Shopping for the right car insurance is just another responsibility that comes with being a licensed driver in Wisconsin. Most states require drivers to be insured to protect all the involved parties should a car accident happen on the road.

All states have different requirements for car insurance limits and America’s Dairyland is no different. Whether you are planning on moving to Wisconsin sometime in the near future, or just looking to switch up your car insurance plan, it’s important to know what the legal car insurance requirements are in Wisconsin.

Keep reading to familiarize yourself with the basics when it comes to Wisconsin car insurance.

Car Insurance Requirements In Wisconsin

Unfortunately, accidents happen, whether we are ready for them or not. This is why most states require you to have certain types of car insurance coverage     on your policy just in case. In order to make sure you are prepared for the worst, the state of Wisconsin requires you to have the following types of insurance coverage on your plan:

  • Liability.
  • Uninsured motorist.
  • Underinsured motorist.

Liability Insurance In Wisconsin

This type of car insurance coverage is there to pick up the bill for accidents that have caused bodily injuries or property damage in an accident that you have caused. These are the following minimum car insurance coverages that Wisconsin requires you to have:

  • Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per injury or death, per person.
  • Bodily injury liability: $50,000 total for injury or death if multiple people were affected in a single car accident.
  • Property damage liability: $10,000.

Underinsured And Uninsured Motorist Insurance In Wisconsin

In a perfect world, all drivers would be properly insured to protect themselves and others in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many states require drivers to add some form of underinsured and/or uninsured motorist coverage to their plan just in case they are involved in an accident where the at-fault driver doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the costs. The state of Wisconsin requires that all drivers have:

  • Uninsured or underinsured bodily injury coverage: $25,000 per person.
  • Uninsured or underinsured bodily injury coverage: $50,000 for total injuries in a single accident.

Optional Types Of Insurance Coverages In Wisconsin

Every driver has a unique financial situation as well as a different set of needs. If the minimum legal requirements for car insurance in Wisconsin aren’t enough to make you feel safe, you have other options for protecting yourself on the road. Here are some of the most common types of insurance coverages that Wisconsin drivers add to their plans:

  • Collision insurance: This type of coverage is there to help you cover costs after a car accident.
  • Comprehensive insurance: This type of coverage is there to pay the bills if your car has been damaged due to some other type of non-accident event such as weather, theft, or vandalism.
  • Medical payments: This type of coverage will help you pay for your medical bills if you are injured as a result of a car accident.
  • Towing and labor: If your car ever breaks down on the road and you need an emergency saving, this type of insurance will have you covered.
  • Rental car reimbursement: If your car ever needs to spend some time in the shop getting fixed, this type of insurance will help you rent a car to drive in the meantime.

Keep in mind that while comprehensive insurance and collision insurance are technically considered optional, you will most likely need to have them on your policy if you are financing or leasing your car.

Proof of insurance

Even though car insurance is required by Wisconsin law, you will not need to show proof of insurance when applying for a driver’s license or registering your car in the state. That being said, there are instances in which you will be expected to show proof of insurance, such as:

  • If you are involved in a car accident.
  • If you get pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop.

It’s a good idea to carry your insurance card with you in your car at all times, as you never know when you will need to take it out in an emergency. If you ever happen to be stopped and can’t show proof of insurance, you can be fined up to $500. If you can prove that you were insured at the time, but were just unable to show your insurance card, your fine can be reduced to $10.

Additionally, there are certain situations that will require you to file proof of financial responsibility through the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):

  • Having your license revoked or suspended.
  • Having your driving privileges revoked.
  • Getting convicted of a DUI.
  • Possessing an occupational or commercial driver’s license.

The above instances will require you to get an SR-22 certificate, otherwise known as SR22 insurance. This document certifies that you will obtain the required minimum liability coverage for a certain period of time.

Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan

Even though car insurance is a requirement per Wisconsin state law, some drivers who are considered high-risk might struggle with finding an insurance company to cover them. Insurance companies have to assess risk when dealing with potential customers, and if you have a poor driving record, you could be seen as too high-risk.

If you are having a hard time finding car insurance on your own due to being considered high-risk, the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan (WAIP) is there to assist you. Once you apply for WAIP, an insurer will be assigned to you. Keep in mind that your premiums will likely be higher if you go this route, so use this as a last resort option.

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