Cheapest car insurance in Colorado for 2021

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Colorado is prone to icy roads and road rage fatalities. Despite this, the state’s car insurance rates fall somewhere in the middle comparative to other states and the national average. Colorodans pay annual rates of $518 for minimum coverage and $2,016 for full coverage. Many drivers wonder how they can get the cheapest car insurance without sacrificing decent coverage.

Bankrate assessed multiple car insurance companies located in Colorado to find the cheapest car insurance companies available to drivers. We also included considerations for customer satisfaction scores from the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Study and available coverages and discounts.

The cheapest car insurance companies in Colorado

Colorado drivers have several companies to choose from when looking for cheap car insurance. The following five companies have average annual premiums that fall well below Colorado’s average rates.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Auto-Owners $479 $1,951
Farmers $488 $1,883
Geico $283 $1,106
State Farm $435 $1,696
USAA $303 $1,310

Auto-Owners

Despite being based in Michigan, Auto-Owners is well known and includes coverage for Colorado motorists in its 26 states of operation. Along with its consistent rankings as a top insurance company, Auto-Owners generally offers affordable rates for Colorado drivers. The car insurance company also offers all of the standard coverage options such as liability, collision and comprehensive coverages, plus a range of extra endorsements to help policyholders tailor their policies to their needs. Auto-Owners provides more discounts and savings through bundling options for drivers who own homes as well.

Geico

Geico has a reputation for offering some of the lowest rates in the auto insurance industry. Even with its affordable rates, Geico provides competitive customer service. The provider places 12th out of 24 ranked companies for customer claims satisfaction, scoring just one point below industry average.

Not only does Geico have some of the lowest rates on the market, but it also has one of the most extensive lists of discounts available. The company offers its customers 16 ways to save on their insurance premiums. Discounts include those for vehicle safety equipment, driver safety, driver education, customer loyalty and membership with certain organizations or employers.

Farmers

Farmers ranks 10th in customer satisfaction for auto insurance claims and is one of the largest insurers in the U.S by market share. Although the company initially started off as providing insurance to rural farmers, Farmers now offers coverage nationwide, including to Colorado’s more than four million licensed drivers. Its coverage options are extensive with standard coverages, like collision and roadside assistance, and standout features like spare parts coverage and guaranteed value for total losses.

Like some other providers, Farmers also offers accident forgiveness. However, its take on the coverage may be more appealing for higher risk drivers as Farmers will forgive an accident once every three years you go accident-free.

State Farm

State Farm is the top provider of car insurance in terms of market share. Not only does the company write the most policies, but it also offers them at low prices on average. Additionally, State Farm offers 13 discounts customers may be able to use to reduce their premiums even more. One of the company’s featured discounts is its Drive Safe & Save program, which reduces a driver’s premiums over time as safe driving habits are tracked.

Another advantage is that State Farm does not always increase a customer’s premiums after a not-at-fault accident, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America. While this may not always be the case, it could be worth asking an agent about.

USAA

USAA is one of the best car insurance companies with the highest customer satisfaction rating, according to J.D. Power auto insurance surveys. USAA consistently receives above average ratings from J.D. Power and its 2020 survey results are no exceptions. However, because USAA is only available to active and retired military members, the company is considered rank-ineligible. With its affordable costs at $303 per year for minimum coverage and $1,310 per year for full coverage for Colorado drivers and its extensive list of discounts, coverage options and add-ons, it is not surprising that USAA is included in our list. Eligible members who want to merge affordable premiums with dedicated coverage for military personnel may find USAA to be a suitable option.

Affordable coverage for Colorado drivers

Colorado state law requires that drivers carry liability insurance, including bodily injury and property damage coverage. The state requires the following minimum coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident
  • $15,000 for property damage in any one accident

These minimum coverages will compensate any other drivers in an accident where the insured is at fault. Purchasing only the minimum coverage will result in the lowest premium rates, but there may be other risks to consider.

While sticking to the minimum coverages will save you the most money on your monthly premiums, drivers may opt to purchase more coverage to avoid bigger financial losses in case of an accident. Colorado’s minimum coverage requirements only include liability. By purchasing the minimum amounts of insurance, your insurer will only cover the other driver’s losses in an at-fault accident. Without collision or comprehensive coverage, your policy excludes any damage to your vehicle or person, which could leave you financially strapped.

How to get cheap car insurance in Colorado

While your insurance provider sets your premiums, there are plenty of things you can do to find the cheapest car insurance available to you:

  • Shop around: Rates can vary significantly by individual and from one company to the next. Ultimately, each person should shop around for the company that offers the lowest rate for their unique situation.
  • Increase your deductibles: There is typically a direct relationship between your insurance deductibles and your premiums. The higher the deductibles, the lower the premiums, and vice versa. If you are comfortable with paying a higher cost in an accident, opting for higher deductibles can reduce your monthly expense.
  • Bundle your policies: Nearly every insurance company offers a multi-policy discount for customers with two or more policies with the same company. By bundling your auto insurance with your homeowners or renters insurance, you could save money on your premiums.
  • Pay your full premium up-front: Insurance companies default to charging customers a monthly rate, but policies typically cover a period of six months. Most carriers offer a discount when you pay your full premium up-front. If you switch providers during your policy, insurers will usually refund the unused premium.
  • Take advantage of discounts: All of the largest insurance carriers offer discounts for their auto policies. Some of the most commonly available include good driver discounts, good student discounts, and discounts for vehicle safety features. Some discounts apply automatically to your policy if you qualify, while others require you to opt-in.

Frequently asked questions

What determines someone’s car insurance premiums?

Many factors can impact the car insurance rates you’re eligible for. Factors that can increase or decrease your policy include:

  • Driving record: Those with accidents or violations on their driving record can generally expect to pay more for car insurance than if they had a clean driving record.
  • Age: Insurance rates tend to drop after someone turns 25, as older drivers tend to have fewer accidents.
  • Gender: Women tend to be safer drivers and have cleaner driving records. As a result, they may pay lower premiums.
  • Credit: Studies have linked credit to driving history — those with poor credit are more likely to file claims. As a result, poor credit tends to result in higher premiums.
  • Vehicle: Carriers may offer lower rates to those with safer cars and those that are more affordable to repair.
  • Coverage amount: You can expect your rates to increase in correlation with the amount of coverage you purchase.
  • Location: Living in an area with a high crime rate can often increase your premiums.

How do Colorado’s car insurance premiums compare with the rest of the country?

While minimum coverage premiums in Colorado are just slightly below the national average and fall in the middle compared to other U.S. states, Colorado’s average full coverage premiums are on the higher end at $2,016 per year. Car insurance costs have been shown to rise yearly in the state. Suspected causes of the spike include increased hailstorms and the legalization of recreational marijuana.

How quickly can I get car insurance in Colorado?

With most of the major insurance carriers, you can purchase an auto policy that is effective immediately, as long as you have the right documentation. It might be worth waiting, though — some companies offer a discount for drivers who sign up for their policy a certain number of days before it goes into effect.

What is the best car insurance in Colorado?

Colorado drivers have plenty of excellent car insurance companies to choose from, depending on what factors are most important to them in a carrier. Many drivers choose to compare coverage options and opt for providers that have multiple local agents or that offer several applicable discounts.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Written by
Grace Kim
Insurance Contributor
Grace Kim has two years of experience in writing for finance and insurance domains such as The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in New Jersey at Bankrate and Reviews.com. She has written about auto, homeowners, renters and life insurance. She holds an M.Sc from New York University in Corporate Communications and has spent most of her professional experience writing about finance and tech topics.