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Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Colorado

traffic in dowtown Denver, Colorado
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traffic in dowtown Denver, Colorado
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Data shows that Colorado is home to a significant number of high-risk drivers. There were 636 fatal accidents that occurred in Colorado in 2021, the highest rate since 2002. Plus, data shows that more than 16.3% of Colorado drivers are uninsured, despite car insurance being a legal requirement in this state. In general, drivers that fall into the high-risk category pay higher car insurance premiums than drivers who are seen as less risky by insurers.

But while high-risk car insurance is more expensive on average, the good news is that you can typically find affordable car insurance in Colorado, if you know where to look. To help you find the best high-risk auto insurance in Colorado, Bankrate reviewed average rate data from some of the top providers for drivers with a variety of high-risk infractions. For the purposes of this article, Bankrate defines a high-risk driver as an individual with an at-fault accident, speeding ticket, DUI conviction or lapse in insurance violation on their record.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in Colorado

High-risk drivers who have serious violations on their record typically have to pay higher than average auto insurance rates. Whether you get a speeding ticket, cause an accident or get convicted of a DUI, rate increases are likely to occur. For example, after a DUI, Progressive customers typically see their rate increase by an average of 13%. However, the actual rate increase you will encounter will depend on the type of violation, the number of offenses on your record, your age and your insurance company, just to name a few factors.

Rates after a speeding ticket

Speeding is a factor in about 40% of all fatal accidents in Colorado. If you have a ticket on your record, you could be looking at a rate increase that exceeds 50%, depending on your insurance provider. The table below illustrates how a few insurance companies in Colorado respond to drivers with a speeding ticket on their record.

Car insurance company Colorado average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket Colorado average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket % difference
Geico $1,106 $1,681 52%
Allstate $1,711 $2,227 30%
MetLife $2,550 $2,612 2%

It is important to note that these rate increases reflect a driver with just one speeding ticket. If you already have a speeding ticket on your driving record, your rates will likely be even higher.

Rates after an accident

If you have caused an accident in Colorado, you can expect the average cost of car insurance to increase. Drivers in Colorado could see rate increases higher than 60% depending on their insurance company. The table below reflects the rate increases drivers can expect from some of the car insurance companies in the state.

Car insurance company Colorado average annual premium for full coverage before an accident Colorado average annual premium for full coverage after an accident % difference
State Farm $1,696 $1,834 8%
Farmers $1,883 $3,121 66%
Colorado Farm Bureau $2,870 $3,509 22%

Some auto insurance providers offer accident forgiveness programs, allowing drivers to accumulate one at-fault accident on their record without seeing their premium increase. However, you will typically need to have this endorsement on your policy prior to an accident happening to take advantage of its features. Talking to your insurance agent may help you gather more information about your company’s accident forgiveness program, if one is offered.

Rates after a DUI

In Colorado, alcohol impairment contributed to 30% of all traffic fatalities in 2019. Driving under the influence is a serious situation. Not only will drivers see a significant premium increase, but they may also be required to show proof of an SR-22 certification — a document that insurance companies file for certain high-risk drivers that certifies to the DMV that they hold the minimum state required car insurance coverage.

In addition to premium increases, you may face jail time, fines or license suspension or revocation following a DUI. As outlined in the table below, the high-risk car insurance rate increases that occur following a DUI in Colorado can be substantial.

Car insurance company Colorado average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI Colorado average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI % difference
Geico $1,106 $3,227 192%
Acuity $1,872 $3,187 70%
Grange $2,010 $2,465 23%

Also, some companies may not be willing to renew your auto insurance policy following a DUI conviction, meaning you will need to look for car insurance with a new company.

Rates for teen drivers

Driver inexperience was the leading factor in injury and fatal accidents among young drivers in Colorado in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are at the highest risk of motor vehicle crashes when compared to every other age group. For this reason, teenagers can expect to pay higher rates for their car insurance coverage than their adult counterparts. The following table illustrates the average cost of insurance for a policyholder adding a 16-year-old driver to their policy.

Car insurance company Average annual premium for full coverage
Nationwide $1,211
American Family $2,779
Progressive $4,931

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

These premiums reflect the difference for adding the teen, not the entire policy premium. After your teen driver enters adulthood, rates will generally decrease with time and experience.

Who is a high-risk driver?

Bankrate defines a high-risk driver as one who has at least one of the following traffic violations on their record:

  • At-fault accident
  • Speeding ticket
  • DUI conviction
  • Lapse in coverage

This definition is not the standard definition used by insurance carriers when determining your rates. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a high-risk driver is simply a driver who has a higher likelihood of filing a claim with their insurance company than what is considered average. You might be considered high-risk if:

  • You have been convicted of a DUI.
  • You have received a speeding ticket.
  • You were involved in illegal street racing.
  • You have been caught driving without a license.
  • You drive recklessly.
  • You have caused a fatality or serious accident.
  • You are a teenager.
  • You have a poor driving record.
  • You own a high-risk vehicle, such as a sports car, exotic car or collectible car.
  • You have had a lapse in insurance coverage.
  • You are 70 years old or older.
  • You have caused accidents resulting in property damage.

When it comes to your auto insurance, knowing if you are classified as a high-risk driver could help you to identify potential savings opportunities.

How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver

Although high-risk drivers do pay more for insurance than drivers with clean records, there are ways to help lower insurance costs. High-risk drivers in Colorado can try the following tips to help reduce their high-risk auto insurance premiums:

  • Shop around: Every insurance carrier offers different rates, so it can be helpful to shop around to find the coverage you need at the lowest price.
  • Improve your credit score: Your insurance provider may review your credit rating to assess your risk profile. By improving your credit score, you could lower your perceived risk to insurers.
  • Increase your deductible: One easy way to reduce your premium is by increasing your deductible. The more money you are willing to pay out of pocket when you file a claim, the lower your premium will be. Be sure to choose a deductible level that you can reasonably afford to pay if you file a claim.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts that can make a significant impact on your insurance costs. Talk to your insurance provider to find out what discounts it offers and which you might qualify for.

One of the most effective things that high-risk drivers can do to reduce their car insurance rates is to improve their driving behaviors. Having issues like tickets, accidents and DUIs on your driving record will typically result in increased auto insurance costs for three to five years or more. If you can avoid adding additional infractions to your record during that time, you may find that your premiums go down after several years of good driving.

Frequently asked questions

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.

High-risk drivers
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Carly Severino
Insurance Contributor
Carly Severino is a contributing insurance writer for Bankrate. With experience writing for Coverage.com, Reviews.com and TheSimpleDollar.com, she has covered a broad range of insurance products.
Edited by
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