Insurance
When purchasing a home, buyers should check with the real estate and insurance agents to research the home. If a lender determines that a property is in a special flood hazard area, the borrower is required to purchase flood insurance. A special flood hazard area has a 1 percent chance of being inundated by flood. More than 230 towns, cities and counties in Colorado participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program allows flood insurance to be made available to communities that attempt to reduce flood risks through construction or redevelopment. Insurance is sold through private companies.

Also, winter storms can cause ice and snow damage to property, and high temperatures can contribute to forest fires. Check your policy to see what you are covered for.

EXTRA COVERAGE (ENDORSEMENTS)
You may have special coverage needs that expand or increase the coverage on certain items. These can include camera equipment, coin collection, computer equipment, antiques, fine arts, rugs and special collections.

Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance
This additional coverage provides you with more liability coverage than a homeowners policy. Ask your agent for more information about what additional coverage includes.

AUTO INSURANCE
It’s the law in Colorado for people who drive to be able to pay for vehicle accidents they cause. This section explains the importance of having auto insurance, how to shop for insurance as well as the current liability limits required in Colorado.

— Shopping for Auto Insurance
Colorado supports a competitive insurance market, which means you have a wide range of pricing options. Make sure to get price quotes from different companies and compare the rates and coverages. When asking for price quotations, it’s important that you provide the same information to each agent or company.
  • Determine in advance the coverages you need.
  • If you select a higher deductible, it will lower your premium. Keep in mind, though, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket if there is a claim.
  • Never provide incorrect information on an application and always answer questions honestly. If you do provide incorrect information, it could lead to a claim denial or cancellation of coverage.
  • Spend time online finding out about each insurer’s financial rating, complaint index and license status—it’s all possible today on the web. You can learn more about a company, including its license status, complaint history and financial rating from an independent rating organization, by calling CDI’s consumer help line.

— Liability Requirements
The basic coverage in Colorado is called 25/50/15, which means you must have $25,000 worth of coverage for each injured person, up to a total of $50,000 per accident and $15,000 for property damage per accident. These are just the basic limits. It’s important to keep in mind that if your liability amounts are not adequate to pay for the other driver’s costs, the driver may sue you to collect the difference. To prevent this from happening, you can buy additional liability coverage.

Also, as of 2009, auto insurance companies operating in Colorado are required to include a minimum amount for medical payment coverage, which provides a minimum of $5,000 coverage for medical bills for insured drivers and passengers. Although it is mandatory, individuals can opt out in writing or ask for more coverage.

— Reviewing the Policy
When you receive your policy, read it to review what it covers. Look carefully at the exclusions section that lists what your policy doesn’t cover. The declaration or “deck” page of your policy indicates the legal name of your insurance provider, your policy number and the amount of each of your coverages and deductibles.

— PROOF-OF-INSURANCE CARD
You should expect to receive a proof-of-insurance card as soon as you pay your premium. This is important to keep in your vehicle at all times as you may have to show proof of insurance in the following cases:
  • If asked by a law enforcement officer
  • In an accident
  • Car registration or registration renewal
  • Applying for or renewing a driver’s license
  • Car inspection

AUTO INSURANCE COVERAGES
Many insurance companies offer a standardized policy form that offers eight types of coverages. There are alternative policies available as long as they’re approved in advance by the Colorado Division of Insurance (CDI). Colorado operates under the tort system, which means that a person must be found guilty for the accident before the insurance company pays.

Following are descriptions of the eight coverages you’ll find in the standard auto insurance policy, as outlined by CDI.

— Liability Coverage
Basic liability coverage meets the state’s financial responsibility requirement. It pays other people’s expenses for accidents caused by drivers covered by your policy, up to your policy’s dollar limits. These may include other people’s medical and funeral costs, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering, car repair or replacement costs, auto rental while the other driver’s car is being repaired and punitive damages awarded by a court. Liability insurance also pays your attorney fees if someone sues you because of the accident and bail up to $250 if you are arrested. Liability covers you and your family members, which include anyone living in your home related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, including your spouse, children, in-laws, adopted children, wards and foster children. Other people driving your car with your permission and family members attending school away from home; spouses living elsewhere during a martial separation also might be covered. You and your family members might be covered when driving someone else’s automobile—including a rental car—but not a car that you don’t own but have regular access to, such as a company car. Note: Some policies won’t cover other people, including family members, unless they’re specifically named in the policy. Your policy’s declaration page should list the names of all of the people covered by the policy.

   
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