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Car Insurance in Wisconsin
Car Insurance in Wisconsin
Wisconsin law requires that you have the means to cover costs associated with car accidents that you may cause. Drivers most commonly meet this requirement by carrying car insurance.
Wisconsin Car Insurance Requirements
In order to fulfill Wisconsin's car insurance laws, you must have the following coverage types:
- Uninsured motorist.
- Underinsured motorist.
Your liability car insurance will help you pay for bodily injuries or property damage resulting from an accident that you caused.
Wisconsin law requires the following minimum liability coverages per accident:
- $25,000 for injury or death, per person.
- $50,000 total for injury or death to multiple people in a single accident.
- $10,000 for property damage.
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist
Your uninsured motorist coverage will help cover costs of injuries to you and your passengers in the event of a car accident caused by a driver who does not have car insurance (uninsured), OR a driver whose car insurance is insufficient (underinsured).
In Wisconsin, your car insurance policy must meet the following minimum coverage requirements per accident for uninsured and underinsured coverage:
- $25,000 for injuries per person.
- $50,000 for total injuries per accident.
To further protect you financially after an accident, you can add several different types of car insurance coverage to your policy.
When shopping for car insurance consider the following common optional coverage types:
- Collision – This helps you pay for damages to your car after most traffic accidents.
- Comprehensive – This helps pay for damages to your car related to events that do not involve a traffic accident. Examples include fires, thefts, and collisions with animals.
- Medical payments – This will help cover your medical costs if you are injured in a car accident.
- Towing and labor.
- Rental reimbursement.
NOTE: Collision and comprehensive coverages are commonly required as part of a car loan or lease agreement.
Proof of Insurance
You must, however, be able to show proof of insurance IF:
- You are involved in a car accident.
- You are pulled over by a law enforcement officer for a traffic stop.
The most common form of proof of insurance is your insurance ID card, issued to you by your car insurance carrier.
There are some instances in which you must file proof of financial responsibility with the DMV.
An SR-22 certificate (often referred to as “SR22 insurance") certifies that you will hold the required minimum liability coverage for a specific amount of time.
Common situations in which SR-22 certificates are required include:
- Revocation or suspension of your driver’s license.
- Revocation of your vehicle registration privileges.
- Conviction of a DUI offense.
- Obtaining an occupational or commercial driver's license.
Car Insurance Violations
If you are caught driving without car insurance, you face a fine of up to $500.
If you were unable to provide proof of insurance during a traffic stop, but you were insured at the time, you face a fine of up to $10.
Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan
Though Wisconsin mandates that you carry car insurance, auto insurers have the right to refuse coverage to you if they consider you a high-risk driver.
If you have not been able to find car insurance on the open market, you may apply for coverage through the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan (WAIP).
You can apply to WAIP via any licensed car insurance company in the state.
Once accepted into the plan, you will be assigned an insurer. This company may not be the company through which you applied.
NOTE: Car insurance through the WAIP is generally more expensive than standard car insurance and should be considered a last resort.
As a service to the public, the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) provides assistance with insurance-related matters.
If you are unable to settle a dispute with your car insurance carrier, you may file a complaint with the OCI.
The OCI allows you to file complaints through any of the following avenues:
- Online at the OCI website.
- By mailing or faxing a completed Complaint Form (Form OCI 51-005) to:
- Office of the Commissioner of Insurance
- P.O. Box 7873
- Madison, WI 53707
- Fax: (608) 264-8115
Car Insurance Rates
Several factors help insurance companies determine your car insurance rates in Wisconsin.
As you compare car insurance quotes, keep in mind that the following will be factored into your premium:
- Your car's:
- Your driving record.
- The primary location where you keep your car.
- Your credit history.
- Your insurance history.
Car Insurance Discounts
A great way to save on car insurance is by taking advantage of discounts.
Common discounts offered by Wisconsin car insurance companies include:
- Good driver discount.
- Good student discount.
- Multi-car discount.
- Homeowner's discount.
When you shop around for the lowest car insurance rates, remember to ask about any discounts for which you might be eligible. But remember, the easiest way to get a cheap quote is to have a good driving record that shows a safe and violation-free driving history.
Most Stolen Cars in Wisconsin
If your car is a common target for theft, you are likely to face higher car insurance rates.
The following is a list of the most stolen cars in Wisconsin for 2013, according to www.nicb.org:
- Dodge Caravan.
- Honda Accord.
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size).
- Honda Civic.
- Dodge Intrepid.
- Chevrolet Impala.
- Chrysler Town & Country.
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.
- Dodge Stratus.
- Toyota Camry.
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