And the typical explanations for why there are so many uninsured Colorado drivers don’t apply. The economy is stronger, insurance premiums have become more affordable, and the laws requiring insurance coverage have become more stringent.
Prior to 2003, Colorado was a no-fault state, meaning two people involved in an accident would each file a claim against their respective policies and have their losses covered by their own insurance companies, regardless of who was at-fault.
This method contributed to higher premiums, and during the 1990s, caused Colorado to have the highest ratio of uninsured drivers in the country at between 30 percent and 40 percent at any given time.
Insurance companies maintained that lower premiums would translate into more coverage, and between 2005 and 2011, Colorado fell out of the top ten. However, 2009 witnessed an about-face of the trend.
Lower disposable income is a typical explanation for reduced auto insurance coverage, and is a factor for both Oklahoma and New Mexico, ranked first and fourth worst respectively. However, the median income in Colorado was almost 10.5 percent higher than the national average in 2012.
Additionally, higher premiums usually play a roll, as they do in Florida- the second highest for uninsured drivers- where auto premiums are approximately 50 percent higher than the rest of the country. Premiums in Colorado average $848.25 annually, just below the national average of $884.39 per year.
It’s becoming clear to experts that a large part of the population understands the auto insurance laws- they are simply choosing to disregard them.
In fact, when the price of gasoline and cost of auto repairs are factored in, Colorado has the 15th lowest of vehicle ownership expenses in the country. On the flip side, Wyoming residents face the highest vehicle operating costs in the nation, however, only 8.7 percent of their drivers are uninsured.
The IRC is trying to identify the groups of motorists most likely to drive without insurance. One belief is that more careful drivers are opting out of coverage. However, claims data indicates the contrary, showing accidents involving uninsured motorists are typically more severe and result in more bodily injuries.
Lack of insurance may also be a factor in the number hit and run accidents reported in Colorado. There were an average of 14.9 per day in 2013, while the first few weeks of 2014 witnessed an increase to approximately 16.1 per day.
Colorado motorists who are caught driving without coverage will be fined $500 for their first offense and $1000 the second time.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Denver or anywhere in the State of Colorado – it is important to seek legal representation immediately. Insurance companies notoriously offer low-ball settlements to injured clients who do not have a lawyer on their side. Contact the Denver Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C. today at 303-597-4500 for a free initial consultation. We can help you on the road to recovery.