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Wisconsin Car Insurance

If you live and drive in the state of Wisconsin, it is very important to have the minimum amounts of legally required car insurance coverage. Not having what is legally required can come with some serious consequences.

Affording a car insurance premium can be difficult for some Wisconsin drivers. If you need to find ways to decrease your car insurance premium, consider using a car insurance price comparison tool.

These calculators make it simple and easy for drivers to compare several different auto insurance companies, policies, and premiums all in one convenient place.

Start comparing auto insurance rates now by using our FREE comparison tool above!

Wisconsin Minimum Insurance Requirements

Nearly all states in the U.S. have compulsory auto insurance laws and Wisconsin is no exception. All drivers must carry the following liability coverages:

  • $10,000 for property damage
  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person

Drivers should note that liability coverage pays for damages that you caused to other parties. It will not pay for damages to your personage, property, or vehicle. If you want protection for you, you need to purchase additional coverages above and beyond the legally required amounts.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

In Wisconsin, drivers need to carry a minimum of $25,000/$50,000 of uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injury only. This type of auto insurance coverage is in place to pay for any injuries you, your family, or any other people in your vehicle sustain if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not carry auto insurance.

Uninsured motorist coverage will also cover you or your family as a pedestrian and if you are a victim of a hit-and-run accident. As the minimum required coverage is only for bodily injury, Wisconsin drivers may want to consider purchasing additional coverages for their property.

Medical Payments Coverage

Although medical payments coverage, also known as Med Pay, is not a mandatory coverage type in the state of Wisconsin, automobile insurance companies are required to provide it to drivers who want to pay for it. The minimum amount that car insurance carriers must offer is $1,000.

Med Pay provides payments for medical expenses related to injuries sustained in a car accident as well as coverage for lost wages. In some cases, Med Pay may also cover hired help around the house that is needed as a direct result of your injuries in an accident.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Although drivers in the state of Wisconsin are not legally mandated to carry comprehensive or collision coverage, it is usually required by banks and leasing companies for vehicles that are leased or have a loan out on them.

If you do not lease your car or have a loan out on it, you may decide to forgo these coverages, which are not legally mandated. For some drivers, especially those with older cars, this may make sense. However, it is important to carefully weigh your options and your financial situation before making such a decision.

With both collision and comprehensive coverage you select your deductible and coverage amounts. Keep in mind that the higher your deductible the lower your premium will likely be. If you choose to go with a higher deductible, be sure you have the financial means to pay for it should you ever need it.

Collision coverage applies if you are in an accident with another vehicle, roll your vehicle, or collide with a building, pole, or something else in an accident.

Comprehensive coverage applies to other situations outside of accidents such as:

  • Hitting wildlife or other animals
  • Flooding
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Hail or wind
  • Other damages caused by weather
  • Damages caused by natural disasters

Wisconsin is a Fault-Based State

As most states are, Wisconsin is an at-fault state for car insurance. At-fault means that the party that caused the accident will be responsible for paying for the damages he or she caused.

If you are a pedestrian, driver, or passenger involved in a motor vehicle accident in the state of Wisconsin you will generally have many options for getting compensated for property or bodily injury damages.

These options include:

  • Filing a claim with your own auto insurance carrier
  • Filing a third party car insurance claim with the other driver's insurance company
  • Filing a civil suit in court against the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company

What is comparative negligence?

Wisconsin is a state that has adopted a comparative negligence law. Even though legally one driver can be found to be the at-fault party, the responsibility of an auto accident is frequently shared.

If your negligence is found to be the same as the other party or even less, you are legally barred from recovering for your damages. Even if you are the party who carries the lesser percentage of negligence, the damages that you can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault that is assigned to you.

Proof of Insurance

In addition to purchasing liability insurance, Wisconsin drivers are required to have proof of auto insurance with them at all times while they are driving. You must be prepared to show proof of insurance coverage if you are stopped by a law enforcement officer or are involved in an auto accident.

You can be fined $10 for not having proof with you when required. Showing fraudulent proof of insurance could lead to a fine of up to $5,000 and other criminal implications.

Consequences for Not Having Auto Insurance in Wisconsin

For many reasons, driving without auto insurance is an extremely bad idea. You could be sued for damages in civil court and owe thousands, if not millions, of dollars.

If the other party successfully sues you, you could have liens attached to your property, your bank accounts levied, and your wages garnished to pay their bills and other damages related to the accident.

Legally, driving without insurance could have the following consequences:

  • Fines up to $500
  • Revocation or suspension of your driver's license
  • Revocation or suspension of your car registration
  • Imprisonment
  • Community service

Driving without the legally required insurance coverage could also lead to difficulty obtaining auto insurance in the future or paying higher premiums.

Wisconsin’s Safety Responsibility Law

In order to provide protection to people who are in accidents and have suffered damages from uninsured motorists, Wisconsin has a Safety Responsibility Law. This law requires that accidents involving the injury or death of another party or property damage that is over $1,000 be reported to the proper authorities as soon as possible.

A driver’s report of an accident must be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), within 10 days of the accident. However, if the police came to the scene and investigated the accident, you do not have to do this.

After reports are filed, the DMV will check the accident reports to be sure all drivers had the legally required amounts and types of insurance. If all involved parties did, nothing further happens.

If the DMV finds that the at-fault driver did not have insurance at the time of the accident, authorities have the legal right to take away the individual's driver’s license and vehicle registration until they pay for the injuries and damages they have caused.

Decreasing Your Wisconsin Auto Insurance Premium

Mandatory auto insurance coverage can sometimes make it difficult for drivers to afford their insurance.

The following may help you to reduce your auto insurance premium:

  • Increase deductibles
  • Drive an older car
  • Maintain good or excellent credit scores
  • Shop around and compare rates
  • Ask for discounts such as multi-car, good student, military, and loyalty
  • Maintain a good driving record

If you are a driver living in Wisconsin, you are legally mandated to have certain amounts of liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Check with your insurance carrier or insurance agent for more details and to be sure you are carrying at least the minimum amounts of coverage in Wisconsin.

You should also assess your financial situation and consider selecting coverages above what is required by law in order to protect yourself and your assets. Many drivers choose additional coverages and are happy that they did so.

To ensure you are paying the lowest possible premium for your auto insurance policy, try using an online auto insurance price comparison tool. These tools provide you with a platform for comparing various insurance carriers, policies, and premiums in order to decide what is best for you.

Start comparing auto insurance rates now by using our FREE comparison tool below!

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