Wisconsin Auto Insurance Minimums
In 2010, Wisconsin became the 48th state to require that drivers carry an auto insurance policy and raised minimum coverage limits for the first time over 25 years. Wisconsin law requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts for two types of auto insurance: liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage.
Below we will go deeper into Wisconsin’s auto insurance minimum laws, the different types of coverages, how a motor vehicle accident attorney can help you through the car accident claims process, and how this all applies to you.
Wisconsin’s Auto Insurance Minimum Law
What Is Liability Coverage?
As mentioned above, all drivers in Wisconsin must have motor vehicle liability insurance. Motor vehicle liability insurance is a type of coverage that helps you pay for someone else’s injuries if you are found liable in the accident.
If a car accident claim is filed against you and you are found responsible, you will have to pay for the injured person’s losses, such as their property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Without insurance, you would have to come up with the money through any valuable item you own, including your home, savings, future wages, and other assets. Motor vehicle liability insurance will make sure this doesn’t happen by providing you with financial protection.
Liability insurance also will cover the expenses of hiring an attorney to defend you against any claim or lawsuit payable under your policy.
What Does Liability Coverage Include?
Liability coverage includes:
- Bodily injury liability coverage, which pays for the medical expenses of other people injured, as well as their other losses.
- Property damage liability coverage, which pays for any damage you cause to the property of someone else, or government property. It also pays for damage that was caused by someone who was driving your car with your consent.
What Is the Minimum Requirement for Liability Coverage?
Your automobile insurance policy must provide the following minimum liability coverage:
- $25,000 for injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people
- $10,000 for property damage
Are There Minimum Requirements for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Wisconsin law does require drivers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UM), but it does not require underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).
Drivers are required to purchase uninsured motorist coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury. You can always purchase more than the minimum coverage if you think you may need more.
Uninsured motorist coverage protects you by making sure there is money to pay for your accident losses when they were caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence. It covers bodily injury you, your family, and other people in your vehicle sustained in an accident with an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run driver. It also covers you and your family if you are hit in a pedestrian accident by an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run driver. does not, however, cover any property damage to your vehicle and does not protect the other driver.
Though it is not required by law, underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage is a way to protect yourself with more coverage. It provides you, your family, and the people in your vehicle with more bodily injury protection, if the liable party’s insurance limits are lower than your UIM coverage limits.
Is Minimum Coverage Sufficient?
While the state-mandated minimum insurance amounts are meant to ensure that there is at least some coverage in every collision, the reality is that minimums are often not sufficient – especially in the event that someone is seriously injured or multiple vehicles or injuries are involved. It is likely a good idea to have as much insurance coverage as you can comfortably afford.
Claims Process: How an Attorney Can Help
After a motor vehicle accident, you or your loved ones may be dealing with injuries, property damage, and other losses, including significant medical bills and pain and suffering. An attorney can help you through the legal claims process, by:
- Gathering evidence to prove that the other driver or party is at fault for your accident
- Working with medical and financial experts to calculate the true value of your damages
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf to make sure your claim isn’t undervalued
- Answering your questions and explaining the legal process so you are never kept in the dark
- Helping you recover full compensation for your losses
Despite having valid insurance, dealing with auto insurers after a collision can be difficult. In most situations, insurance companies are looking for ways to reduce liability and pay as little as possible in claims.
At Mingo & Yankala, S.C., our Milwaukee car accident attorney has prior experience representing insurance companies, which gives us an advantage in your claim. We have a deep understanding of insurance laws and how insurance companies operate. We have maintained relationships with insurance companies that help us secure favorable settlements on your behalf.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out more about how we can help.