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Wisconsin Auto Insurance

Minimum requirements for Wisconsin auto insurance are determined by the State’s Financial Responsibility Law. WI residents are required to carry a certain amount of auto insurance for uninsured motorist coverage, bodily injury, and property damage.

All Wisconsin drivers are responsible for damages to other people and their property if they are involved in an accident, and buying car insurance means that they can meet their financial obligations.

Wisconsin Auto Insurance: Required Coverage

- Bodily Injury Liability-

Bodily Injury Liability insurance pays for another person’s injuries or damage to their property as the result of an accident. It will pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If the accident in question was caused by a person living in your home or someone who was driving your car with your consent, then the insurance company will pay out up to the limits of your policy.

In Wisconsin, you are required to purchase at least:

  1. $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one person injured or killed in an accident where you are found to be at fault.
  2. $50,000 for injuries and/or fatalities to multiple victims in the same accident and
  3. $10,000 for damage to property must also be put into place.

These figures are sometimes expressed as $25,000/$50,000/$10,000 or 25/50/10.

- Uninsured Motorist Coverage-

This type of coverage pays benefits when your car is damaged or you, a family member, or another passenger in your vehicle are injured in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance. It also provides protection in the case of a hit-and-run accident.

The minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage you must buy is $25,000 for individual coverage, with a cap of $50,000 for injuries to multiple persons in the same accident. These are minimum levels only; you have the option to buy more coverage if you don’t feel that the statutory minimums will provide you with enough protection.

- Property Damage Liability Insurance-

Your property damage liability insurance will pay for damages if you, or a person driving your vehicle with your consent, hit property other than another car. Property includes a mailbox, shed, wall, garage, light post, sign, etc.

Wisconsin Auto Insurance: Optional Coverage

You can also choose to add Underinsured Motorist, Medical Payments, Collision, and Comprehensive Coverage to your policy.

- Underinsured Motorist Coverage-

 You can choose to add additional coverage to your bodily injury insurance for yourself and anyone traveling in your vehicle up to the limit you choose. The policy pays the difference between the level of coverage the underinsured driver has in place and your policy limits. This option is worth considering, since the other driver’s insurance policy will only pay benefits up to his or her policy limits.

Wisconsin insurance companies are required to advise drivers who do not have underinsured motorist coverage in place that this protection is available. If you decide to buy this type of insurance, the minimum amount of coverage you can get is $50,000 per person, or $100,000 per accident.

- Medical Payments Coverage-

As the name implies, Medical Payments Coverage pays for medical and/or funeral expenses for yourself and the passengers in your vehicle. Medical expenses covered under this policy include the following:

  • Hospital Stays
  • Surgery
  • X-rays
  • Dental Care
  • Professional Nursing Care
  • Chiropractic Treatments
  • Prosthetic Devices
  • Rehabilitation

Generally speaking, this type of policy only pays for expenses incurred for one year following the date of the accident. Insurance companies operating in Wisconsin are required to offer this type of protection to customers, but you are not obligated to buy it.

Collision and Comprehensive Coverage - These types of insurance are referred to as “physical damage coverage.” They pay for the cost of repairing or the fair market value (actual cash value) of your vehicle. It doesn’t matter which driver is considered to be the one responsible for the accident.

Collision coverage pays out when your car hits a car or another object. It also protects you if you are involved in a rollover accident. The premiums you will be charged for collision coverage will depend on the make and model year of your car. Keep in mind that your collision coverage only pays for the fair market value of the vehicle; if you have owned the car for some time, it may not be worth your while to buy this type of insurance. If you can afford to replace the vehicle without the help of your insurer, then skipping this type of coverage may be the right decision for you.

Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle caused by the following occurrences:

  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Falling Objects

Comprehensive insurance also pays for damage to your vehicle if you were unfortunate enough to hit an animal. In a situation where your car’s battery or tires are stolen, the comprehensive coverage will pay to replace them.

In the case of flooding, you are covered if you have comprehensive coverage. If you only have collision coverage on your vehicle, then you will not be compensated for damage as the result of a flood.

Did you take out a loan to pay for your vehicle? If so, the lender may require you to take out collision and comprehensive insurance. They want to make sure that the amount of the loan will be covered if the car is totaled in an accident.

Wisconsin Car Insurance And Your Credit Rating

An insurance company can request credit information when you apply for a new WI car insurance policy or your existing policy is up for renewal. If your application is turned down or the insurance company refuses to renew your policy based on information contained in your credit report, then you should request a copy of it from one of the credit reporting agencies. Then you can ask the reporting agency to correct any errors on your report.

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