accident minimum is set at $50,000. The property damage minimum required by the state is the lowest of the three and sits at $15,000. While there are other types of insurance coverage available to Colorado drivers only the liability coverage, which protects the policy holder from financial liability if they are responsible for an accident, is required by Colorado State car insurance law. In addition to minimum coverage requirements the state of Colorado also requires its residents to carry proof of insurance with them at all times while driving a vehicle. If a driver is pulled over or is involved in an accident and cannot provide proof of insurance to the officer on the scene they may be issued a citation as well as other penalties. There are a few different documents that will satisfy Colorado’s proof of insurance requirement, including an insurance card issued by the insurance company, a copy of the insurance policy itself, the declaration page from the policy or even a letter from the insurance company on company letterhead verifying that a vehicle is covered. All acceptable forms of proof of insurance in Colorado must include the VIN number of the vehicle, the make, model and year of the vehicle as well as the period of coverage.
The penalties for not adhering to state regulations regarding car insurance in Colorado tend to be rather severe in comparison to many other states. For first time offenders caught driving without car insurance on their vehicle the penalty in a mandatory $500 fine in addition to four points being attached to the driver’s license. While the monetary fine is larger for first offenders in most states the points that are attached to the driver’s license can also have a significant financial impact since they will result in higher insurance premiums. A second offense will carry an even heavier penalty in the form of a $1,000 fine and a four month suspension of the driver’s license. A third offense will also result in a $1,000 fine though instead of a four month suspension the driver’s license will be suspended for 8 months and the driver will be order to serve 40 hours of community service as punishment. With each offense the insurance premiums for the offending driver will continue to increase substantially, resulting in an even heavier financial burden.
In addition to minimum car insurance requirements the state of Colorado also requires insurance companies to offer certain other types of insurance to drivers even though the law does not require the driver to actually purchase the type of coverage. For example, Colorado insurance law requires insurance companies to offer their customers both uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage in the same amount of the bodily injury coverage they have. If a driver purchases $100,000 in bodily injury coverage the insurance company will be required to offer them t least $100,000 in uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage. Starting in January of 2009 car insurance companies that do business in Colorado are also required to offer their customers at least $5,000 in medical payments coverage. Every time an auto insurance policy is purchased in Colorado this coverage is automatically added to the premium unless the driver actively opts out of the coverage and has it removed from their policy. Collision coverage, which covers the policy holder’s vehicle from damage sustained in an accident, is another type of coverage that the state of Colorado requires insurance companies to offer.
Colorado car insurance law also covers many subtleties often over looked by drivers, such as the cancellation of the insurance policy and the potential grace period. Many states require insurance companies to allow their customers to have a grace period during which their insurance remains active even if they have not paid the bill. However, in Colorado there is no legally required grace period and unless the premium payment is received before or on the date it is due the insurance company is within its right to deny coverage for any accident that results immediately afterwards. Colorado also regulates the cancellation of car insurance policies before they expire. The only way a policy can be canceled before the term is up is if the policy holder is found to have lied on the application, they have failed to make a payment or if their license has been suspended.