Colorado Insurance Laws, Health Insurance, Auto Insurance and Health Care Reform:
Colorado boasts of a strong insurance industry that offers a wide range of services to state residents. The insurance industry, in its various forms, is regulated by the state’s Division of Insurance. The state’s regulations are designed to prevent insurance companies from operating maliciously. These regulations also prevent consumers from taking advantage of insurance companies. The Colorado Department of Insurance is constantly working to maintain a degree of balance in its regulations of both parties, but is often criticized of being too friendly to consumers, thus hurting the insurance industry.
Drivers in the state are required to carry Colorado auto insurance coverage. There are several levels of auto insurance coverage that are available to drivers, and the Colorado insurance department advises that drivers attain the highest level of coverage they can possibly afford. The state does not require drivers to purchase the highest level of coverage, of course, and has established a minimum level of coverage consumers can carry. This minimum accounts for $25.000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $15,000 for property damage. Drivers are not required by Colorado law to carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
Minimum Liability Limits for Colorado Auto Insurance: $25,000/$50,000 Bodily Injury and $15,000 Property Damage
Homeowners insurance is not required by Colorado insurance regulations. The state does, however, encourage property owners to purchase comprehensive coverage in order to mitigate the financial impact of natural disasters. Typically, Colorado homeowners insurance policies do not offer protection against damage caused by earthquakes and floods, thus consumers are responsible for seeking out this coverage through supplemental policies. Nonetheless, the state does regulate the property insurance industry, ensuring that rates for coverage do not impose undue financial pressure on homeowners in Colorado.
Health insurance coverage will become mandatory in Colorado in 2014, per federal law. Though a federally imposed insurance mandate has generated a great deal of controversy throughout the country, states like Colorado are working to ensure that consumers have access to affordable policies. The state is required by federal law to establish a health insurance exchange system, which is designed to be a digital marketplace for comprehensive insurance policies. Despite the controversy surrounding the federal health care law, Colorado has made significant progress in establishing its own exchange system,.
The Colorado Health Benefit Exchange is currently well ahead of schedule, in terms of development. The state is not required to have an operational exchange in place until January 2014, but the exchange is currently scheduled to begin business in October 2013. When active, consumers will be able to purchase health insurance policies from the exchange system. Many of these policies will take effect on January 1, 2014 and fully comply with both state and federal regulations.
Colorado Insurance Resources:
Colorado Department of Insurance Website: www.dora.state.co.us/insurance/
Colorado Insurance Commissioner: Jim Riesberg
File a complaint: http://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/real/Ins_Complaint.Submit_Form
Colorado Insurance Agent Resources: Will Follow