If you own and operate a vehicle in the state of Wisconsin, you need to prove that you can be financially responsible for the potential accidents that may be caused. Most people meet their financial responsibility requirements by having car insurance.
The following types of insurance are required to meet Wisconsin’s necessary insurance coverage requirements:
- Liability insurance
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Underinsured motorist coverage
Liability insurance is insurance that covers damages in an accident that you were the cause of. This insurance coverage will pay for property damage and bodily injuries when you cause a collision. Wisconsin has the following minimum liability collision coverage requirements:
- $25,000 in coverage for deaths or injuries of each individual involved in a collision
- $50,000 in coverage for deaths or injuries involving multiple individuals
- $10,000 in coverage for property damage
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage
You’re required to have insurance coverage that will pay for an accident if the accident was caused by another motorist who either does not have car insurance or has insufficient car insurance. The state of Wisconsin has the following minimum requirements for your uninsured and underinsured policy:
- $25,000 covering every individual in a collision
- $50,000 covering multiple individuals in a collision
For uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, you aren’t required by law to have any insurance for property damage.
The minimum insurance requirements in the state are exactly what they sound like: the bare minimum. Oftentimes damages in an accident will exceed the minimum insurance coverage. To protect yourself and avoid paying out-of-pocket in the event of a collision, experts recommend you invest in additional insurance policies.
The following policies are optionally available to motorists:
- Collision coverage – coverage helping you pay for damages to your own vehicle after most kinds of traffic accidents, regardless of who caused the collision
- Comprehensive coverage – coverage that pays for vehicle damage that didn’t involve a traffic accident, including collisions with animals, thefts, and fires
- Medical payment insurance – coverage to help with the medical costs if you sustain injuries in an accident
- Towing and labor coverage
- Rental reimbursement coverage
Many lease agreements and car loans will require you to invest in comprehensive and collision coverages. These contracts are legally binding, so you must comply with any additional minimum insurance coverages enforced in your loan or leasing agreement.
Providing Proof of Insurance
Car insurance is mandatory in Wisconsin. Unlike many other states, though, you aren’t required to provide proof of insurance when you first register your vehicle or apply for your driver’s license. You’ll need proof of insurance in the following situations:
- You are involved in an accident, regardless of which party caused the collision
- You are pulled over for a traffic stop
Your insurance carrier will issue you an insurance ID card, which you should keep in your vehicle at all times as proof of insurance.
There are also certain circumstances when you’ll be required to file your financial responsibility proof with the DMV. These include:
- When your driver’s license is suspended or revoked
- When your vehicle registration is revoked
- When you are convicted of a DUI
- When you obtain a commercial driver’s license
Penalties for Not Meeting Minimum Insurance Requirements
If you drive without car insurance, you’ll be fined up to $500. If you can’t show proof of insurance when at a traffic stop, but you do have insurance, you’ll be fined up to $10.