When it comes to car insurance rates, Cortez is fairly average.
In a study that ranked 79 Colorado towns, Cortez came in at 34th for insurance rates, slightly cheaper than Bayfield and slightly more expensive than Mancos. Those towns came in 33nd and 32th, respectively.
The study averaged insurance rates of 15 different companies to come up with averages for towns in Colorado. Yearly car insurance in Cortez averaged $1,180 per year. The rates are based on roughly twice the insurance coverage mandated by the state.
The study controlled for variations in rates caused by a driver’s history by creating a “benchmark” consumer. The consumer profile created for the study was a 30-year-old man who drives a 2010 Toyota Camry. He had a clean driving and traffic record for five years and a good credit.
The researchers found a general correlation between lower insurance rates and smaller towns.
“But it is not a hard and fast rule,” said Ting Pen, an analyst with Value Penguin, the organization specializing in consumer product research that completed the study.
“Some of the factors that can increase premiums for these smaller towns is an insurer’s experience of higher claims volume and value in that territory, as well as more expensive cars insured in that area,” she said.
Across the state, Denver had the highest average rate, at $1,510 per year. Many cities around Denver also had a high average. Fort Collins, the fourth most populous city in the state, had the lowest average, at $1,002.
“(Fort Collins) is one of the more spacious and spread-out cities in the state – this generally tends to mean fewer opportunities for accidents to happen on the road, and therefore lower premiums,” Pen said.
She said Value Penguin does the study because auto insurance is an opaque market. The organization but plans to do it annually.
“The results from this study help to provide a sense of how rates differ city by city, and establishes an average cost using the benchmark of an unmarried 30-year-old male driver,” she said.