Guest Column

Legislation aims to cut cost of car insurance

Column by State Sen. Jack Tate
Posted 4/12/17

Did your car insurance premiums go up this year? You're not alone. Colorado is experiencing a surge in auto insurance rates, with drivers seeing an average rate increase of 15 percent or more on …

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Guest Column

Legislation aims to cut cost of car insurance

Posted

Did your car insurance premiums go up this year? You're not alone. Colorado is experiencing a surge in auto insurance rates, with drivers seeing an average rate increase of 15 percent or more on policy renewals. This trend has not gone unnoticed. We are working hard to bring those costs down with a package of bills aimed at reducing insurance rates for struggling Coloradans.

There are a number of reasons, beyond individual risk factors, why we may all be experiencing steep increases in our auto insurance premiums this year. Mandates that incentivize lawsuits or exorbitant jury awards drive up all of our rates.

Several years ago, Colorado had a no-fault insurance system which mandated drivers buy expensive coverage and auto insurance rates skyrocketed. After the no-fault system crashed in on itself in 2003, premiums plummeted and created a marketplace with more individual options suited to drivers' needs.

However, with more folks moving to Colorado every day, we simply have more drivers on Colorado highways than we can accommodate. Invariably, with more drivers we see more accidents. During the past five years, insurance companies have struggled to keep up with the surge in claims that barely break even with funds collected from our premium costs, especially considering the surge in uninsured motorists.

This Republican-led effort aims to lower premiums by ensuring that injured parties are compensated rather than enriching trial lawyers, helping significantly lower the bottom line for drivers all over Colorado. By guarding against claims of phantom damages - when lawyers attempt to claim more in damage than what was actually suffered - blocking lawyers from unilaterally suing insurance companies without permission of policyholders who are not aware of the action, and lessening factors that contribute to the increase in claims, we can continue to make car insurance as affordable as possible in Colorado.

We know insurance is a humdrum subject, but it is one that affects every Colorado family on a budget. That's why Colorado Senate Republicans are focusing on solutions, and working hard to lower your rates. We want to ensure that you spend less time worrying about budgeting for your high rates, and more time getting your family where you need to go. Fixing Colorado's broken transportation system is one of our top priorities, from fixing your highways and bridges to lowering premiums, We, along with the entire Senate Republican caucus, have your back on Colorado's roads.

State Sen. Jack Tate represents Senate District 27, which encompasses parts of unincorporated Arapahoe County, the city of Centennial and the town of Foxfield. He is a Senate sponsor of SB 17-191, Market-Based Interest Rates on Judgments; SB 17-181, Collateral-Source Rule Evidence of Insurance; SB 17-182, Uninsured Motor Vehicle and Medical Coverage; and SB 17-204, Improper Denial of Property and Casualty Claims. 

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