Aug 14, 2014 7:42 PM by Zach Thaxton
Colorado ranks among the worst states in the nation for the percentage of drivers who are uninsured. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that Colorado ranks ninth-worst in the United States with 16.2 percent of motorists uninsured. The study was done in 2014 on 2012 motorists.
"We've got about 3.8 million cars that are insured in Colorado, but over 600,000 driving around with no insurance," said Robert Edgin, an agent with American National Insurance in Colorado Springs. That equates to roughly one in six drivers on Colorado roadways.
Oklahoma ranks worst in the nation, with 25.9 percent of drivers uninsured. Massachusetts rates best, with 3.9 percent. Edgin says numerous factors contribute to Colorado's rate of 16.2 percent, including an influx of a particular group of newcomers. "Part of it has to do with Colorado having a higher number of illegal immigrants," Edgin said. "That certainly contributes to it. Expense is another key contributing factor. "Folks sometimes have to make a choice between paying other expenses, buying food for their family, or paying their car insurance, and the car insurance makes its way down the list," Edgin said.
It is illegal to drive without insurance in Colorado. Fines range from $500 for a first offense to $1,000 on the second offense. "Unfortunately, there's not enough enforcement in the state of Colorado to make sure everybody follows the law," Edgin said.
Insured drivers are encouraged to add coverage for uninsured motorists to their policy. "It's optional in Colorado, although most people do carry it and it's highly recommended," Edgin said. "What it gives you is that protection for your medical, rehabilitation, work loss, pain and suffering if someone hits you and they don't have the insurance to cover those bills." $25,000 is the minimum amount of coverage for uninsured motorists, but Edgin says it's worth investing slightly more per month to get additional coverage. "If you were going to go from $25,000, which is the smallest amount, to $100,000, it might only cost you an extra $5 to $10 per month to have that extra $75,000 worth of protection for you in case you are hit by someone who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance," Edgin said.