Car Insurance in Wyoming

Wyoming is a nature lover’s paradise — think mountain ranges, wide-open spaces, plenty of wildlife. Unfortunately, this also makes it a risky place to insure drivers. Residents can expect auto insurance premiums to fall just below the national average. But who wants to settle for average? I did some shopping and found out the right company could save me over $300 every year.

I got quotes for Wyoming’s minimum coverage and found that choosing the right company could save me $307 annually. GEICO was my best car insurance option at $226 a year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the least expensive option for you. Every auto insurer has a different formula for determining premium costs, taking things like age, driving history, and vehicle make and model into account. This means that the only way to find your cheapest price is to get a bunch of quotes from reputable companies and compare them.

The process is pretty simple, and requires less than an hour of your time. Most of the information providers need will be committed to your memory — your birthday, your address, your vehicle, simple stuff. But there are other questions you may need to look up, like your average annual mileage and the details of any citations and accidents from the last five years. It’s best to have this information handy before you begin the quote process.

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Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Wyoming

When considering which providers to investigate, focus on financial solvency and good customer service. A.M. Best is a rating agency that assesses a company’s long-term financial strength and a good rating is a strong sign the insurer will be able to pay out when you file a claim. (All of these companies earned an “excellent” or “superior” rating.)

Insurer My quote
GEICO $226
State Farm $324
The Hartford $458
Farmers $530

You also want a company that’s known for treating its customers well. Filing a claim is stressful and a good insurer will make this process as painless as possible. That’s why I chose companies with high ratings from J.D. Power’s auto insurance customer satisfaction survey for Wyoming’s region.

You wouldn’t think it would be easy to find a large range of deals in such an average state, but as it turned out, I found over a $300 difference. At $226 a month, GEICO was my best option, followed by State Farm at $324 — but there was still nearly a $100 difference between the two. Farmers, the most expensive of the bunch, was more than double the cost of GEICO for identical coverage. Needless to say, GEICO would be my number one pick.

Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years

Your insurance rates depend on more than just your risk — your loyalty matters, too. You may think sticking with a company long-term will earn you a nice discount, but the opposite might actually be true. Insurers use a process called price optimization to evaluate how likely you are to leave them for another company by looking at your credit score, previous insurance, and even your online shopping habits. If they think you’ll stick around, they’ll charge you a higher rate. If they think you’re likely to leave, you’ll get a more competitive price come renewal time.

To avoid these upcharges, it’s a good idea to shop around every year or two. This way, the price-optimization algorithms won’t mark you as someone who will accept a higher rate. Your insurance risk changes over time as well, so you may find your premiums are much lower a year from now than they are today.

Several states have banned price optimization, but Wyoming isn’t one of them. The Consumer Federation of America has urged the Wyoming insurance commissioner to do something about this, but no steps have yet been taken. This means it’s up to you to be aware of this tactic and take steps to reduce its impact on your rates.

Wyoming’s Minimum Coverage

The Bare Minimum

Wyoming residents must have three types of liability coverage to pay for damages if they’re at fault in an accident: $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 per accident, plus $20,000 of property damage coverage.

The Best Car Insurance is Not Just Cheap Car Insurance

Take a look at these two important stats:

  • By industry estimates, you will file a claim for an accident every 17.9 years.
  • The average cost of a disabling nonfatal injury is $80,700.

The bare minimum may seem like a good idea at first. After all, the monthly premiums are cheaper. But look closer: The bare minimum from GEICO ($25,000/$50,000/$20,000) would cost me $226 a year. Doubling those limits only brings me to $249 a year. That extra $23 comes out to less than $2 a month. And over 18 years, that’s only an extra $414.

Your car is likely one of the most expensive things you own. Insurance protects your investment and guarantees a way of coping with the expense of accidents, vandalism or theft. It also secures your financial responsibility to the institution lending you money to buy your vehicle.

Prices differ from company to company, so it pays to shop around.  Get at least three price quotes. You can call companies directly or research the information online. … Don’t shop by price alone. Ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Contact your state insurance department to find out whether they provide information on consumer complaints by company. Work with an insurance professional who takes time to answer your questions. — Insurance Information Institute

Say I have minimum, cheap car insurance and I get into a terrible accident and seriously injure someone. After reaching my policy’s $25,000 limit, my insurance wouldn’t pay a dime. But that doesn’t mean I’d be off the hook; I could still be sued for the remainder of the damages and that money would be coming out of my pocket. In light of that scary possibility, I’d gladly pay the extra $23 a year to up my liability coverage limits.

What Happens If I’m Caught Without Insurance?

Wyoming law requires you to present proof of insurance when registering your vehicle, and driving without it could earn you up to a $750 fine and a six-month stay at your local jail.

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Beat the Average Premium: 9 Ways to Snag Cheap Car Insurance Rates

It might seem crazy at first, but where you live, right down to the zip code, is one of the many factors determine your rates. However, there are a few things you can do in addition to shopping around that might save a few dollars. One possibility is moving to a cheaper area. If that’s out of the question, consider enrolling in a safe driver course or in a program that monitors your driving habits. I save quite a bit on my insurance because I don’t drive very much, and that usually makes me eligible for low-mileage discounts. For more ideas, check out our list below.

Nine ways to lower your car insurance rate


Why Are Wyoming’s rates so average?

What to Expect
Average Monthly Premiums
United States $139
Wyoming $120
Cheyenne $120
Source: Quadrant

Wyoming seems to have everything going for it: It’s a rural state with a low population density and less than 9 percent of its drivers are uninsured. The state also has the absolute lowest average cost for check engine light-repairs in the country ($157 for parts, $151 for labor, and $308 for a combination). So why, then, are the state’s premiums just barely below the national average?

Unfortunately, in this case, all the wide-open spaces work against it. Everything being spread out means more time spent on the road and a longer response time for emergency personnel. Couple that with Wyoming’s extreme weather and low seatbelt use and it’s easy to see why the state’s roads are considered some of the most dangerous in the nation. In 2014, the state logged far fewer fatal crashes than a majority of states, but on average, there were 25.7 crash fatalities per 100,000 people; the highest percentage of any other state.

All that being said, Wyoming drivers don’t have much to complain about. Their rates are still cheaper than half the country’s.

What If I’m Not a Full-Time Resident?

Once you become a resident of Wyoming, you’re required to register your vehicle and meet its minimum insurance coverages. If you work and own, rent, or lease a residence in the state, you’re considered a resident, even if you don’t live there year-round. Alternatively, if you live there 120 days out of the year — regardless of whether you work or own a home — you’re considered a resident and must comply with state auto insurance laws.

The Bottom Line

There’s no best insurer for everyone, and the only way to find cheap car insurance that actually works in your favor is to get quotes from several companies and compare them. And if you can afford to, go beyond the minimum coverage. It seems like just an extra expense now, but if you get into an accident, you’ll be grateful you had the foresight to purchase extra coverage.

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