According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) approximately 16% of Colorado motorists are operating their vehicles without the state mandated auto liability insurance coverage. In comparison, the national average is approximately 12% in the US. The state has continually heightened efforts to improve means of communication between auto insurance providers and the state authorities responsible for enforcement.
State Legislative Declaration
In C.R.S. 42-7-102 the general assembly addressed the “human suffering, loss of life, limb and property” brought about by negligent vehicle operators. The declaration targets those driving without coverage, explaining that their actions are having significant economic consequences. It states that innocent motorists are being saddled with lost wages, medical expenses, and destruction of property. The key issues they seek to address are:
- Uninsured motorists choosing to flee the scene of accidents.
- Motorists choosing to flee the state in some instances to circumvent their financial responsibilities after accidents.
- Evading those they have victimized, thus denying access to the negligent driver's liability insurance.
- There were cases that victimized drivers were having difficulty accessing their own uninsured motorist policies resulting from a negligent driver's unwillingness to respond or acknowledge the accident.
- Costs are often absorbed by the state Medicaid system and unpaid hospital emergency departments.
- A requirement was added that each insurance policy issued in the state include uninsured motorist coverage unless the insured specifically opts out of coverage.
- All policy holders must make their insurance provider an agent for the process of service.
Minimums & Evidence of Coverage
The required coverage for an auto liability policy is $25,000 for accidents resulting in injury or death for one person, and up to $50,000 for injury or death of additional people. Policies also must contain a minimum of $15,000 for coverage of property damage. Evidence or proof of coverage is required with a copy of the policy, or a card issued to the insured. The card may be in paper or electronic form. Recently the presence of an electronic image on a mobile device has been added to the acceptable formats.
Penalties for Lack of Coverage
The state compares and references its database of vehicles registered with a list of such from by insurance companies. When the state detects that a registered vehicle does not have insurance coverage, it will issue a notice. Penalties are assessed as follows:
- Four points added to your driver license.
- 1st offense: $500 fine and a suspension of license until the DMV is furnished evidence of coverage.
- 2nd offense: $1,000 fine and suspension of license for 120 days.
- 3rd offense: $1,000 fine and suspension of license for 240 days.
- The court may add up to 40 hours of community service at its discretion.
Contact a Colorado Personal Injury Attorney
Hire an experienced personal injury attorney to assist you in negotiations with insurance companies. The Law Firm of Jeremy Rosenthal will fight to secure Colorado auto accident victims their rightful damage compensation. The consultation is complimentary, so contact the office today.