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Uninsured Coverages
Is UM coverage mandatory or discretionary? In Wyoming, UM coverage is mandatory, unless waived by the insured. UM coverage is governed by the Wyoming Uninsured Motorist Act. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §31-10-101, et seq. UM coverage must have minimum limits of $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury or death. Id.; see Wyo. Stat. Ann. §31-9-102(a)(xi). Wyoming statutes do not expressly require that the insured reject UM coverage in writing, although it is advisable. Unless the insured requests UM in writing, UM is not required to be provided in supplements or renewals to a policy where the insured previously rejected UM coverage in a policy issued
by the same insurer. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §31-10-101.

Is UIM coverage mandatory or discretionary? UIM coverage is discretionary in Wyoming. There are no regulations, statutes or case law in Wyoming requiring an insured to provide or offer UIM coverage. Broderick v. Dairyland Ins. Co., 2012 WY 22, 270 P.3d 684.

Is uninsured motorist property damage (“UMPD”) coverage mandatory or discretionary?
UMPD coverage is not required in Wyoming. There are no regulations, statutes or case law in Wyoming requiring UMPD coverage.

Is uninsured motorists “economic only” (“UEO”) coverage mandatory or discretionary?
UEO coverage is discretionary in Wyoming. There are no regulations, statutes or case law in Wyoming requiring UEO coverage.

Does the state have any other uninsured coverages that are mandatory or discretionary?
No. Wyoming has no regulations, statues, or case law regarding other types of uninsured coverages.

Limits
Must the UM or UIM limits match the liability limits for “bodily injury”? Are there minimum UM or UIM limits?
Wyoming UM coverage must, at a minimum, match the required coverage for damages for liability, which are $25,000/$50,000. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§31-10- 101, 31-9-102(a)(xi). These minimum limits are for UM coverage only. There are no minimum limits for UIM coverage in Wyoming.

Must the UMPD limits match the liability limits for “property damage”? No. Are there minimum UMPD limits?
There are no minimums for UMPD coverage in Wyoming.

Are there minimum limits for UEO coverage?
There are no minimums for UEO coverage in Wyoming.

Are there minimum limits for other uninsured coverages that are mandatory or discretionary in this state?                                                                                                                                                                                                No.

 When Is Coverage Available?
Under what circumstances is UM coverage available? What conditions precedent must the insured satisfy? What coverage defenses can the insurer assert?
UM coverage is available for insureds to recover damages due to bodily injury, sickness, or disease, including death, resulting from an accident with the owners or operators of an uninsured motor vehicle. Wyo. Stat. Ann. §31-10-101. Wyoming has no law requiring any conditions precedent be met by the insured. Wyoming specifically allows a direct action against the insurer before adjudication of fault and liability of the other motorist. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Shrader, 882 P.2d 813, 821 (Wyo. 1994) (“we do not find language in Wyo. Stat. §31-10-101 which would require a tort action by the insured against the uninsured motorist as a ‘condition precedent’ to a direct action against the insurer.”). Coverage defenses depend on the terms of the policy.

Under what circumstances is UIM coverage available? What conditions precedent must the insured satisfy? What coverage defenses can the insurer assert?
UIM coverage is not required in Wyoming, and its availability is subject to the terms and conditions of policies offering UIM coverage. Wyoming will enforce policy limits provisions that require the tortfeasor’s policy limits to be less than the insured’s UIM policy limits. State ex rel. Farmers Ins. Exch. v. District Court, 844 P.2d 1099 (Wyo. 1993). Wyoming has no law requiring any conditions precedent be met by the insured. Coverage defenses depend on the terms of the policy.

Under what circumstances is UMPD coverage available? What conditions precedent must the insured satisfy? What coverage defenses can the insurer assert?
UMPD coverage availability is subject to the insurer and terms of policies offering UMPD. There are no cases, statutes, or regulations governing under what circumstances UMPD coverage is available. Wyoming has no law requiring any conditions precedent be met by the insured regarding UMPD coverage. Coverage defenses depend on the terms of the policy.

Under what circumstances is UEO coverage available? What conditions precedent must the insured satisfy? What coverage defenses can the insurer assert?
There are no regulations, statutes or case law in Wyoming governing UEO coverage, and defenses depend on the terms of the policy.

Under what circumstances is coverage available under other uninsured coverages? What conditions recedent must the insured satisfy? What coverage defenses can the insurer assert?
There are no regulations, statutes or case law in Wyoming governing other forms of uninsured coverage.

Arbitrating and Litigating Disputes
Is arbitration of UM claims allowed, or specifically prohibited? UIM? UMPD? UEO? Other uninsured overages?
UM coverage in Wyoming may not contain a mandatory arbitration clause, nor shall any policy require that the outcome of any voluntary arbitration be binding. Wyo. Admin. Code INS GEN Ch. 23, §9.

What requirements must an insured claimant satisfy in order to file suit against, and serve, an insurer for UM coverage? UIM? UMPD? UEO? Other uninsured coverage?
The Wyoming Uninsured Motorist Act has been liberally construed by the courts, and allows direct action against the insurer by the insured to recover UM benefits.  There are no conditions precedent to a direct action against the insurer, nor is there a requirement that the insured obtain a judgment for liability against the tortfeasor before suing the insured.  State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Shrader, 882P.2d 813 (Wyo. 1994).  Wyoming has no law allowing the insurer to obtain a reduction to an award to match UM limits.

Final Amounts Paid or Awarded
Can offsets against the UM, UIM, UMPD, UEO or other uninsured coverage limits be taken?
Yes.

Are offsets taken from the UM, UIM, UMPD, UEO or other uninsured coverage limit—or from total damages?
The offset is taken from the UM/UIM limit. Aaron v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2001 WY 112, 34 P.3d 929.

Can the insurer take offsets for medical payments, workers’ compensation or no-fault insurance? Are any other offsets allowed in the state?
In no instance shall UM benefits be reduced by amounts paid under workers’ compensation legislation. UM benefits may not be reduced on account of payments made under any other section of the policy, including medical coverage or bodily injury coverage. Wyo. Admin. Code INS GEN Ch. 23, §5.

What liens, if any, can be asserted against the insured claimant’s recovery of UM? UIM? UMPD? UEO? Other uninsured coverages?
Medical liens, Medicaid liens, Medicare liens, and workers’ compensation liens may be asserted against the proceeds of uninsured coverages in Wyoming.  Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§26-15-136 (medical), 27-14-105 (workers compensation), §42-4-204 (Medicaid); 42 U.S.C. §1395y(b)(2) (Medicare).

Can different limits be stacked? If yes, which limits? Does a specific procedure apply?
Intra-policy stacking is not allowed. An insured that has a single automobile insurance policy encompassing several vehicles is not permitted to stack payment provisions for recovery of injuries sustained in an accident involving one of the covered vehicles, where the right to aggregate coverages was neither required by the ascertainable public policy concerns nor permitted by the policy in its clearly stated terms. Commercial Union Ins. Co v. Stamper, 732 P.2d 534 (Wyo. 1987). Inter-policy stacking is allowed. Where a plaintiff has paid separate premiums for separate policies containing UIM limits, UIM coverage will be stacked unless the policies contain clear and unambiguous anti-stacking provisions. Aaron v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2001 WY 112, 34 P.3d 929.

In UIM claims, can the UIM insurer substitute its settlement payment for the insured’s settlement with the other vehicle’s/underinsured driver’s liability insurer? What is the applicable procedure? What rights does the UIM insurer then have (for example, subrogation)?
Wyoming does not have codified law regarding UIM coverage, so the determination of a UIM insurer’s right to substitute payment for the insured’s settlement with the underinsured driver’s insurer will rest on the policy language.

Bad Faith
Does the State recognize a cause of action for bad faith in the UM context? UIM? UMPD? UEO? Other  uninsured coverages?
Yes. Wyoming recognizes a cause of action against an insurer for bad faith in the context of all insurance policies, including UM/UIM context.  However, the trial may need to be bifurcated.   See, State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Shrader, 882 P.2d 813 (Wyo. 1994).  There are no reported cases directly addressing bad faith claims in the context of UMPD, UEO, or other uninsured coverages.

Other
Are there any particular issues in UM, UIM, UMPD, UEO, or other uninsured coverages that are unique or specific to the state?
In no instance shall any UM coverage contain any policy language which forbids the insured from prosecuting an action against an uninsured motorist without the written consent of the insurer. Wyo. Admin. Code INS GEN Ch. 23, §8.

AUTHOR ______________________________________________________________________________ Amanda (Mandy) M. Good | Hirst Applegate, LLP |307.632.0541 | agood@hirstapplegate.com