Wisconsin state seal

From the big city life of Milwaukee to the forests, lakes, and dairy farms through the state, Wisconsin is a beautiful place to call home. But with so much to see, you don’t want to rush off without the proper car insurance coverage.

Luckily, the low rate of car accidents throughout the Badger state means car insurance is well below the national average. However, the price can vary significantly depending on where you live, with residents of Milwaukee paying the most for their coverage. If you want the best possible deal on car insurance in Wisconsin, you’ll need to do some comparison shopping.

Thanks to the internet, you won’t have to contact companies individually to find a good deal on car insurance. OnlineAutoInsurance.com allows you to compare car insurance premiums from insurers in your area easily. All you have to do is complete a quick questionnaire to instantly see free rate quotes with no obligation to buy.

But before you start shopping around, you need to decide the level of coverage that makes the most sense for you. So what are the legal requirements? And what additional policies should you consider?

Wisconsin Car Insurance Laws

Wisconsin's financial responsibility law, also known as the Auto Insurance Law, requires consumers who choose to purchase a policy to comply with state laws carry a combination of minimum limits of Liability and Uninsured Motorist Coverage as follows:

Liability Coverage

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Liability per person
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Liability per accident
  • $10,00 Property Damage Liability per accident.

Bodily Injury Liability covers the cost of medical expenses from injuries you’re responsible for in an at-fault accident. It will also cover funeral expenses and other economic losses, such as lost wages. Property Damage Liability pays to repair damages you are responsible for in an at-fault accident, whether it’s another vehicle or a standing structure like a fence or building.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per person
  • $50,000 Bodily Injury Coverage per accident

Uninsured Motorist Coverage will act in place of another driver’s liability policy if you’re in an accident with an uninsured motorist, or if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run. It will even protect you if you’re injured as a pedestrian by an uninsured motorist.

If you raise your limits above the state minimums, you can also purchase Underinsured Motorist Coverage when the cost of your medical bills exceeds the other driver’s liability limits. But note that just because the other driver is financially responsible for your damages doesn’t mean they will have the money to cover them. Adding this option can make a big difference if you can’t afford to pay huge medical bills.

If you’re caught driving without proof of insurance, you can face a fine of up to $500, as well as suspension of your license and registration. But driving with the minimum coverage isn’t without consequences. While these policies will meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements, they won’t help you repair or replace your vehicle or cover your medical bills if you’re injured in an at-fault accident.

Also note that an accident with multiple injuries or multiple vehicles can quickly exceed the limits of these policies. You should look for an affordable policy with higher maximum limits, and consider adding additional coverage to protect yourself.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage (Full Coverage)

Collision coverage will pay for damage your vehicle sustains in a car accident, regardless of fault. It will also cover damage from hitting stationary objects, like a tree. Generally speaking, making a claim will raise your rates, so if the other driver is at fault, you should find out whether or not their insurance will cover the cost of repairs before using your insurance.

Comprehensive coverage will pay benefits for a wide range of damages caused outside of a collision, including fire, falling limbs, or flood damage, as well as theft and vandalism. It will also pay benefits if you crash into an animal, like a deer.

While it’s not required by law, you will almost certainly be required to have Full Coverage if you finance your vehicle. This is an important consideration when shopping for a new car. While newer, more expensive cars will be generally cost more to cover than older ones, certain vehicles are more likely to be stolen, while others can fetch discounts for added safety features and anti-theft devices. You should always get a few quotes before you decide which car you want to buy.

Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay)

Medical Payments is a kind of no-fault insurance that will quickly pay benefits to cover medical expenses or funeral costs when you’re injured in a car accident. This policy can be useful to help you get the care you need, without having to worry about meeting a deductible. However, Wisconsin state law allows insurance companies the right to subrogation, which means that you will have to pay the costs back out of any settlement you get from another driver.

If you already have a robust health insurance policy, Medical Payments coverage is probably unnecessary. But these benefits will often pay for things that your health insurance might not cover, such as dental work or chiropractic care.

What factors determine your rates?

Car insurance companies use a variety of personal factors to assess your risk. The higher the risk you are to insure, the higher your insurance premium will be. These factors include your age, gender, credit score, driving record, and address. The kind of vehicle you drive and the amount you drive will also affect your rates.

Changing your maximum limits, adjusting your deductible, and adding more policies will raise or lower your car insurance rates accordingly. If you can afford a higher deductible, it can save you money on your monthly payments. But you shouldn’t choose a deductible you can’t pay, and you should always carry enough coverage to keep you protected. An accident can cost far more money than what you’d save each month if you skimp on coverage.

A lot of things can affect your rates once it’s time for renewal. Getting a speeding ticket or making an insurance claim can drive up your rates while taking a defensive driving course may lower them. Some insurers may offer accident forgiveness to qualifying customers, which can add a lot of value to your policy.

You should also be aware of all the discounts you may qualify for from each insurer. These include discounts for Safe Driving or maintaining a high GPA, a multi-vehicle discount, or a multi-policy discount if you bundle another policy, like renters insurance. Ultimately, you need to drive safely and always follow the law to get the best prices on your policy.

The bottom line

Now that you know what you’re looking at, finding coverage will be as simple as choosing an insurance company that offers you affordable rates on a policy that leaves you protected. Even if you already have an insurance policy, you can save a lot of money by shopping around, so keep checking rates every time it’s time to renew your policy.

Don’t rush this choice! Take the time to compare as many quotes as you can, then buy your policy online and get proof of insurance within a few minutes.