The Best Colorado Auto Insurance Companies
The best Colorado auto insurance companies should be able to cover you against theft and natural disasters without costing a fortune. For the best protection, you need comprehensive coverage that will protect against natural disasters and vehicle theft, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that will pay out if an underinsured driver hits your car. We’ve looked at the top five insurers in the Centennial State and compared rates, discounts, and customer satisfaction scores in order to help you find the best provider for your needs.
The Best Colorado Auto Insurance Companies: Summed Up
How We Found the Best Colorado Auto Insurance Companies
We evaluated Colorado’s biggest auto insurers by market share, using the same metrics we developed for our review on nationwide providers. First, we compared their financial strength, coverage options, and customer service. Then we looked at customers ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, and checked the Colorado Division of Insurance to see how many complaints were filed against each provider in 2017 (the most recent data available). Finally, we took note of available endorsements and discounts to see which companies offer the best coverage and savings options.
The 5 Best Auto Insurance Companies in Colorado
- USAA: $674
- GEICO: $699
- State Farm: $812
- Allstate: $1,337
- Farm Bureau Insurance: $1,435
- Metropolitan Insurance Co.: $1,631
The cheapest auto insurance companies in Colorado are USAA, GEICO, and State Farm. Generally Colorado’s premium prices are a bit higher than the national average. This can be attributed to relatively low standards of minimum coverage, only requiring drivers to purchase bodily injury and property injury coverage. Lower minimum requirements in the state can mean many drivers aren’t covered as much as they should be, ultimately leading to higher premiums for all drivers. Colorado’s weather could also play a factor, with intermittent snow and sleet adding even more risk to Colorado drivers. Overall, Colorado stays apace with average premium prices, with certain factors accounting for a slight up charge from providers.
In addition to these perks, State Farm boasts some of the highest financial strength ratings in the insurance industry. That means no matter what happens (economic downturn, large-scale disaster that creates many claims at once, etc.) the company can be counted on for stable financial backing.
That said, State Farm is not Colorado’s highest rated provider. Its satisfaction and claims scores are only slightly above average at both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. State Farm’s quotes were also a bit more expensive than the quotes we received from other companies in this review.
To sum things up: It’s worth getting a quote from State Farm, especially since the process only takes a few minutes. Just be sure to compare prices with a few other companies and make sure you’re getting the best deal before buying.
USAA is Colorado’s third largest car insurance provider by market share, despite only being available to members of the U.S. armed forces and their families. If you are in the service (or have an immediate family member who is), then we highly recommend considering USAA for your auto insurance.
This company is known for its exemplary customer service and claims handling. USAA takes first place in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction survey year after year, and earns “excellent” customer satisfaction scores across the board at Consumer Reports. Beyond that, it equals State Farm’s elite financial scores — meaning a USAA insurance policy is a safe investment.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to compare USAA’s prices. The quote function on its website is only available to verified military members who create an account. But, like we said, the company is a great choice for its service and claims alone. It even offers a long list of discounts that will help keep prices low, making it especially worthwhile to get a quote.
American Family is another solid choice for Colorado car insurance. For starters, we like the company’s straightforward and informative website, which offers the most comprehensive FAQ page we encountered in our research. AmFam also has an impressive list of discounts, including one that you get just for switching over from another provider. These savings were reflected in our AmFam sample quotes which, though not the cheapest of the group, were never the most expensive.
American Family also gets good marks for its customer service — particularly from Consumer Reports, whose readers placed it above State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive. That said, the company’s J.D. Power score for claims handling fell a little below the industry average.
Overall, AmFam is worth considering in Colorado for its strong service record and fair pricing. You’re also likely to qualify for savings with this company, but you’ll have to request a personalized quote on the company’s website to be sure.
The rates Allstate quoted us in testing were also mid-tier: not as expensive as State Farm, but pricier than Progressive and American Family. Of course, premiums are highly personal, meaning that Allstate could still be your cheapest option depending on individual “risk factors” and discount opportunities.
It’s in your best interest to get quote from Allstate and compare with the other providers on this list to be sure you’re getting the best price. Just note that Allstate’s quote process is a bit more involved than other companies’ and will take a little longer to complete.
Though Progressive is a reputable insurer, it doesn’t top the charts for car insurance in Colorado. The company received average marks for customer service and claims from both J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. However, the company scored below average in customer interaction, earning a two out of five from J.D. Power.
On the flip side, though, Progressive returned some of the most affordable quotes of any company we tested in Colorado. And while price isn’t all that matters, a lower initial cost might mean that you can spring for higher levels of comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist, which are both crucial for CO drivers. We’d recommend getting a quote from Progressive’s website — its tool lets you test different levels of coverage to see how much car insurance you can spring for within your budget.
Guide to Colorado Auto Insurance
Colorado Minimum Liability
Colorado law only requires you to buy liability insurance, which pays for the other driver’s bodily injury and property damage if you’re found to be at fault in an accident. The state’s liability minimums can be expressed in the shorthand 25/50/15, which means you’re required to have coverage for at least:
- $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury coverage total per accident
- $15,000 property damage coverage per accident
Although Colorado’s 25/50/15 limit fulfills your legal insurance requirement, it’s a good idea to get higher coverage levels if you can afford them. There are plenty of situations — like natural disaster, theft, or being hit by an uninsured motorist — that you’d have to pay for out of pocket if you only carry minimum liability insurance. We recommend padding your Colorado car insurance with extra coverage for yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle.
Look into comprehensive coverageComprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if its stolen, vandalized, or damaged in any other situation that’s not an accident. Comprehensive coverage isn’t required in any state, but in Colorado it’s a particularly smart addition to your policy. In 2017, the state ranked sixth in losses due to extreme weather. Hailstorms in CO are especially damaging for auto owners. For example, a single storm in the Denver area in May 2017 caused $1.4 billion worth of damage — much of it to unsheltered vehicles.
Colorado also ranked sixth in statewide vehicle thefts in 2016, and the city of Pueblo had the third-highest theft rate of any metropolitan area in the country. This makes comprehensive coverage particularly important if you own a newer or more valuable car that’s especially vulnerable to theft.
Don’t forget about uninsured drivers
Remember that Colorado’s auto insurance premiums are higher than the national average. Unfortunately, this trend means that more drivers will stop short of fully insuring themselves, so it’s always smart to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This add-on kicks in to pay for your own property or medical care if someone hits you and doesn’t have enough insurance to foot the bill.
Colorado actually requires insurance companies to offer you this coverage in amounts equal to your bodily injury liability coverage, so it’s worth asking your insurer about your options for adding it — it might not raise your premium by as much as you think.
Colorado Auto Insurance FAQ
What does Colorado auto insurance cover?
Beyond the aforementioned minimum requirements, what your Colorado auto insurance covers will vary based on the provider and what’s available. For example, some providers (like Allstate) offer gap coverage to protect your car loan, while some do not. State Farm, in a unique move, offers gap coverage only if your auto loan is through State Farm Bank. The industry is full of little discrepancies like this — so the best way to find the coverage you need in Colorado is to shop around and compare as many policies and prices as possible.
Why is Colorado auto insurance so expensive?
There are a number of reasons for Colorado’s rising car insurance rates, including (but not limited to):
- Bad weather — Insurers have hiked prices up to account for a spike in costly weather-related claims, especially from winter storms and hail
- Lower gas prices — Cheaper gas means more drivers on the road, and busier roads mean a higher likelihood of accidents
- Distracted driving — Though traffic-related deaths have generally decreased across the country, 2017 saw the most traffic deaths in Colorado in a decade
- Legalization of marijuana — There is some speculation on the part of insurers that the legalization of marijuana in CO may increase distracted driving
Does Colorado require auto insurance?
Yes. Colorado requires you to carry liability insurance on your vehicle, which protects the other party if you’re found to be at-fault in an accident. Colorado’s 25/50/15 liability limits are on the low side, so it’s wise to consider opting for higher limits if your budget allows it.
For instance: If you were to collide with a luxury car, Colorado’s $15,000 minimum for property damage likely would not cover extensive repairs or replacement. Likewise, if the other driver is injured, $25,000 of bodily injury coverage could fall short of his or her total medical bill. In each case, you’d be responsible for making up the difference yourself.
We worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide data on auto insurance rates by company and credit score. Quadrant makes this information available using rate data insurers are required to file with state Departments of Insurance. Rates are based on sample profiles created by Reviews.com for comparative purposes.