You may have seen recent news reports about insurance rates climbing in Colorado, and there are a few reasons for that. One of the reasons may surprise you. It has nothing to do with you and your insurer. Instead, it may have to do with a small percentage of car owners and their insurance carriers.
Good Drivers Pay for Bad Drivers’ Mistakes
About 7 percent of Colorado drivers are unable to purchase car insurance from the better-known and better-financed insurance companies. Those with speeding tickets or a DUI on their records may have to turn to smaller, nonstandard carriers. However, when those same drivers switch to a standard carrier, guess who has to pay more? The bottom line is that good drivers subsidize higher-risk drivers, and that does one thing — it causes rates to go up. Of course, there are other reasons.
More Coloradans Means More Accidents
The population of Colorado is growing. As a matter of fact, close to 101,000 new residents were recorded in 2014-2015, making it the second-fastest growing state in the country. From 2010 through 2015, Colorado’s population grew by 408,320, for a total of about 5.4 million residents.
While that’s good for the state’s economy, it also means more people on the roads, which undoubtedly will lead to more car accidents in Colorado, including fatal ones. State officials noted that last year, there was a spike in the number of fatal car crashes — 608, or 24 percent more than in 2014.
With each crash, insurance companies are paying out claims. This surge in claims is another factor causing insurance rates to go up.
In Colorado, you’re not required to carry uninsured-underinsured insurance coverage, and more and more people aren’t. But it’s a good thing to consider even though it raises your premium because it covers medical and other expenses incurred if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have adequate auto insurance.
Weather and Car Insurance
Population growth isn’t the only area where Colorado comes in second. The Centennial State also ranks second when it comes to weather-related auto claims, specifically, hail damage. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, in 2013-2015, more than 180,000 claims were submitted in the state due to hail damage.
Colorado’s Front Range sees considerable hail from mid-April through mid-August, which is why it’s called “Hail Alley.” The Front Range receives more frequent and larger hailstorms than anywhere in North America. In the past decade, hailstorms have caused more than $3 billion in insured damage in Colorado.
So there are many factors causing a rise in insurance rates. Being a good driver is one way you can try to keep your rates as low as possible. Avoid speeding tickets and any type of infraction involving driving under the influence. Not heeding this advice could cause your rates to increase — in some instances, by a lot.