Whether you’re driving in the wide, open spaces of Wyoming, through Yellowstone National Park, the streets of Cheyenne or treacherous terrain in severe winter weather, drivers in Wyoming need the financial protection of car insurance. The Insurance Information Institute indicates more than 419,000 drivers were present on the roads of Wyoming in 2018 and 111 driving fatalities occurred that year. However, according to local reports, that number grew by almost one-third the next year, with 147 fatalities in 2019. The primary causes were driver distraction, alcohol or drug intoxication and driving too fast for road conditions.
Car insurance laws in Wyoming
Wyoming car insurance laws require drivers to show proof of financial responsibility, with either car insurance or an alternate form of coverage, in order to meet the state’s requirements for minimum car insurance. You must be able to show proof with a certificate or ID card issued by your auto insurer — electronic proof of insurance is not accepted by local law enforcement (but electronic proof of an SR-22 certificate is acceptable).
Wyoming minimum car insurance laws currently require a minimum liability coverage of 25/50/20, or:
- $25,000 for injuries per person
- $50,000 for injuries per accident
- $20,000 for property damage
If you are looking for an alternative to traditional auto insurance, you may opt for one of the to comply with Wyoming’s minimum car insurance laws:
- Deposit of money or securities: You can deposit $25,000 with the Wyoming Treasury as alternate proof of financial responsibility.
- Surety bond: This states that a surety company will cover all costs and claims against you after a car accident, as long as you eventually reimburse the surety company.
- Self-insurance: If you have more than 25 vehicles registered in your name (small business owners, for example), you may qualify to be a self-insurer. You must file cash, securities or a surety bond for $200,000 plus $100 per vehicle over the 25 vehicles you are covering.
Liability insurance in Wyoming
Even though Wyoming drivers are only required to have the minimum liability car insurance, sometimes this is not enough. Liability coverage does not pay for your injuries or damage to your own property, and in many accidents, there is usually damage sustained to both vehicles. In some cases, the minimum amount of liability coverage is not enough to pay for all the accident costs. In that case, the driver may be left to pay the difference out-of-pocket. In addition, if you still owe on a car loan, lenders usually require more than just liability coverage — typically requiring you to have collision and comprehensive coverage as well.
Wyoming is a vast land of almost 98,000 square miles where the average driver logs almost 22,000 miles per year. More time and more miles on the road can lead to a greater chance of an accident, which means there is generally a greater need for insurance. The opportunity to collide with wildlife in Wyoming, such as elk, antelope, moose and deer also creates a greater motivation to include collision coverage beyond the minimum Wyoming auto insurance requirements.
Is Wyoming a no-fault state?
Wyoming is an at-fault state, which means drivers must take responsibility and pay for any crash they are found to cause. After an accident, the insurance of the driver who caused the accident must pay the other driver’s costs for damage caused by the collision.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Wyoming
Drivers face stiff penalties for not following Wyoming car insurance laws and driving without insurance. The first offense can result in the requirement of maintaining an SR-22 certificate for 3 years, a fine between $250-$750 and/or up to six months in prison. Subsequent offenses are punishable by the requirement of an SR-22 for 3 years, a fine between $500-$1500, forfeiture of license plates or vehicle registration and/or up to six months in prison.
Additional auto insurance coverage options in Wyoming
Beyond state minimum coverage, other beneficial insurance options include coverage for:
- Collision – This coverage takes care of damage to your vehicle that is caused by a collision with another vehicle or object — even if you are the one at fault.
- Comprehensive – This coverage is for damage to your vehicle by non-collision events (for example, theft, vandalism or weather events).
- Gap coverage – This covers the difference between what you owe on a loan and the car’s cash value, in the event your vehicle is totaled during a loss.
- Medical payments – This covers your medical expenses in the event of a car accident.
- Rental car reimbursement – This covers the cost of a rental car during the time it takes to repair your vehicle from damages resulting from an accident.
- Roadside assistance – This coverage provides a tow truck or assistance during a breakdown (for example, labor to change a flat tire or jumpstart a dead battery).
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist – This takes care of you if you or your vehicle are harmed by another driver who is not insured, is underinsured or if you’re in a hit-and-run.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best car insurance company in Wyoming?
The best car insurance company varies depending on the person, so it is recommended to shop around and figure out what works best for you. Reviewing the Best Car Insurance Companies in Wyoming and comparing the average cost of insurance for each company might help to determine the policy that is right for you.
How can I lower my car insurance premiums?
Seek discounts you might qualify for if you do not already have them applied to your policy. Contact your agent or reach out to different car insurance companies to see if you qualify for discounts such as safe driver and claims-free discounts, bundling and multi-car discounts, discounts for being a good student or discounts for safety features on your car.