Drivers here in Colorado are seeing a disproportionate rise in auto insurance prices relative to those in other US States. Carole Walker is a spokeswoman for the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) and is an insurance industry expert and watchdog. Ms. Walker is reporting that auto insurance prices in Colorado are rising by approximately 15% in 2016, where current annual state average premium costs are roughly $750. Not only will the results of these price hikes put more pressure on the already tight budgets of many consumers, but could potentially increase the number of drivers that choose to operate their vehicles without insurance. There are a variety of factors that are contributing to the high auto insurance premiums in the state including:
- The recent influx of hail damage-related claims resulted in auto insurance companies paying out a significantly increased number of repair claims. One notable example is the sizable hail storm that the Colorado Springs region experienced in July.
- Colorado laws make it easier for people to sue their insurance providers for acts of bad faith, thus insurance companies are more likely to incur legal costs in defending these cases.
- In 2015, the state reported having its highest volume of accidents involving traffic fatalities since 2007.
- The National Association of Insurance Commissioners have reported that Colorado had approximately 14,859 thefts of motor vehicles, which is a 29% increase over the number of thefts in 2014
In January of 1999, the state began using a statewide database to more closely monitor potential uninsured motorists. The auto insurance companies began adhering to a requirement for updating customer information, such as drivers whose policies have been cancelled or expired, into the system at regular intervals. This information in the database in cross-referenced against a list of registered vehicles.
With the increase in the potential likelihood of being involved in an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist, consumers may want to consider reviewing their policies regarding Uninsured/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage. This type of insurance coverage is used to pay for damages that specifically result from an accident when the driver at-fault is without liability insurance, or has less than adequate coverage to cover the costs. In Colorado, the minimum levels of this coverage offered by insurers are the same as the $25,000 and $50,000 minimum liability limits that all drivers are currently required to have.
If you are injured in an automobile accident, there can be significantly more at stake than simply auto repair and medical bills. Perhaps you are going to need time off from work during this ordeal? Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal has been a champion for injury victims in Colorado for many years and encourages you to contact the office for a personalized review of your case.