Who Pays for the Damages?
Colorado is an at-fault state, meaning the party who caused the accident pays the damages. Of the five kinds of car insurance– liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection (PIP or Med Pay) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM)— Colorado drivers are only required to carry liability insurance. Colorado liability insurance policies must have these minimum limits:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury.
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury.
- $15,000 per accident for property damage.
It is illegal to drive without this coverage. Therefore, all Colorado drivers should have at least minimal coverage available to pay for any damage they might cause.
Colorado’s High Percentage of Uninsured Drivers
In reality, Colorado has one of the highest percentages of uninsured motorists in the country — around 13 percent. These drivers tend to cause more accidents than their insured counterparts, too. Unfortunately, if you are hurt by an in uninsured or underinsured driver, your liability policy won’t help you because the accident was not your fault. The other driver’s assets will probably not be sufficient to cover your losses, either. People who are hit by uninsured motorists often find themselves victimized twice: once by the accident itself, and again because the at-fault party has no money to pay for their damages.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
However, if you have purchased uninsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) you can avoid this difficult and sometimes devastating circumstance. UM/UIM coverage allows a non-liable driver’s insurer to provide where the at-fault driver did not. In Colorado, insurance companies are required to offer UM/UIM coverage, but they can allow you to opt out. Some insurers downplay the importance of UM/UIM. They may not help you get the most out of your UM/UIM policy by informing you that these policies can be “stacked” among family members, for example. However, we would argue that UM/UIM coverage is second in importance only to liability coverage. At around $20/month, it is also a great deal.
If you don’t own UM/UIM coverage, we would like to remove any doubt on the subject. You need uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury. We would suggest obtaining Med Pay coverage as well. Med Pay typically provides $5000 to cover medical expenses without the hassle of deductibles and subrogation reimbursement that traditional health plans entail.
Get the UM/UIM Benefits You Deserve
At Shafner Law, we have helped many clients navigate the UM/UIM landscape to recover the most from their policies. If you are struggling to obtain the UM/UIM benefits you deserve, call us.
For a free consultation, call Shafner Law at (303) 796-0555 or fill out the Case Form below.
Additional Uninsured Motorist Resources