Wyoming may increase vehicle insurance minimums

| 9/14/2004

A Wyoming legislative panel tentatively approved a proposal Sept. 9 that would double the minimum amount of liability insurance coverage that Wyoming residents are required to carry in the state.

The committee also considered sponsoring a bill in the legislative session that begins in January aimed at reducing the number of people who don’t have vehicle insurance.

Wyoming drivers are now required to carry minimum liability coverage of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for causing the injury or death of another person. The minimum coverage for property damage is $20,000.

A measure before the Joint Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Interim Committee would expand that coverage to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per incident for injury or death, as well as $25,000 for property damage.

Tom Loftin, a Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman, told the Casper Star-Tribune the state’s minimum insurance requirements were last changed in the mid-1980s.

Loftin said the highway department has no formal position on the bill to raise the requirements, but considering that some drivers may not be able to afford higher insurance premiums, “you may look at the possibility of many uninsured motorists.”

Transportation panel members voted to sponsor the bill in the 2005 budget session.

The committee took testimony on another bill that would require insurance companies to inform the state of people’s vehicle insurance cancellations, terminations or lapses. The state would then suspend those drivers’ licenses and vehicle registrations.