Denver is the most populous city in Colorado, with over 715,000 residents according to the latest census. Denver lies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and its nickname is the Mile High City because its official elevation is one mile above sea level. Changing elevations, mountain roads, and unpredictable weather can make driving in the city’s straightforward downtown street grid, or along I-25 or I-75, crowded and dangerous at any time of the day.
Whether you’re traversing a major interstate on your way to work downtown, or you’re making a grocery run near your home, car accidents can happen to anyone who lives and drives in Denver.
What Does Car Insurance Cover in Denver, CO?
The state of Colorado requires that drivers have a minimum amount of auto insurance that covers bodily injury liability and property damage liability. This protects other people and their property if you’re at fault in an accident. Here’s what auto liability insurance covers:
- Bodily injury liability: Coverage provides protection if you injure or kill someone else while driving your car. It protects you against an injured party’s claims for damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It also provides for your legal defense fees if another party involved in the accident sues you.
- Property damage liability: Coverage pays for any damage that you cause to the property of others (e.g., another driver’s car) and for your legal defense if you are sued.
Many states also require that you purchase personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In Denver, these are optional coverage that can be added to any policy. Here’s what they cover:
- Medical payments coverage: (Personal injury protection) Helps pay for medical, dental, and funeral expenses for you or your passengers, regardless of who is at fault for an accident.
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage: Protects you if you are hit by a hit-and-run driver or by a driver who does not have auto liability coverage. It takes the place of liability insurance that the other driver should have, but does not.
There are several other types of optional coverage that you can purchase to reimburse you for theft of and damage to your own vehicle, regardless of fault.
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Does Car Insurance Cover Theft, Scratches, or Engine Failure in Denver, CO?
In addition to the coverage required by law, there are several optional types of coverage that can cover things like theft, scratches, and other types of damage to your vehicle.
First, you need to have comprehensive and collision coverage as part of your Denver auto insurance policy:
- Comprehensive insurance: Covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled by a non-collision event such as a hailstorm or theft.
- Collision insurance: Covers the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your Denver, CO auto insurance policy, it can help pay for your stolen vehicle if it is not recovered. If you get your vehicle back, it will cover the damage that has been done to it.
Comprehensive coverage only covers the components and features that are permanent, pre-installed parts of the car. So if the thieves steal an engine part, like a catalytic converter, the part would be covered. But any personal property or valuables (cell phones, laptops, tools, etc.) stolen out of your car or stolen with your car won’t be covered. Aftermarket or custom parts likely won’t be covered, either.
These coverage rules also typically apply to scratches or other damage caused by something like a hailstorm, a falling tree, or simply getting too close to some shrubs.
Collision coverage is coverage for your car after a collision, whether the crash is your fault or somebody else’s. If your car is damaged by a collision with another driver, or with something like a mailbox or a tree, your collision coverage will cover the scratches or more severe damage.
Both comprehensive and collision insurance cover engine damage caused by a covered incident—again things like theft, vandalism, hailstorms, hitting another car, hitting a tree, or even hitting a deer. Run-of-the-mill mechanical wear and tear, engine trouble, or mechanical failures are not covered by car insurance in Denver.
An independent insurance agent can help you decide which types of coverage offer the best protection for your needs.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Denver, CO?
Colorado is the 26th most expensive state for car insurance, with rates less than the national average in many cities. Denver residents may pay more for car insurance than the state and national averages.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Colorado average annual car insurance cost: $1,245
- Denver average annual car insurance cost: $1,676
Car insurance premiums vary depending on your personal characteristics, such as where you live, the make and model of your car, and how far you drive to work or school every day.
Insurance companies also consider a variety of other risk factors, such as:
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your driving history
- The number of cars and drivers in your household
If your household consists of a single driver, your rates will certainly be lower than for a family of four. But expect that for every driver you add, your car insurance rates will go up. This is especially true if you add a new teen driver.
A study by Consumer Reports showed that some insurers charged as much as 250 percent more when a sample married couple added a new 16-year-old driver to their car insurance policy. The nationwide average increase to add a 16-year-old driver was 90 percent.
If you’re adding a new teen driver or making any other changes to your car insurance in Denver, it’s best to shop around. With the help of a local independent insurance agent, you can review quotes from multiple insurance companies to be sure you are getting the best deal, including any special rates or discounts that you may qualify for.
How Do Car Insurance Claims Work in Denver, CO?
Filing a claim is how you notify your auto insurance company that you have been in an accident, or that your vehicle has sustained some other type of damage. Once the claim is filed, the insurance company starts the process of investigating the incident and paying the affected parties based on the benefits specified in your policy.
This is a simplification of how car insurance claims work in Denver. The process and the information needed will be somewhat different if you’re filing an accident claim, a glass claim, or some other type of comprehensive or collision claim. But in general, here’s how car insurance claims work:
- You can typically file insurance claims by phone, online, or via an app. Choose the method that best fits your preferences.
- When you contact your insurance company, make sure you have the following information ready:
- Your policy number
- The date and location of the incident
- The names, addresses, and insurance information of all others involved in the incident
- A description of what happened
- If applicable, the name of the police department that responded
- If applicable, the police report number or a copy of the police report
- Photographs or video evidence from the scene of the accident, if available
Once your claim has been submitted, your auto insurance company will investigate the incident, consider the damage to the vehicle, and assess the cause of the accident. Ultimately, the insurance company will either accept or deny the claim. If the claim is accepted, they will pay you for your damage based on the specifics of your policy.
If the insurance company denies the claim, they will not pay anything. The insurance company should provide a reason for the denial, and you can file an appeal if you’d like them to reconsider.
Remember that for any claim, you’ll have to pay any applicable deductible before any benefits are paid to you.
What Are the Best Car Insurance Companies in Denver, CO?
It can be simple to find the best car insurance companies in Denver. A local independent insurance agent can help you get car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies, so you can select the best policy for your needs and budget.
Why Shop Car Insurance with a Denver, CO Independent Insurance Agent?
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get a one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs. Your agent will work with you free of charge, offering you a variety of options so you can make the best choice.
What’s more, your agent will be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
Contact an agent today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Jeffrey Green
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