A recently completed study of auto insurance rates in Colorado ranks Delta among the best 20 percent of cities for having low coverage costs, with an average cost of $1,119 per year.
The study, which was conducted by ValuePenguin.com, shows that costs can vary almost 50 percent from the cheapest to the most expensive city in the study.
Where automobile owners live significantly influences their costs. That’s also true within Delta County, according to Patty Blanco of Farmers Insurance Applegate Agency. Rural areas tend to cost less, but as the deer population increases, prices edge back up. Overall, though, Delta residents pay less than automobile owners in Montrose, Grand Junction and even the Surface Creek area, though the difference in that case is fairly small.
“All the rates are based on what it costs to cover claims,” said Jerry Reiher, a State Farm agency owner. “Maybe our body shops don’t charge as much, maybe the ambulance and hospital don’t charge as much. Maybe the nature of our accidents aren’t as serious and they don’t generate lawsuits. All that goes into the cost.”
Generally, Reiher said, the claims filed in his office are for small fender benders, not head-on accidents with serious injuries.
The study was based on auto insurance rates for a 30-year-old male driving in 76 cities in Colorado. He owns his own home and drives a 2010 Toyota Camry (base sedan) about 12,000 miles a year to and from work for the most part. He has had a clean driving and traffic record for the past five years and a good credit history as well.
The rates are based on roughly twice the insurance coverage mandated by the state of Colorado. Colorado requires auto insurance with a minimum of bodily injury protection of $25,000 per person up to $50,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage per accident. Included in the study are 15 national insurers such as GEICO, Progressive and State Farm.
Across the 70-plus cities in the analysis, the average statewide cost was $1,186 a year, or almost $100 a month.
Fort Collins and Loveland top the list of cities with the cheapest car insurance.
Four out of the five cities on the most expensive list are within range of Denver, the largest city in Colorado. On this end of the spectrum, the annual cost of car insurance is $1,382 on average.