The state of Wyoming requires drivers to have a minimum amount of insurance coverage in order to protect everyone on the road. Insurance pays for damages done when you are liable in an accident and ensures that your damages are covered when you are not liable. Wyoming’s financial responsibility law mandates coverage for injuries as well as for property damage.
The coverage required by law in Wyoming pays for injuries, death, and damage to the property of another person on behalf of the at-fault driver. The law in Wyoming requires these minimum limits:
- Bodily Injury Liability coverage in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident total for all persons injured in the same accident. This coverage pays for a variety of medical expenses and death-related costs as well.
- Property Damage Liability coverage in the amount of $20,000, to pay for damage done to another person’s vehicle or any other personal property in an at-fault accident.
While these are the limits required by law, most drivers recognize that the cost of an accident can come in much higher, and they choose to select higher coverage limits for additional protection. Along with this option, there are several other options to choose from.
Wyoming drivers can choose to expand their insurance protection by adding on optional coverage to the basic policy required by law. Aside from increased liability limits, there is also a wide range of other options to choose from, which can vary by insurance company.
Some of the common options for additional insurance coverage include:
- Collision Coverage – Pays for damage to your own vehicle in the event of an at-fault accident.
- Comprehensive Coverage – Pays for damage that was caused by anything other than an accident – this includes a variety of things such as theft, vandalism, fire, or weather damage. This coverage often includes glass-only damage as well.
- Uninsured/Underinsurance Motorist Coverage – Pays for damage done by a driver who either has no insurance at all or whose coverage is not sufficient to pay for all of the damage done. While it is common and almost mandatory for insurance companies to offer uninsured, you can reject the coverage, however, this has to be done so in writing. The limits are the same for liability mentioned above with the exclusion of property.
- Rental Reimbursement Coverage – Pays for a rental car during repairs on a covered claim.
- Towing & Labor – Pays for towing costs and other roadside emergency needs that are not the result of an accident.
There are also a variety of other options that insurance companies may offer on their policies; these can include things like accident forgiveness, new car replacement, extra equipment coverage, and more.
Proof of Insurance and the Law
The state of Wyoming uses an electronic verification system to ensure that drivers are providing the required insurance for their vehicles. Drivers are still required to present proof of insurance to law enforcement on request during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident. The state does allow drivers to present electronic proof of insurance.
A driver who does not produce proof of insurance will have seven days to provide it; if proof is not provided, the driver will face fines of up to $750 and up to six months in jail.
A driver who is involved in an accident while uninsured may face suspension of driving privileges and will be required to file an SR-22, which is a proof of financial responsibility filing provided by the insurance company. Often drivers are required to hold this minimum insurance for three years.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Wyoming
As of 2017, Insure.com ranks Wyoming as having the 8th highest car insurance premiums among all of the states. With an average annual premium of $1538, this makes them over $200 higher than the average annual rating.
Rates for individual drivers across the state can vary greatly. Driving record, the type of vehicle insured, how often and how far the vehicle is driven, and several other factors impact rates. Wyoming drivers can save money on car insurance by shopping around for the best rate.
The Wyoming Department of Insurance provides assistance with the process of shopping for insurance by providing insurance information as well as a database of consumer complaint ratios for all insurance companies operating in the state. This can help drivers to choose a reputable company for their insurance needs.
Wyoming participates in the Western Association of Automobile Plans to provide insurance to those drivers who have been turned down elsewhere. The Wyoming Automobile Insurance Plan is designed to ensure that high-risk drivers whose record or other issues has made it difficult or even impossible to get coverage on the open market can still obtain a policy.
This type of plan assigns each driver to an insurance company, which will then be required to provide a policy. These plans are generally very expensive and aimed at drivers who have failed to obtain the legally required insurance coverage on the voluntary market and have no other choice.
Teen Drivers in Wyoming
Wyoming’s graduated driver licensing program is designed to help teen drivers develop skills over time, earning more freedom and responsibility on the road as they graduate through each step.
There are two types of learner’s permit available to teens in Wyoming.
The Restricted Learner’s Permit can be obtained at the age of 14, but the teen must meet at least one of the specific requirements:
- Live at least 5 miles away from the school in which they are enrolled
- Work at least 10 hours per week at a job that is located more than 5 miles from home
- Require a license to work for a parent’s business
- Other extreme inconvenience
Minors with a restricted permit must hold it for at least 10 days before they can apply for a Restricted License.
The Regular Learner’s Permit can be obtained at the age of 15. With this permit, the teen can begin learning how to drive, but can only drive when accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 18.
This permit is a restricted license that allows a teen to drive unsupervised within a few restrictions. The teen must be at least 16 to obtain this license and must have completed at least 50 hours of behind the wheel practice, 10 of which must be at night. The restrictions of this license are:
- There can be no more than one passenger under the age of 18 who is not a family member
- Driving is only permitted between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- All passengers must wear seatbelts
Exceptions to the restrictions can be made for teens that need to drive for religious, employment or school-related reasons.
A teen can obtain a license at the age of 17, or at 16.5 years old if the teen as held an intermediate permit for at least 6 months and has completed a driver education program.
At this time all restrictions are lifted.
Teen drivers must meet all financial responsibility requirements; this is usually done by adding the teen to the insurance policy of a parent or guardian. Teens can remain insured in this way even when away at school, as long as the parent or guardian’s address remains their permanent residence.
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