Colorado is an expensive state for car insurance with an average premium around $1,757 per year. We researched the cheapest insurers in Colorado to see how you can save money on car insurance.
We sampled information from a number of sources and developed a range of what cheap car insurance usually costs per year in Colorado. We based these samples on a driver with at least a decade of driving experience, a clean driving record, driving one of America’s most popular, non-exotic vehicles.
The important thing to remember is that insurance rates can vary widely, and prices can change almost daily. This range is only a GUIDE to give you a basic idea about the rates insurance companies charge today in Colorado.
DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your car, crossover, or truck. We’ll provide info on some of those variables, but your best bet is to read our deep dive on Cheap Car Insurance for 2021 to get a better idea.
Best Large Insurance Carrier - In Colorado, our analysis points to GEICO as the most affordable national, brand-name insurance company. State Farm and USAA have comparatively low rates in certain categories as well.
Cheapest Insurance with Bad Credit - Based on multiple points of data we found, GEICO has the lead here for folks who have a bad credit rating.
Cheapest Insurance with One Accident - GEICO is also the cheapest when you have had a mishap. Esurance may also be with a look.
Cheapest Insurance for Higher Mileage - GEICO again. The no-middle man insurer seems to be taking a strong run at the state of Colorado.
In Car Talk’s deep dive on affordable car insurance for 2020, we found that a national average for auto insurance was $1,341. In Colorado, depending on what city and county you live in, you’re probably going to be paying up to 22% more. Our latest research also revealed that the overall average has gone up slightly in 2021 to is about $1,757 in Colorado.
|Rates we found reported as “typical” or “average” (annual) online||Average (annual)||Adjusted average* (annual)|
|State Farm||$426, $1,645, $1,868, $1,984||$1,480||$1,757|
|Nationwide||$1,209, $1,874, $2,039||$1,698||N/A|
(*) The “adjusted average” is computed by eliminating the highest and lowest values and averaging the remaining values.
(**) You may need to be, or have been a service member to apply.
Compare quotes from multiple providers to get a good deal.
Let’s start by asking, “Why is insurance expensive in Colorado in the first place.” There are some factual answers. The first being hail. Colorado is near the top of the list of states with hail damage claims.
Next up, sensimilla. In every state but one, insurance premiums rose when marijuana was legalized. Sing the anthem of the state along with us, “Friends around the campfire and everybody's high…” Actually, John Denver meant, “Everybody’s insurance premiums are high.”
Crashing your car means you win the bet. You just beat your insurer who was betting that you would not crash. Now you have to pay up going forward. The house always wins. If you rub fenders with another motorist, your insurance rate is going to go up. Exactly how much is known only to the insurer you have. Colorado is one of the majority states that uses a “fault” system. That can actually help reduce costs overall. But it can also mean costly lawsuits.
Here are the best estimates we could find from various sources on how much one accident will raise your policy premium in Colorado:
|Range of Rate Increases for One Accident||Average of Rate Increases||Adjusted Average of Rate Increases|
|26%, 31%, 32%, 44%||33%||31.5%|
This information is just an approximation. Many factors can change how much your insurance goes up after you have one accident. For example, if you’ve paid more in your annual insurance cost to be a part of an accident forgiveness program, your increase for one accident is nothing, but your overall cost of insurance is higher every year than if you hadn’t. Almost all of the insurers on our list above of cheap insurance providers, and many others, offer this option which was popularized by Allstate.
Breaking traffic laws gives your insurer an excuse to raise rates. And they are not going to pass up that chance. How much the sting will be in Colorado varies based on the type of ticket and the severity of the offense. And those rates will not go up for just one year, but two.
Here is the data we could dig up on the percent increase range a ticket will raise your car insurance policy premium in Colorado. For information on how Colorado’s courts handle ticket traffic school, check out Car Talk’s deep dive on the subject.
|Range of Rate Increases for One Speeding Violation||Average of Rate Increases||Adjusted Average of Rate Increases|
|19%, 20%, 24%, 27%||23%||22%|
The most significant discount you can realize in Colorado is to move to a location with lower rates. Even just being outside of the downtown area can help. Move to a county or city or town with lower claim rates and you may save as much as 30% per year. We looked at the comparative costs of insurance in Colorado and found that Fort Collins, home of Colorado State, (Go Rams!) was one of the least expensive cities. Denver is one of the most. But moving comes with a lifestyle change many are not willing to make.
The easier way to manage your insurance costs is to avoid crashing and getting traffic tickets. And your car and phone apps can help. Avoiding accidents has gotten easier in recent years as vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems have become the norm, even in affordable vehicles like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Ironically, insurers don’t discount cars with those systems yet because they cost a lot to repair (so they say…)
Avoiding speeding tickets in Colorado is harder than in some states. The speed limit in Texas on a lonely state highway is as much as 15 MPH higher than in Colorado. However, apps like Google Maps Waze to help you know where the speed traps are and warn you to slow down.
We also have an entire story on the tens of thousands of discount programs available, based on memberships, military service, and other associations. Some of the more common meaningful discounts relate to low mileage driving, bundling with your home owner’s policy, and carrying high deductibles. Students take note: Many insurers will offer good students a discount. Parents take note: If your kid is at college more than 100 miles away you may see big savings.
Insurance is required by law in Colorado. To drive in Colorado, you must have at least $25,000 in liability coverage for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage per accident. This basic coverage is called 25/15/50. Almost no homeowner with any assets will buy just the basic coverage required by law. More typical is coverage on the order of 100/300/50. It seems unfair, but that’s the way it works when you have assets to protect
Nearly every state’s minimum is way too low. If you have a vehicle loan or lease, or own a home, you will find that you are required to carry higher levels of coverage to satisfy other agreements and responsibilities you have. Our focus in this story is on cheap car insurance.
Compare quotes from multiple providers to get a good deal.
Insurance rates vary greatly between carriers and even between policyholders. Our research showed that GEICO has the best rates. If you fall into any of the categories that bump up rates, you may be better off with a smaller carrier looking to exploit certain niches. If you are a service member, definitely cross-shop USAA.
The short answer is “Because you live in Colorado.” Beyond that, your age, marital status, the city or town you live in, your credit score, and your driving record all have an influence.
There’s no tried-and-true rule for getting cheap car insurance. The best rates available to you will depend on where you live, your driving record, the coverage you need, the type of vehicle you own, and other factors like your credit score. Also, make the carrier aware of other memberships or special circumstances you have. If you’re a veteran, active military, senior citizen, or if you have a membership to an organization like AAA or AARP, you may be eligible for discounted or special rates.
Years ago, only a few companies offered online applications for their insurance policies, but that has changed in recent years. Almost all insurance carriers offer an online-only option to apply for coverage now, so it’s just a matter of shopping around. Data reported on multiple sources shows that USAA is still one of the most affordable options, but well-known insurance carriers State Farm aren’t far behind for many people.
Unsurprisingly, some car insurers have been called out by their customers for having poor customer service and in some cases unexpected rate changes. We recommend checking recent online reviews before you switch to a new carrier.
Unfortunately, yes. The Federal Trade Commission found that low credit scores were relatively accurate predictors of a driver’s risk for an accident. As a result, insurance companies will sometimes charge higher rates and have more restrictive coverage offerings for people with spotty credit histories. Colorado is one of the 40 states that allow your credit score to impact your annual insurance cost.
There is no state law in Colorado mandating low-income car insurance.
Full coverage costs vary by carrier. GEICO, USAA, and State Farm are all among the cheapest full coverage providers in Colorado.
Colorado requires insurance by law. If you are unable to afford any coverage, the best option will be finding alternative transportation like Uber and Lyft.
One day insurance can be very helpful if you’re buying a car or moving a vehicle from one location or another. You can also buy temporary coverage and supplemental coverage for special activities like track days and off-roading.
Shopping around is the best strategy to find the best rates. Companies will often compete with each other for your business. You can also take advantage of any other memberships you might have, like AAA or AARP for discounts.
No. Lying about any part of your insurance application can result in lost coverage, uncovered accidents, or legal action.
An older car is not always cheaper to insure. Insurance companies use complex algorithms with many factors to set a price. The value of the vehicle does matter.
It goes up. A lot. On the order of 22% for minor offenses and DUI convictions can be game changers. The insurance increases will likely be much more of a financial hit than the actual traffic fine.
Car insurance becomes expensive for people with spotty driving records, poor credit, or for those that live in extremely congested areas with other people that get into lots of accidents. Insurance is a numbers game, and companies are constantly trying to adjust their rates to match their perceived level of risk.