Do I Need Auto Insurance When Driving Through Wyoming?
Motorists driving across the Equality State don’t need to be legal residents of Wyoming to be involved in an accident. The state Department of Transportation estimates that in 2010 there were more than 14,600 crashes there, and of the individuals involved in those accidents, more than one-fifth had out-of-state driver’s licenses. For example, more than 1,300 motorists involved in the crashes had Colorado licenses, and another 353 were licensed in Montana.
To be adequately covered while driving across the nearly 98,000 square miles that make up Wyoming, motorists must have coverage to pay for potential injuries or damages. People who have vehicles registered in the state must purchase Wyoming auto insurance with minimum liability limits of 25/50/20 to pay for potential at-fault injuries and damages. Motorists passing through the Equality State, however, are usually subject to the coverage requirements within their own state. For example, a motorist traveling through WY in a car registered in Montana typically only needs to carry auto liability with limits of 25/50/10 because those are the minimum limits in the Treasure State.
Before setting out on a trip across WY, out-of-state drivers are encouraged to consider researching the specifics of their policies and Wyoming car insurance laws to be adequately prepared in the event of an accident. Most policies automatically adjust to accord with other states’ minimum requirements, so a minimum Montana policy would automatically be bumped up to 25/50/20 from 25/50/10 when the policyholder crosses state lines. This is not always the case, though, and drivers may want to consider adding extra liability coverage if their limits are less than those required by the Equality State and if their insurers do not accommodate out-of-state travel.
Automobile accidents involving local wildlife are also fairly common in WY, so motorists are encouraged to consider adding comprehensive coverage as well to pay for potential damages to their vehicle as the result of hitting a woodland creature. In 2010 there were an estimated 1,932 accidents involving deer, and over 140 involving elk. In total, there were about 2,500 reported crashes that involved animals that year, which included local drivers as well as those simply passing through the state.
Before beginning any road trip, particularly ones that include a trip across WY, motorists are encouraged to explore their policies to ensure enough coverage will be in place, to always get proof of car insurance and to keep the documents in the vehicle for easy reference.