Must You Legally Have Auto Insurance? Yes… and No.

Must You Legally Have Auto Insurance? Yes… and No.

auto insuranceVehicle ownership is a luxury of convenience, but it can also be quite expensive. Vehicle payments, maintenance, fuel, and insurance can all add up quickly and it leaves many Colorado drivers wondering if they really need to carry auto insurance at all, or if they could be saving some money each month. The answer to this question is not completely black and white, though. While a specific type of insurance is required of Colorado drivers, other types are completely optional. Although this can seem a bit confusing at first, it’s actually pretty simple. Our hope is that the following information will clear things up so that you can drive legally, safely, and affordably.

Colorado Auto Insurance Requirements

If you want to operate a vehicle in the state of Colorado, you must have auto insurance (okay, so there is a secondary option if you have plenty of cash on hand, but we’ll ignore that for the intent of this particular discussion). In the event of an accident, a tort system is utilized in order to establish fault. Whichever driver is found to be “at fault” will be responsible for covering any damages associated with the incident, via his or her insurance company. Consequently, minimum requirements must be met for carrying liability insurance.

In a nutshell, liability insurance exists as a means of protecting the OTHER car and/or driver in cases where the accident is your fault. Liability insurance is the only type of vehicle insurance that is mandatory for all drivers, and the insurance policy carried must meet certain conditions. At minimum, the liability insurance must offer:

  • $25K per person for bodily injury
  • $50K per per accident for bodily injury
  • $15K per accident for property damage

Check your insurance policy to make sure that these minimum requirements are being met in order to prevent fines, penalties, legal prosecution, and other punitive measures in the event of an accident. For example, those who aren’t able to offer proof of liability insurance will receive a minimum of a $500 fine, four points on their drivers license, license suspension, community service hours, and the inability to register his or her vehicle with the Colorado DMV.

Optional Auto Insurance in Colorado

Beyond liability insurance, all other types of auto insurance are 100% optional in the state of Colorado. Although you may be tempted to avoid buying an insurance policy in order to save money on a month-to-month basis, you could end up in a world of financial hurt should you become involved in a serious accident down the road. After years of representing drivers, our legal team recommends looking into the following optional auto insurance policies:

  • Collision Coverage – This will cover damages to your car in cases where you hit another car or object.
  • Medical Coverage – Medical payment coverage applies to accidental injuries that occur during an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – What happens if a driver hits your car and isn’t carrying the proper liability insurance? Here, your policy will kick in and cover your needs.
  • Comprehensive Coverage – This policy goes above and beyond damages sustained by collisions, and offers help in covering damages sustained by environmental factors like the weather or wildlife, and for theft.
  • Rental Car Coverage – Whenever you’re renting a vehicle, it’s a good idea to buy rental car coverage to protect you against personal liability in the event of an accident or other incident.
  • Roadside Assistance – Many Colorado drivers make the decision to purchase insurance policies that offer roadside assistance and towing services.

Auto accidents are stressful enough without being faced with legal penalties as the result of failing to carry the required insurance policies. Make sure that your insurance is up to snuff today so that you can enjoy peace of mind when you’re out on the road. Give the pros at Mintz Law Firm a call to learn more about Colorado auto insurance requirements or for legal assistance following an accident.

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