Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Colorado: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist insurance isn’t required in the state of Colorado but it’s typically a good idea to add it to your auto insurance policy anyway.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Jessica Barrett
uninsured motorist coverage
is not mandatory in Colorado, it can help protect you from sky-high medical bills following a hit-and-run or an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • More than 16% of Colorado drivers are uninsured. If one of these drivers causes an accident, the other parties will be unlikely to collect reimbursement for any medical bills or lost wages.
  • Colorado’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can provide bodily injury insurance in the event you’re in an auto accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance, or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your medical costs from the accident.
  • Car insurance companies in Colorado are required to offer UM/UIM in the same amount as the policyholder’s liability limits, but drivers can elect to lower or reject the coverage.

Colorado UM/UIM can protect you after an accident with an uninsured driver

According to the most recent report published by the Insurance Information Institute (III), approximately 16.3% of Colorado drivers are uninsured—that means that about one in six cars on the road are being driven by someone who doesn’t have insurance. 
On top of that, many drivers in Colorado carry only the state-minimum liability coverage—and those minimum amounts may not sufficiently cover your medical costs.
To help combat this,
Colorado car insurance law
mandates that insurance companies are legally required to offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist protection in the same amount as your liability insurance limits. But you’re not required to carry it, and as long as you do so in writing, you can reduce your UM/UIM limits or reject the coverage entirely. 

UMBI can help pay for your medical bills after an accident

In Colorado, uninsured/underinsured protection includes bodily injury insurance. This means that it helps pay for your medical expenses and injury-related costs if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance or whose bodily injury liability limits don’t fully cover your costs. It may also pay for your injuries after a hit-and-run accident. 
Bodily injury UM/UIM (sometimes referred to as UMBI/UIMBI) will typically cover:
  • Doctor and hospital fees
  • Loss of income resulting from the accident
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses if someone passes away as a result of the accident

UM/UIM in Colorado will not pay for property damage

If you’re in a car crash with an uninsured or underinsured driver in Colorado, you will not be able to use your UM/UIM coverage to pay for repairs to your vehicle.
Although some states offer consumers the option to purchase property damage UM/UIM (or UMPD/UIMPD), Colorado does not. 
You’re not out of luck, though—any vehicle repairs or replacement needed as a result of an accident should be covered if you’ve added
collision coverage
to your automobile insurance policy. Together with comprehensive insurance, this is referred to as “full coverage” and it’s almost always a good idea to purchase.

UM/UIM is an affordable way to get added peace of mind

Uninsured/underinsured motorist protection is typically very inexpensive. In Colorado, UM/UIM averages around $50-$75 a year, or around $4-6 a month. 
When you compare that to the thousands of dollars in medical bills you could be facing after an accident with an uninsured driver, UM/UIM seems like a very affordable investment.
If you don’t have UM/UIM included on your policy, it’s a good idea to add it the next time you’re
shopping for car insurance
. And to find the best coverage at the best price, try comparing rates with
industry-leading insurance shopping app.

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Colorado

In Colorado, drivers are only required to carry basic
liability insurance
in the amounts of:
  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $15,000 property damage per accident
Liability insurance will not pay for your own vehicle damages or medical bills—so if that’s all you have and you get into an accident with an uninsured driver, you won’t be able to turn to your own insurance company for help.
On the other hand, if you add UM/UIM to your policy, you’ll be covered if:
  • You’re involved in a hit-and-run (this typically has to be corroborated by physical evidence or a disinterested third-party witness)
  • You’re in an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance
  • You’re in an accident and the at-fault driver lives in a state with lower liability limits than Colorado’s
  • You’re in an accident caused by an insured motorist, but their insurance doesn’t cover all of the damage 
You may also be covered even if you’re not in your own vehicle. For instance, if you’re walking and a car veers onto the sidewalk, hits you, and flees the scene, you may be able to file a UM/UIM insurance claim for the resulting medical bills.
Need to know: In Colorado, you can purchase medical payments (MedPay) as optional coverage to help pay for medical costs after an accident. However, your hospital bills could easily exceed $5,000 if you’re seriously injured, and it won’t cover expenses like lost wages—so you may still want to supplement with UM/UIM.

How to make a UM/UIM claim 

After an accident caused by a driver who has insurance, you would file a claim against their insurance company. But if the other driver doesn’t have insurance, who do you file against?
UM/UIM is first-party coverage, which means you file against your own insurance provider. Unfortunately, this means that their interests are pitted against yours. While insurance companies are legally required to offer a good faith settlement—meaning they have to pay you what you’re owed up to your policy limits—they’re still going to try to minimize their losses. 
Here’s what you need to know:
  • File your claim right away: Most insurers have deadlines for how long you have to file a claim. If the insurance company can convince the court that you waited an unnecessarily long time to bring suit, your case could be dismissed.
  • Avoid accepting the first offer: Most insurance companies will try to convince you to settle for a lower amount. However, you may be able to get a better offer by holding out a little longer.
  • Call for a free consultation with an experienced attorney: While it’s not strictly necessary to hire a car accident attorney, it’s usually a good idea to at least speak to one. They’ll be able to advise you on the steps you should take based on the specifics of your case.

New Colorado laws help protect drivers who file a UM/UIM claim

Old state laws in Colorado that favored auto insurance companies in UM/UIM cases allowed insurance companies to limit their payouts and prevent policyholders from stacking their policies. But they’ve been replaced by more consumer-friendly legislation (Colorado Revised Statute 10-4-609).

Colorado drivers can now stack policies

“Stacking” means that if you purchase UM/UIM coverage for more than one vehicle in your household, you can then combine the limits if you have to file a UM/UIM claim. So if you have two policies for $100,000 each and you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver, you’d be able to stack those policies for a maximum of $200,000 in UM/UIM coverage. 
Previously, insurance companies were allowed to practice anti-stacking. In the above example, under anti-stacking, you would have only been able to be compensated for a maximum of $100,000.

The new legislation also prevents “set-off” in underinsured cases

If a driver does have some insurance but it’s not enough to cover your damages, UM/UIM can cover the rest. But under the previous law, insurance companies could “set off” your coverage—meaning they could subtract the other driver’s liability insurance from the amount your UM/UIM would pay out. 
Let’s see how that would work:
If you had a single UM/UIM policy for $100,000 and the other driver had Colorado’s state minimum of $25,000 bodily injury liability insurance, the insurance company would have been able to “set off” that $25,000, leaving you with a total collectible UM/UIM amount of $75,000.
Under the new law, there is no set-off, so you would be able to collect a maximum of $125,000.
Need to know: Under Colorado’s insurance laws, your insurance company can not raise your rates after you file a UM/UIM claim.
was quick and provided me with various choices. I found the policy I wanted in 10 minutes and was able to drive off with my new car!” —Emiya S.


Uninsured motorist coverage in Colorado includes bodily injury liability, which means it will help pay for medical expenses incurred by you and your passengers if you’re in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, someone who doesn’t have insurance, or someone whose insurance won’t pay for your expenses.
Colorado law requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage that matches the policyholder’s liability limits, but it’s not required for drivers to carry it. You can reject the coverage in writing if you don’t want it—but we recommend adding it to your policy.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Georgia, your motor vehicle damages may be covered under your own collision/comprehensive policy. If you’re left with medical bills resulting from the accident, you may be able to collect through UM/UIM. To ensure your interests are protected, we recommend having a free consultation with a licensed personal injury law firm.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings