Until recently, Wisconsin drivers were not required to keep auto insurance. This has since changed, but there are still a number of idiosyncracies that make auto insurance in Wisconsin difficult to understand. Furthermore, due to the recent changes in auto insurance law, many Wisconsinites may feel confused about how to approach the subject. With many websites out of date and official sites difficult to navigate, this guide is designed to be a one-stop source for all your Wisconsin auto insurance information.
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Requirements
In Wisconsin, you are required to either keep auto insurance in accordance with the state’s requirements or to keep a $60,000 cash deposit with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, indicating proof of financial responsibility. You may also choose to keep a bond with a registered auto insurance company in order to forgo monthly payments if you so desire. If a state official such as a police officer asks for proof of financial responsibility while operating a motor vehicle, you are required to submit proof of the bond, insurance policy or deposit or your driver’s license and vehicle registration may be revoked. You may also be forced to pay a fine of at least $200 if you drive without proof of responsibility.
Minimum Wisconsin car insurance requirements are somewhat different from other states. $25,000 is required for Bodily Injury Liability, $50,000 is required for Death Liability (rather than for combined accident bodily injury, as is common in other states), and $10,000 is required for Property Damage Liability. While you are not required to keep Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM) coverage, it is strongly recommended, as Wisconsin is a Tort state and many people drive without insurance, especially in light of the recent change in policy.
If you opt keep an insurance policy rather than a bond or deposit, you will be informed by the state when your insurance policy is about to expire. You will be given a grace period in which you can renew your policy or obtain a new one before you face potential fines and loss of your license and registration.
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Laws
Wisconsin is a Tort state, meaning that it uses the fault system for determining who pays for damages. All accident cases are settled before a judge, who rules which driver is at fault. The driver at fault then pays for all damages out of his or her insurance policy, deposit or bond payment. In the event that the bond or deposit is completely spent, a new deposit or bond must be made.
Furthermore, insurance experts recommend that Wisconsin drivers purchase more than the required amount of liability coverage in order to protect against lawsuits. In a Tort system, individuals are allowed to file suit for loss of wages and other damages related to an accident, and bodily injury claims can become very large very quickly.
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Coverage
Car insurance in WI is varied beyond the minimum liability coverage. You may choose to purchase a UM plan, for instance. If you do so, the recommended amount is $50,000/$100,000, which may seem high. However, there are many uninsured motorists in Wisconsin and you don’t want to end up in a situation where an accident isn’t your fault yet you still have to pay out of pocket for your own bodily injury or property damage.
Furthermore, Wisconsin drivers may choose to purchase Collision or Comprehensive auto insurance coverage. These forms of coverage insure you against collisions with objects and everything else, respectively, and they may be required by a car dealership if you lease a vehicle rather than buy it.
Cheap Wisconsin Auto Insurance Quotes
If you are interested in purchasing cheap Wisconsin auto insurance, you are in luck. Wisconsin’s rates are among the lowest in the United States, and many national companies offer car insurance for drivers in WI. Simply visit any auto insurance company website and enter your personal and driving information into a form, and you will be given a free quote. You can compare quotes to determine which insurance company offers the best WI auto insurance price.
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Ratings
Car insurance price is determined by your risk rating, which is determined by a variety of factors. It is important to note that not every insurance company calculates risk the same way, so if you are risk-free in one of these but risk-heavy in another, you may find that some companies offer you much better deals than others. It is always a good idea for everyone to look at as many free insurance quotes as possible to get a sense for what the different companies offer. The risk factors include:
* Driving record
* Car make and model
* Credit score
* Previous insurance claims
* How much you drive
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Rates
Rates in WI are priced, on average, approximately $400 cheaper than the annual mean of $1,440. Urban areas tend to be more expensive than rural areas, and depending on where you live you may have to pay more or less for your insurance.
Wisconsin Auto Insurance Companies
Many big names in auto insurnace provide coverage to Wisconsin drivers. Not all of these will offer the option of a bond instead of monthly payments, so you are encouraged to look through each website to determine which company offers the right WI insurance plan for you.
* State Farm
* Travelers Insurance
* Liberty Mutual
Good luck and happy insurance hunting!