In Colorado, all drivers are required to purchase car insurance for when they are out on the road. Get caught without the specified minimum amount and you could end up in trouble with the law. Motorists are also responsible for keeping up with the current car insurance laws so that in the event of an accident, they are not left wondering what to do. Rules and regulations are constantly changing and to help individuals stay safe while behind the wheel, we have outlined the Colorado insurance laws that every driver should know.
Minimum Liability Insurance
Auto insurance companies typically offer drivers a myriad of different policies, however, Colorado motorists are required by law to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance. This is the policy that will pay for a victim’s damages if the insured driver is responsible for an accident.
As of 2019, the minimum requirements for liability insurance in Colorado include:
- Bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage coverage of $15,000 per accident
Currently, motorists are not required to purchase a personal injury protection (PIP) policy, uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), or medical payment coverage. These are typically sold together with liability insurance and can provide additional coverage in the event that you are involved in a crash with a driver without insurance or if your losses exceed the limits of their policy. Under current law, all insurers in the state must provide UM/UIM coverage in an amount equal to the policyholder's current level of liability coverage for bodily injury, unless this coverage is waived by the policyholder in writing. A policyholder making such a rejection may opt to carry a lower level of coverage or reject coverage completely.
Comprehensive and collision coverage are also optional in the state of Colorado. Comprehensive insurance protects against other types of damage not related to collisions, such as fires, natural disasters, theft, and vandalism. Collision insurance pays for damage to a vehicle from a collision with another vehicle or object. While not required by law, lenders may sometimes include this coverage as a requirement for vehicle financing.
Colorado Is a “Fault” Car Insurance State
Currently, Colorado car insurance claims are handled on a “fault” or “tort” based system. This means that a driver who is “at-fault” for an accident can be responsible for compensating victims for their damages and injuries. For an injured party to be successful in their claim it must be shown that (1) the at-fault party owed them a duty of care, (2) the other driver acted negligently, and (3) the negligent action directly led to the accident and resulting injuries.
Injured drivers can seek compensation under a tort system through methods including:
- Filing a claim with their own insurer (if the driver purchased coverage prior to an accident)
- Filing a claim with the negligent parties insurer (a third party claim)
- Filing a lawsuit against the negligent party to recover damages
Car accident claims were not always handled this way and prior to 2003, Colorado was among the minority of states that institute “no-fault” auto insurance laws. A no-fault system does not require drivers to prove negligence occurred. Instead, each party involved in an accident must seek compensation through their own insurance company regardless of who was at fault.
Legal Help for Car Accident Victims
While car insurance laws may seem straightforward on paper, when an accident occurs, determining liability and collecting restitution can be tremendously complex. At the Law Firm of Ted Bills, we possess more than a decade of experience advocating for the injured and have recovered more than $25 million for our clients in past cases. If you have questions about the nature of your accident or what you can expect going forward, we invite you to request a no-cost case evaluation with our Colorado Springs car accident attorneys and get the answers you need.
Call (719) 359-9000 to learn about your legal options as well as where you stand in your case.