Study: Colorado’s Auto Rates Drop Up to 39% Under New System

October 3, 2005

Colorado automobile insurance rates have dropped between 16 and 39 percent depending on the location of the driver and coverages purchased, according to a new Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, (PCI) and Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA) study of automobile insurance rates before and after the state dropped its no-fault insurance system.

“Our study of rates provides a clear before and after picture demonstrating that Colorado consumers are benefiting from the transition to the tort-based automobile insurance system,” said Michael Harrold, assistant vice president and regional manager for PCI.

The study shows Colorado rate trends for different areas of the state, both urban and rural, and is based on a real-life situation. It compares automobile insurance rates in July 2005 for a 35-year old married couple in Denver, Pueblo, Sterling, Fort Collins, Grand Junction and Colorado Springs to rates in June 2003, before the state’s no-fault law was allowed to sunset.

According to PCI, the study refutes the claims by Rep. Morgan Carroll, (D-Denver) that consumers have not benefited and rates have only slightly declined since Colorado moved to a tort-based insurance system in 2003.

Colorado’s no-fault system was plagued by high costs due to broad medical coverage that drivers were forced to purchase. The personal injury protection (PIP) benefit evolved into one of the most expensive systems in the nation.

“The goal of the transition was to address skyrocketing automobile insurance rates by eliminating the medical treatment abuses that were forcing insurance costs to increase for all consumers and provide consumers with more choice regarding the type and amount of coverage they purchase,” said Harrold.

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