The unfortunate situation for many drivers is that after damage to their vehicle, they find out the insurance does not cover the cost of repairs or the deductible is so high that insurance does not really help. Auto insurance policies can be confusing with so many optional coverages, deductibles, and minimums. Understanding what is covered and not covered can help you plan for unexpected events.
Drivers in Colorado are required to have a minimum level of insurance coverage to be able to drive on public roads. The minimum amount of liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person in an accident;
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to all persons in any one accident; and
- $15,000 for property damage in any one accident.
Anything beyond the minimum insurance is optional for most drivers. Common optional coverage may include:
- Uninsured and Underinsured Driver Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Medical Payment Coverage
Collision Coverage in Colorado
Collision insurance is intended to cover the costs to repair the vehicle if it is involved in an accident. This includes an accident with another vehicle or stationary object like a tree. However, collision does not cover damage to a vehicle not related to driving. Collision also does not cover medical bills or the cost of repair for another driver's vehicle involved in the accident.
Collision may also pay for vehicle replacement if the costs of repair would exceed the cost of replacement. Drivers who lease their vehicle may be required to have collision insurance by the lender. However, collision is optional for most drivers.
The deductible is the amount of money the policyholder is responsible for paying before the insurance company kicks in. Lower deductible plans generally cost more, with $0 deductible generally being the lowest amount. Collision insurance is also subject to a maximum limit, which is generally up to the cash value of the vehicle.
For example, with an insurance policy with a $500 deductible and a car accident that causes $1,000, the driver would have to pay the first $500 and the auto insurance company would pay the remaining $500.
Comprehensive Coverage in Colorado
Comprehensive insurance is intended to cover damage to the vehicle that is NOT caused by a car accident. Comprehensive insurance should cover damage caused by a fire, vandals breaking a window, hail damage, or a tree falling on the car. Some of the common incidents for Denver and Colorado drivers would include:
- Snow damage
- Hail damage
- Falling tree
- Auto theft
- Tornado damage
Comprehensive is subject to deductibles with lower deductible plans generally cost more. Common deductible amounts may range from $0 to $1,000 or more. Comprehensive insurance is also subject to a maximum limit, which is generally up to the cash value of the vehicle.
Does Comprehensive and Collision Cover Hitting a Deer?
A good example of the confusion involving car coverage is what happens if you hit a deer. Hitting a deer would seem like a collision but instead it is generally covered by comprehensive insurance. However, swerving to avoid hitting a deer and hitting a tree instead would be covered by collision insurance.
If you were injured in an automobile accident in Colorado and are having a problem getting the insurance company to pay for your injuries, talk to your auto accident attorney for help. The attorneys at accidentdenver.com will deal with the insurance company so you can focus on recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.