Wyoming is a nature lover’s paradise — 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? If you do some shopping around, the right company could save you over $500 every year.
When it comes to choosing Wyoming’s required minimum coverage, the right company could save you $307 annually. Geico was the best car insurance option at $454 a year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the least expensive option for everyone. Every auto insurer has a different formula for determining premium costs, taking things like age, driving history and vehicle make and model into account. Your location will also play a major role in the overall price. How likely you are to use roadways that are known for accidents and the local crime rate are two factors that can up the price of your policy. This means that the only way to find the cheapest price is to get a bunch of quotes from reputable companies and compare them.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
The process is pretty simple. It requires less than an hour of your time. Most of the information providers need includes things you know well. This will include your birthday, your address, your vehicle and other simple pieces of information. 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 past five years. It’s best to have this information handy before you begin the quote process.
Our Top 4 Picks for the Best Cheap 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.)
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 it’s important to choose companies with high ratings from J.D. Power’s auto insurance customer satisfaction survey. You can even make sure that these ratings are true for Wyoming’s region and not just a nationwide average.
You wouldn’t think it would be easy to find a large range of deals in such an average state, but as it turns out, you can find over a $500 difference. At $454 a year, Geico was the best option, followed by State Farm at $940 — but there was still nearly a $500 difference between the two. The Hartford, the most expensive of the bunch, was more than double the cost of Geico for identical coverage. Needless to say, Geico would be the top pick based on price alone.
Wyoming’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
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. It’s important to note that if you have a car loan, the lender will require more than the minimum level of insurance for the life of the loan.
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.
Take a look at these important stats:
- By industry estimates, the average driver has an accident every 17.9 years.
- Two out of three Americans will be in an injury-causing automobile accident in their lifetime.
- Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top three causes of accidental death for every age bracket. It is the leading cause of accidental death for ages 5 to 34.
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 you $454 a year. Doubling those limits brings you to $477 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.
Say you have minimum, cheap car insurance and you get into a terrible accident and seriously injure someone. After reaching your policy’s $25,000 limit, your insurance wouldn’t pay a dime. But that doesn’t mean you’d be off the hook. You could still be sued for the remainder of the damages and that money would be coming out of pocket. In light of that scary possibility, it may be worth it to you to pay the extra $23 a year to raise your liability coverage limits.
It might seem crazy at first, but where you live, right down to the ZIP code, is one of the many factors determining 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. You could be eligible for low-mileage discounts if you don’t drive often.
Why are Wyoming’s rates so average?
Wyoming seems to have everything going for it: It’s a rural state with a low population density and less than 8 percent of its drivers are uninsured motorists. The state also has a fairly low cost for check-engine-light repairs in the country ($163 for parts, $225 for labor, for a total of $388). 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 seat belt use and it’s easy to see why the state’s roads are considered some of the most dangerous in the nation. The latest statistics show there were 21.2 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 people in 2017, the second-highest in the nation.
All that being said, Wyoming drivers don’t have much to complain about. Their rates are still cheaper than half of the country’s average costs.
What if you’re 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.
What is SR-22 insurance?
SR-22 is a form of high-risk insurance that is offered to those who have had their licenses taken away because of DUI or other serious traffic violations. In many cases, you may need to show proof of SR-22 insurance before you can get your suspended license reinstated.
What is no-fault insurance?
No-fault insurance is a form of insurance offered in several states. In a no-fault state, damages are paid by your insurer for your car and your injuries, regardless of who is at fault. This often can mean a quicker turnaround in payout. Wyoming is not a no-fault state.
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.
If you’re a good driver, you can benefit from shopping around because of the extra discounts that other companies will use to entice you away. If you’re a young driver, you may find that other companies have better rates for your age bracket, or you might be able to take advantage more quickly of the discounts that happen when you age out of the high-risk bracket. If you have poor credit that you are fixing, you can take advantage of a bump in credit score by shopping for a new rate based on the improvement.
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.
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.
Best Car Insurance in Wyoming
- State Farm
- The Hartford