Colorado Insurance Questions Answered

Popular Questions about Colorado Car Insurance

Colorado drivers pay slightly less than most other drivers around the nation. But every region and car owner has different car insurance requirements, so keep this in mind when comparing these averages.

On average, Americans pay $1,474 per year for their auto insurance. In Colorado, car owners pay on average of about $1,558 per year. To ensure you're getting the best rate, compare various quotes from numerous car insurance companies with a Trusted Choice insurance agent. 

Driving on Colorado roads can be dangerous: Congested traffic in Denver and mountain snow can cause accidents. If you find yourself in anything from a simple fender bender to a bigger T-bone, here's what your car insurance will do for you:

  • Fix your car: Not required. This is called "comprehensive & collision coverage," and though it is not required by the state, it may be required by your lender. 
  • Fix someone else's car: Required/Minimum $15,000. This is called "property damage liability." 
  • Pay your medical bills: Not Required. This is called "personal injury protection" or "PIP." 
  • Pay someone else's medical bills: Required/Minimum $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident. This is called "bodily injury liability."

If you drive, you're required by the state to have a certain amount of insurance. These necessary coverages will pay for someone else's vehicle damage and medical bills after an accident with you. Be prepared and protected when you're on the road to prevent any financial harm after something unexpected.

The driver who caused the accident will pay for losses.

Sometimes people drive without any insurance, but it's impossible to tell who is and isn't covered when you're behind the wheel.

That's why uninsured motorist coverage exists. If an uninsured or underinsured driver causes damage to you or your vehicle, this insurance coverage will pay to fix your car and handle your medical bills.

Typically, your insurance company will attempt to collect compensation from the offending driver. This may or may not be successful, which is why you need this protection as a backup.

Colorado does not require you to have uninsured motorist coverage.



Popular Questions about Colorado Home Insurance

The average homeowner in the United States pays a yearly average premium of $1,132 for homeowners insurance, while the Colorado yearly average is $1,383. It's fairly close, but because of the unique risks that Colorado homeowners face, and depending on your own personal situation, this number could be much higher.

Think of homeowners insurance as your financial backup plan for the times when bad things happen to your home unexpectedly. It's important to protect one of your most prized possessions so you can bounce back financially when the going gets rough.

Pays for repairs to your home and your belongings

  • Example: A tree falls on your house, and rain ruins your 60" Samsung TV.

Pays for someone else's injuries or property damage when it's your fault

  • Example: Your kid is playing baseball and accidentally smacks the ball through your neighbor's window.

Pays for temporary living expenses when your home is damaged

  • Example: You need a hotel while your house's roof is being repaired due to a fallen tree.

  1. Wind and hail damage
  2. Water damage and freezing
  3. Property damage
  4. Theft
  5. Fire and lightning damage

Insurance carriers calculate the cost of a home insurance policy by asking, "How likely is it that something bad will happen?" The more likely it is that something bad will happen, the more expensive the home insurance policy will be, and vice versa. We call these potential disasters "risk."

Here are two examples of risks facing homeowners in Colorado.

Crime

Colorado sees an average amount of criminal activity as compared with other states. While the risk varies depending on where you are — metropolitan Denver vs. serene Idaho Springs — you should always be properly protected just in case.

  • National average number of burglaries: 37,814
  • Colorado average number of burglaries: 25,081

Weather

Winter weather in Colorado can be disastrous for homeowners — especially those in the mountains. Think extreme cold, frozen pipes, melting snow that floods, hail and more. But bad weather can strike year-round. Just take a look at the damage it's done in The Centennial State:

  • Number of tornadoes: 52
  • Number of catastrophes: 343
  • Property damage from weather in Colorado: $215,290,000

Yes, there are. And unlike a specific carrier or an agent who works for a specific company, an independent agent can quote with multiple companies to make sure you receive the most appropriate coverage for your needs. It's the best way to receive 360 degrees of insurance protection for any unexpected event that may come your way.

  • 378 agents in Colorado are ready to help.
  • 3,132 Colorado residents were helped by an agent last year


Popular Questions About Colorado Business Insurance

Small businesses in Colorado have made a total of $158.4 billion, but accidents happen, too. Without insurance, business claims have to be paid out of your pocket. That means they have to be paid out of your business’s revenue and can cause financial damage to your company.

40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some things these companies have been using their insurance on:

  • Theft or burglary: Average cost per claim - $8,000
  • Water damage & freezing pipes: Average cost per claim - $17,000
  • Wind and hail damage: Average cost per claim - $26,000
  • Fire damage: Average cost per claim - $35,000
  • Customer slips and falls: Average Cost Per Claim - $20,000

Colorado business insurance will pay for covered claims so your business doesn’t have to. It gives you financial protection, which means your small company can stay focused on the bottom line.

Here’s what a standard business insurance policy should do:

Pay for damage to your building

  • This is called “commercial property insurance.”
  • Example: A tree falls on your office building.

Pay for damage to your business property

  • This is called “business personal property insurance.”
  • Example: A fire destroys all your computers.

Pay for damage to someone else’s property

  • This is called “general liability insurance.”
  • Example: A contractor does a poor job of installing a cabinet, and it falls and breaks the homeowner's kitchenware.

Pay for someone else’s medical bills

  • This is also called “general liability insurance.” 
  • Example: A customer slips and falls on your recently mopped floor and breaks an arm.

Pay for accidents involving company vehicles

  • This is called “commercial auto insurance.”
  • Example: Your salesperson rear-ends someone while driving to an appointment.

Pay for employee injuries and compensation

  • This is called “workers' compensation.”
  • Example: An employee falls off a ladder at work and can’t work for two weeks.

Sometimes, these coverages are not enough to properly protect a business against risk. Your business most likely has unique risks that it faces and may need additional coverages.

To make sure you're properly insured, we can match you with the right independent insurance agent who specializes in your field.

Commercial insurance is not required of all Colorado business owners, but certain aspects of it may be. For example, businesses that employ one or more people must carry workers' compensation insurance. 

Additionally, businesses that have company-owned vehicles must carry commercial auto insurance. To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can talk with a local Trusted Choice insurance agent.

It primarily depends on how risky your business is. The riskier your business is, the higher your insurance will be. Here are two examples.

  • A sole proprietor who owns a garment hemming business: $260 per year
  • A commercial landscaper with five employees who operate heavy machinery: $22,700 per year

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the risks to your business property, your liability coverage needs and the amount and types of coverage you want. Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a suitable and comprehensive policy for your business.

  • There are 378 independent agents in Colorado who are ready to help.
  • In 2017 our agents helped 3,132 people.

Popular Questions about Colorado Worker's Comp Insurance

Colorado requires all employers who have one or more full-time or part-time employees to purchase a workers' comp insurance policy.

These policies pay benefits to employees who are hurt on the job or suffer work-related illnesses or long-term injuries. It covers both medical bills and lost wages while they are out of work. 

Like all workman's compensation policies, it is no-fault system, which means that regardless of who is at fault, injured workers are covered and employers are protected from costly employee lawsuits.

Unless you are a sole proprietorship, your business must have a Colorado workman's compensation policy in place to cover your employees and to be in compliance with state laws. 

There are exceptions:

  • Casual maintenance or repair work performed for a business for under $2,000 per calendar year.
  • Domestic work, maintenance or repair work for a private homeowner that is not done full-time.
  • Licensed real estate agents and brokers working on commission.
  • Independent contractors who perform specific for-hire transportation jobs.
  • Any person who volunteers time or services for a ski area operator.
  • Independent contractors. 

Workers' compensation insurance covers a variety of situations, including everything from sudden accidents such as slips and falls to injuries that occur over a longer period of time, like carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries that can result from heavy computer usage. 

Your employees can also receive benefits for illnesses that come about gradually as a result of their working conditions, such as lung disease and heart-related problems. 

While workers' compensation policies are designed to cover work-related injuries and illnesses, that doesn’t mean they necessarily have to happen in the workplace. If an employee is performing a job-related duty when hurt, the injury or illness is covered regardless of where it happened. 

Colorado is one of 13 states that have a state-funded workers' compensation insurance company that competes with private insurers. Pinnacol Assurance is the quasi-state government organization fund in Colorado and currently has about 57,000 customers across Colorado. 

If they are approved by the state, businesses can also choose to get a policy from a private insurer or be self-funded. 

  • Medical bills. Example: A waiter suffers severe burns and needs to be taken to the hospital.
  • Wage replacement. Example: An employee needs to miss three days of work to recover from a back injury that happened on the factory floor.
  • Death benefit. Example: A coal miner's family receives benefits after a work-related accident leads to a fatality.

Your employees can also receive benefits for illnesses that come about gradually as a result of their working conditions, such as lung disease and heart-related problems. 

While workman's compensation policies are designed to cover work-related injuries and illnesses, that doesn’t mean they necessarily have to happen in the workplace. If an employee is performing a job-related duty when hurt, the injury or illness is covered regardless of where it happened. 

Colorado is one of 13 states that have a state-funded workers' compensation insurance company that competes with private insurers. Pinnacol Assurance is the quasi-state government organization fund in Colorado and currently has about 57,000 customers across Colorado. 

Workers' compensation rates are set by the state, so individual insurers have no control over pricing. Premium rates reflect job hazards, so employers in hazard-prone industries pay more than employers in industries that are less likely to experience accidents. Employers with good safety records also pay less than those with numerous accidents or claims. 

Colorado workers' comp premiums are based on class codes that identity specific categories of workers. The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) establishes these class codes, which are used to assign base premium rates for employees that are set by the Colorado Department of Workers' Compensation and the Colorado Division of Insurance. 

Here is an an example (keep in mind that the rates change annually). The base rate for a landscaping worker starts at $5.87 and is applied to every $100 of payroll. This base rate is multiplied by the employer’s payroll for all of their landscapers to determine their workers' compensation premium.

Example:

Colorado classification code: 0042 Landscaping
Base rate: $5.87
Employer payroll: Example: $100,000
Premium calculation: $5.87 per $100 or 5.87% of payroll.
Estimated annual premium: $5,870

It’s important to remember that most employers have employees with more than one classification. A landscaping company probably has sales and clerical staff that falls under a different class code. All of the various class codes and premiums for a specific employer are combined to determine the total workers' compensation premium. 

As of 2017, rates in Colorado were 19% lower than the national average, but you can drive your rates even lower if you qualify for discounts offered by the insurers operating in Colorado. Discounts vary between insurers, but here are a few of the common discounts offered by Pinnacol Assurance, which is the leading provider of workers' comp insurance in Colorado:

  • Premium discount: This discount applies to any business that has a standard annual premium of $10,000 or more. The bigger the premium, the bigger the discount. 
  • Group association discount: Members of industry, professional or trade associations that meet certain three-year loss ratio standards can qualify for discounts that can range up to 4%.
  • Cost containment discount: This rewards policyholders that implement and maintain standardized safety programs. They must receive certification through the State of Colorado Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Certification (CCC) Program.

When it comes to controlling the costs of your workers' compensation program, a safety program and limiting injuries are key and will do the most to lower your costs. 

Safety training and monitoring should be an integral part of your business, to protect not only your employees but your bottom line as well.