5 reasons Colorado car insurance rates are about to skyrocket

Drivers seeing double digit rate spikes
Posted at 6:04 PM, Jul 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-17 20:34:12-04

DENVER -- Insurance experts say Colorado drivers are seeing or are about to see massive car insurance rate increases.

Carole Walker with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association said drivers can expect at least a 15% spike, and a lot of the factors are out of our control.

Here are the five reasons she said rates are going up:

1. New technology that's supposed to make it safer to drive also costs more to repair:

Things like back up cameras installed in bumpers, air temperature sensors or lane departure sensors are smart features that many new cars now come equipped with, but Walker said they also cost much more to repair. 

"A right rear bumper which is a common part of your car that is ruined in a crash that can go from a $600 repair to a $6,000 repair," she explained.

2. Record hail damage:

Auto body shops across the metro area are still trying to dig out from May's record breaking hail storm. Walker said Colorado ranks second in the country for hail damage claims, which is also impacting rates.

"We're not seeing any end in sight, unfortunately there's really just some things we can't control, hail has a big impact on what we pay in Colorado," she said.

3. More people moving to Colorado:

Walker said Colorado's population boom is also impacting rates because while more people are paying premiums, more people are also getting in crashes which means more claims are being filed and insurance companies must find a way to recoup those costs.

"Colorado's trend lines are really spiking upwards and the [insurance] companies we're really losing money, they were taking in less premiums than they needed to pay out claims," said Walker.

4. Colorado ranks 4th in the nation for increased collision claim costs:

"Unfortunately Colorado is on the top of those lists nobody wants to be on," said Walker.

5. Fatal crashes up:

Walker said CDOT data shows fatal crashes are up by more than 24 percent over the last two years.

Walker has this advice for drivers.

"We know people have sticker shock when they're opening their premium notices that's what makes it so important for them to look at their driving habits -- I need to be the best driver out there," she said. "The same rules still apply if you have at fault accidents, speeding tickets those are still going to make you an expensive driver."