Wisconsin Auto Insurance Requirements
Wisconsin has among the highest coverage requirements in the country, and very tough auto insurance laws for both private and commercial vehicle owners. Minimum auto insurance coverage requirements in Wisconsin are mandated by state law and the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance. The following minimum coverage is required on every registered vehicle, except as noted below:
(Source: Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance)
Driving without the mandatory liability insurance in Wisconsin can result in a $500 fine and 90 day suspension of driving privileges, with a $150 reinstatement fee, and license points. Subsequent offenses are classed as misdemeanors and subject to higher fines, reinstatement fees, and jail time.
The Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan is available to drivers who are unable to obtain required coverage through the voluntary market. More information is available on the WAIP website.
Alternatively, drivers not wishing to carry basic liability insurance in Wisconsin may deposit cash or securities in the amount of $60,000 with the state secretary, or obtain a surety bond, who will issue a certificate of financial responsibility in lieu of an insurance card.
Factors Influencing Car Insurance Premiums in Wisconsin
Getting a quote for cheap car insurance in Wisconsin requires some research and rate comparisons between different insurance companies, even though Wisconsin ranks below national averages for car insurance costs. Some factors that impact insurance rates in Wisconsin include:
– Wisconsin is not a “no-fault” state, and does not require PIP insurance
– Wisconsin is a “comparative negligence” state, and this requires that insurance companies evaluate fault and assign percentage-at-fault in the event of an accident claim
– Vehicle repair costs are generally less expensive in Wisconsin than elsewhere
– Overall accident fatality rates are a bit lower than national averages
– A higher percentage of uninsured drivers compared to national averages
– Auto insurance fraud
– Vehicle theft rates near national averages
The average auto insurance premium for residents in Wisconsin is $1,128 in 2011; the national average is $1,790.
Tips for Obtaining Cheap Car Insurance in Wisconsin
– If you’re over 55, take a state-approved defensive driving course for a policy discount
– Several insurance companies offer “pay as you drive” car insurance for low mileage drivers in Wisconsin
– Maintain a good driving record
– Bind multiple policies (homeowners, life, auto) with the same provider
– Maintain a good credit score
– Create a personal “emergency fund” of up to $1500 and increase deductibles accordingly
– Discuss affinity discounts with your insurance provider
– Drop comprehensive and collision insurance on older vehicles
– Auto Theft: Wisconsin has a vehicle theft rate on par with national averages, and it has been decreasing (as is the case in most states) consistently over the past few years. This can be attributed primarily to anti-theft devices being standard on recent model cars, as well as public awareness of the issue:
(Source: Auto Thiefs)
– Automobile Accidents: The total vehicle miles traveled in Wisconsin has decreased somewhat in recent years, as have vehicle accident fatality rates. Wisconsin is below the national average in numbers of deaths in car crashes.
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