Colorado’s stunning landscapes and bustling cities make it a great place to live and drive. However, the state’s roads also present a fair share of risks, including the possibility of encountering uninsured or underinsured motorists. To safeguard against these potential dangers, it’s crucial to understand uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. In this blog, we’ll explore what this coverage entails in Colorado and provide relevant statistics to underscore its importance.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is an optional auto insurance coverage in Colorado that protects you in case you’re involved in an accident with a driver who either doesn’t have insurance (uninsured) or has insurance that doesn’t sufficiently cover your damages (underinsured). This coverage steps in to compensate you for medical expenses, property damage, and other costs that the at-fault driver’s insurance can’t fully cover.
Key Statistics for Colorado
Understanding the prevalence of uninsured and underinsured drivers in Colorado is essential for appreciating the necessity of UM/UIM coverage:
1. Uninsured Motorists: According to a report from the Insurance Information Institute, as of 2019, 13.3% of Colorado drivers were estimated to be uninsured. This means that in a collision with one of these drivers, you could potentially be left without coverage for your injuries or property damage.
2. Underinsured Motorists: While the exact number of underinsured drivers in Colorado is more challenging to quantify, it is not uncommon for drivers to carry minimum insurance coverage that might not be enough to cover the full extent of damages in a serious accident. This is particularly problematic when medical bills and repair costs can quickly skyrocket.
3. Increasing Medical Costs: Medical expenses are a significant part of any accident-related costs. With Colorado’s healthcare costs on the rise, it’s crucial to have UM/UIM coverage in place to help you cope with these expenses. For example, as of 2021, the Colorado Division of Insurance reported that health insurance premiums increased by an average of 20.8% in the state, adding to the importance of having adequate coverage for injuries resulting from car accidents.
Why UM/UIM Coverage Is Essential in Colorado
1. Protection for You and Your Passengers: UM/UIM coverage ensures that you and your passengers are financially protected in the event of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. It covers medical bills, lost wages, and other damages that might otherwise fall on your shoulders.
2. Peace of Mind: Knowing that you have this coverage can provide peace of mind when you’re on the road. You won’t have to worry about how you’ll pay for your expenses if you’re involved in a collision with an inadequately insured driver.
3. Legal Requirement: While UM/UIM coverage is optional in some states, Colorado law requires insurance companies to offer it to all policyholders. However, you have the option to decline it in writing. Opting out of UM/UIM coverage is generally not advisable, given the risks associated with uninsured and underinsured drivers in the state.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is a crucial part of any responsible driver’s insurance portfolio in Colorado. The statistics and legal requirements underscore its importance as a protective shield against the financial ramifications of accidents involving drivers who lack adequate insurance coverage. Don’t wait until it’s too late – make sure your auto insurance policy includes UM/UIM coverage to ensure you’re adequately protected on Colorado’s roads.