From Milwaukee to Green Bay, Racine to Oshkosh, Wisconsin has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from downtown Madison to the Wisconsin Dells, the Northern Highland forests and the shores of Lake Superior. They’re used by over 4 million licensed drivers, who each average over 9,500 miles a year. Along the way, they’re involved in thousands of traffic accidents, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in America’s Dairyland, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Wisconsin’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Wisconsin state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines. Wisconsin has a tort system, which means that if you are found to be at fault in a car accident, you can be sued for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering. However, Wisconsin also allows you to purchase personal injury protection.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Wisconsin drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 property damage liability
$25,000/$50,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury
$1,000 medical payments per person m
Medical payment coverage can be rejected in writing if you prefer not to purchase it. Wisconsin does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal injury protection or Collision and Comprehensive. However, if you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Wisconsin Auto Insurance
Wisconsin requires you to carry minimum liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility and provide proof if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. If you are unable to comply, you face fines of up to $500 and suspension of your driver’s license, plus a $30 reinstatement fee. Drivers who provide fraudulent proof of insurance can be fined up to $5,000.
Wisconsin Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Wisconsin also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Wisconsin Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Wisconsin Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Wisconsin. The following laws have recently been enacted in Wisconsin and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Wisconsin has a ban on texting for all drivers
Wisconsin bans the use of all cell phones (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers.