You laugh at people who don’t know how to drive in the snow. And you just can’t drive 55.
You’re a Wisconsin driver. And you need some cheap car insurance. It’s not too hard to find, fortunately — but you do need to know how to get the best deal. Compare.com has written a step-by-step guide to Wisconsin car insurance. (Short on time? Just start comparing free quotes to find the best deal for you.)
What Are Wisconsin’s Auto Insurance Requirements?
To drive legally in Wisconsin, you must carry liability insurance to protect you and other drivers in case you cause a car accident. The minimum limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability, plus $10,000 in property damage liability. You’ll see these limits abbreviated as 25/50/10.
Bodily injury liability pays for other people’s medical bills and lost wages when they’re injured in an accident you’re legally liable for. Property damage liability pays for damage to other people’s property (mainly their cars) in an accident you’re liable for.
Wisconsin law also requires uninsured motorist coverage with a minimum bodily injury limit of $25,000 for one person and $50,000 for two or more people. This protects you when you get hit by someone without insurance, or in a hit-and-run collision. About 14 percent of Wisconsin drivers are uninsured, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In 2017, uninsured drivers were involved in more than 18,000 crashes in Wisconsin.
How Do I Find Cheap Auto Insurance in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin is the eighth cheapest state for car insurance. However, just because the average policy is pretty cheap, that doesn’t mean everyone pays low rates. Car insurance costs vary because every company calculates them differently. If you’re young, single or male; or if you have not-so-great credit or some past violations on your driving record, you may pay more. If you live in Milwaukee, auto insurance may be more expensive than if you live in La Crosse.
This means the only sure way to find the cheap Wisconsin car insurance rates for you is to compare customized quotes.
Cheap Liability Coverage in Wisconsin
The required liability coverage in Wisconsin is pretty standard: 25/50/10. And because Wisconsin is one of the most affordable states for car insurance, you should have no trouble finding cheap liability insurance as long as you have a decent driving record.
All you have to do is select “state minimum” when you’re comparing quotes for car insurance, and you’ll see liability-only rates. When we ran the numbers for a 27-year-old woman in Madison with no driving violations, her lowest quote was $36 per month. You can see why it pays to compare! Your rates may be higher or lower, so take five minutes to compare quotes yourself.
Do I Need Full Coverage When Driving in Wisconsin?
Many people think they need “full-coverage” auto insurance, meaning an insurance plan with all the extras: rental car coverage, towing, roadside assistance, etc. But this can get expensive, and it may be more than you need. So how do you know how much insurance to buy?
The point of car insurance is to protect your assets — not only your car, but everything you own — in case you get sued after an accident. So if you drive a beater car and you don’t have a lot in your bank account, you may be fine with Wisconsin state minimum insurance. If your car is newer, or if you have a car loan, you’ll definitely need comprehensive and collision coverage. And if you own a home or other substantial assets, you’ll want insurance with higher liability limits. Check out our article on full coverage vs state minimum for more details on this one.
So how can you find reliable insurance that’s still affordable? Easy: Check your quotes on Compare.com.
How Will Compare.com Help You Find Cheap Car Insurance in WI?
It’s free. Just enter some basic info, including your address, age and profession, on Compare.com. Then, you’ll get live, accurate and unbiased quotes from multiple insurers.
As an example, we ran the numbers for a 27-year-old woman with a good driving record who’s shopping for auto insurance in Madison. She first selects state minimum coverage to see the cheapest possible rates. Her insurance quotes range from $36 to $100 per month when she opts to pay the premiums up front. (If she prefers pay-as-you-go insurance, her quotes range from $41 to $108, plus a down payment.)
That’s pretty inexpensive. However, our Madison driver owns a 5-year-old Accord, so she really needs collision and comprehensive coverage. So she’ll go back and select Basic coverage, which adds comprehensive and collision with a $1,000 deductible. Now, our driver’s insurance quotes range from $77 to $173 per month. See how there’s almost a $100 difference between the lowest and highest quote for the exact same coverage? That’s why it’s so important to compare.
Now, let’s say our driver owns a home in Madison, so she wants to make sure she has adequate insurance. She decides to get quotes for the Plus level, too, which would give her a lot more coverage. In Wisconsin, Plus coverage increases bodily injury and property damage liability to 50/100/50 (with the same limits for uninsured motorist coverage). It adds $50,000 in underinsured motorist bodily injury liability and $2,000 in medical payments, which covers medical bills for the driver, family and passengers after an accident. Plus also cuts the comprehensive/collision deductible to $500, and adds towing/rental car coverage. Our Madison driver’s quotes for Plus coverage range from $98 to $340 per month.
If that’s just too expensive, our driver can click “Customize coverage.” We allow you to increase and decrease certain limits on your insurance policy, so you can get a plan that fits you perfectly.
Do you Need Proof of Insurance to Register a Car in Wisconsin?
No. Unlike most states, Wisconsin has no requirement to provide proof of insurance when you get your driver license or register a vehicle. The only exception is if you’re reinstating your driver license after a suspension or revocation.
What Happens if I Get Caught Driving Without Car Insurance in Wisconsin?
Don’t do it! If you’re caught driving without insurance in Wisconsin, you can get hit with a fine of up to $500. If you show proof of insurance that’s fraudulent — e.g. fake, or claiming to have coverage you don’t actually have — your fine can be up to $5,000.
In the long run, it’s a lot cheaper just to get insured. We’ll help you compare your best quotes for Wisconsin car insurance. Get started now.
Will I have to Pay Extra Fees if I Buy a Car in Wisconsin?
If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you’ll need to budget for more than just the vehicle’s sticker price. You’ll be on the hook for basic DMV fees like title, license plate, and registration fees no matter where and how you purchase your new car, truck or SUV, as well as buying a new car insurance policy for your car. But some buyers will find themselves with additional fees such as sales tax, documentation fees, personal property tax, emissions and inspection fees, hybrid and electric vehicle fees, lien recording fees and a slew of other costs.
Check out Compare.com’s comprehensive vehicle costs breakdown to make sure you account for all the added fees you might be on the hook for when buying a car in Wisconsin.