Colorado’s increasing population has been one reason for increasing auto accidents. Here is a guide to the type of coverage you are legally obligated to hold.

Does Colorado Require Minimum Coverage?

Almost every state, including Colorado, requires motorists to have vehicle insurance. In the event of an auto accident, auto insurance — or the lack thereof — plays an important role in determining whose company pays for what.

Insurance Terms You Should Know

Insurance is important, yet it can be very complicated. Here are some basic terms to help you understand auto insurance coverage.

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for injuries to other people when the insured driver is at fault.
  • Collision coverage pays for damage to your vehicle if you hit another car or some other object.
  • Comprehensive coverage pays for your loss if your automobile is stolen or is damaged by fire, theft, flood, earthquake, explosions, falling objects, or wildlife. In short, pretty much any harm that doesn’t involve a collision.
  • Medical payments coverage (med pay or MPC) pays for your medical bills and funeral expenses and those of your passengers no matter who was at fault for an accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage pays for the damage your vehicle inflicts on someone else’s property (car, buildings, or other structures).
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage pays for your medical expenses if you are involved in an accident with a liable driver who either has no coverage or does not have enough coverage to pay your bills.

It is important to understand the various types of coverage. Not all auto policies are the same, and Colorado has specific requirements regarding the coverage that drivers here must have.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Colorado

In Colorado, drivers must carry bodily injury liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person or $50,000 per accident and must carry property damage coverage of $15,000 per accident.

Colorado insurers are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in the same amount as the bodily injury liability limits selected by the insured unless the person being insured waives the UM/UIM coverage in writing. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, “You may select limits starting at $25,000/$50,000 (same as Colorado’s minimum liability limits) on up to the same amount of liability coverage you purchase on your own policy.”

Auto insurance companies doing business in Colorado are required to offer $5,000 in medical payments coverage to customers. Whether they are purchasing new coverage or renewing an existing policy, this coverage will be added to a policy automatically unless the customer opts out. Colorado law requires that the insurer hold $5,000 of medical pay coverage for 30 days to pay trauma bills first. As in the case of UM/UIM coverage, customers may reject med pay, but only in writing.

Colorado law does not require that motorists carry collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. But a bank may require the latter if the motorist has a loan on his vehicle.

Don’t Skimp on Insurance Coverage

Many people carry only the minimum insurance required in their state because they are trying to save money. But it is a good idea to buy more than the minimum auto insurance coverage to protect your assets. The damages caused by a car accident in Colorado can be considerable, enough to quickly wipe out your savings and assets if the accident was your fault but you don’t have enough coverage. Once the limits of your coverage are reached, you are personally responsible for the rest.

Spending money on insurance isn’t fun, but the coverage will probably come in handy at some point. So buy a policy that will fully protect you if disaster strikes.

Contact an experienced Colorado auto accident attorney.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Colorado motor vehicle accident, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Rosen online or call 303-454-8000 or 800-ROSEN-911 to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney today.

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