Before shopping around for car insurance, a driver should do some research about the auto insurance laws of the state where he resides. Even lifelong residents of a state stand to benefit from brushing up on current auto insurance laws. When combined with gathering several auto insurance quotes, being familiar with local laws makes it easier to get the right kind of coverage. In the scheme of things, the state of Wisconsin has fairly lenient auto insurance requirements. The state doesn't have a huge population either, so there are fewer drivers on the road. None of this means that insurance isn't necessary; it definitely is.
Wisconsin Drivers: Statistics
People are often confused about why auto insurance requirements are enforced in the first place. A good way to get a feel for that is by considering the demographics of licensed drivers in a state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Wisconsin, which is also known as the Badger State, had a population of 5,726,398 in 2012. That figure obviously includes everyone from newborns to seniors, and many of those people won't be operating motor vehicles at all.
Although some people aren't licensed to drive in Wisconsin, the vast majority are. According to the Federal Highway Administration, there were 4,147,470 licensed drivers in the state of Wisconsin in November 2012. Of that total, 2,077,314, or 50.09 percent, were men, and 2,070,156, or 49.91 percent, were women. Although there is a lot of debate about whether men or women are safer drivers, the truth is that age and experience are two of the most important factors. Of course, they're not the only things that auto insurance providers consider when determining coverage rates.
Age plays a crucial role in the price that someone will pay for insurance in Wisconsin. The Federal Highway Administration also notes that 230,222, or 5.6 percent, of all drivers in Wisconsin are under the age of 19. In other words, Wisconsin drivers share the road with a decent number of very inexperienced drivers. With that being said, the largest group of licensed drivers is the 45-to-49-year-old age group, which totals 411,648 drivers, or nearly 10 percent of all licensed drivers. That may be reassuring, but it doesn't mean that drivers can safely go without valid auto insurance coverage.
Car Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin
By law, all drivers in Wisconsin must either show proof of auto insurance or proof of financial responsibility. The vast majority opt for auto insurance. In addition to being cheaper to come by, car insurance offers a lot more protection. Proof of financial responsibility can take the form of a cash deposit of $60,000 or a bond. In either case, it must be provided to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, or WisDOT. If damages in an accident exceed that amount, the responsible driver will have to pay the difference himself or run the risk of being sued.
Auto insurance requirements in Wisconsin are as follows:
- There must be at least $25,000 of coverage for the death or injury of one person.
- There must be at least $50,000 of coverage for the death or injury of more than one person.
- There must also be at least $10,000 in property damage coverage.
It should be noted that these requirements are the bare minimum of what is needed to avoid fines and other consequences in the state of Wisconsin. Most drivers opt for more extensive coverage. After all, it doesn't take much for a repair bill to exceed $10,000.
There are consequences for driving without proof of valid insurance or financial responsibility in the state of Wisconsin. Uninsured drivers face fines of up to $500. Drivers who attempt to use fraudulent auto insurance papers face fines of up to $5,000. While there is no need to show proof of insurance in order to obtain a driver's license or to register a vehicle, proof is required in order to reinstate a driver's license after revocation or suspension.
Car insurance in Wisconsin tends to be affordable, but it's still crucial to collect auto insurance quotes before buying a policy.