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Auto Insurance Expensive For Wyoming Teens

Credit Creative Commons

A recent study shows Wyoming parents can expect the fourth highest increase in auto insurance rates nationwide when they add a teen driver, but Wyoming drivers pay little for auto insurance overall.

The study by InsuranceQuotes.com, an online marketplace for purchasing car insurance, found that when a teen starts to drive, a Wyoming family’s auto insurance rate more than doubles, with an increase of 105.8 percent.

Insurance Information Institute spokesman Michael Barry said factors unique to Wyoming contribute to why it’s so expensive to insure teen drivers.

“In Wyoming you’re driving generally more miles. And just by virtue of being on the road for more miles, depending on the state you’re in, that can statistically drive up the chance of a claim being filed as well,” Barry said.

Barry said having good grades and taking defensive driving courses can help lower rates for teen drivers.

Still, Wyoming drivers spend less on auto insurance than drivers in most of the United States. The Insurance Information Institute reported drivers in Wyoming paid on average a little over $600  in 2013—compared to a national average of $841. Nine states boast cheaper average auto insurance rates than Wyoming, the 10th least expensive rate in the nation.

Because of Wyoming’s small population, Barry said Wyoming’s drivers often don’t have to deal with problems that happen in urban centers.

“Compared to more densely-populated states where you have vandalism and theft, that’s not so much of an issue in Wyoming,” Barry said.

The study also found that families nationwide can expect a 24 percent higher increase on average in their insurance bill when adding a male teen driver to their policy than when adding a female.

Barry said this was because male teen drivers are seen as more aggressive and risky drivers by insurance companies.

Liam Niemeyer is a rising junior studying journalism at Ohio University, and is quite far away from his home in Athens, Ohio. With it being only his second time in Wyoming, he is excited to learn more about the state and its culture. An admitted podcast fanatic and audiophile, he also produces and hosts his own radio show back at OU. In his free time, you might find him playing a mean tenor saxophone or sporting a new bow tie.
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