Wisconsin's Financial Responsibility Law
Q. Is auto insurance mandatory in Wisconsin?
After June 1, 2010, Wisconsin drivers will be required to have an automobile insurance policy in force or, in limited situations, other security which could be a surety bond, personal funds, or certificate of self-insurance. Details are available at:
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Hill Farms State Office Building
4802 Sheboygan Ave.
Madison, WI 53702
Q. If I buy automobile insurance, what coverages are required in Wisconsin and what are the minimum limits I can purchase?
Your automobile insurance policy must provide the following minimum liability coverage:
- $50,000 for injury or death of one person;
- $100,000 for injury or death of two or more people; and
- $15,000 for property damage.
The law also requires uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage each with minimum limits of $100,000/$300,000 for bodily injury coverage.
You may want to protect your assets by purchasing more coverage than what is provided in the minimum policy required in Wisconsin. Higher limits are available for an additional premium.
Q. What is covered under bodily injury liability coverage?
This coverage does not protect you or your car directly. If you cause an accident injuring other people, it protects you against their claims up to the stated amounts for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. It will also usually pay if the accident was caused by a member of your family living with you or a person using your own auto with your consent. It does not pay for bodily injury you may sustain.
Q. What is covered under property damage liability coverage?
Property damage liability coverage pays for any damage to the property of others up to the stated amount provided by the policy (i.e., a crushed fender, broken glass, or a damaged wall or fence). Your insurance will pay for this damage if you were driving your auto or if it was being driven by another person with your consent. Property damage liability also pays if you damage government property like a light pole or signpost, up to the limit you choose.
Q. What is uninsured motorist coverage?
Uninsured motorists (UM) coverage applies to bodily injury you, your family, and other occupants of your vehicle incur when hit by an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run driver. It also covers you and your family if injured as a pedestrian when struck by an uninsured motorist or hit-and-run driver. It protects you by making sure that money is available to pay for your losses that were caused by someone else. The minimum amount of coverage required by law is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident for bodily injury only.
You may want to purchase more than the minimum coverage required by law if you feel the need for more protection. Uninsured motorist coverage does not cover your property damage and does not protect the other driver. Your insurer may sue the other driver for any money the insurer pays you because of the other driver's negligence.
Q. What is underinsured motorists coverage?
Underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage increases the bodily injury protection to you and the people in your car up to the amount of coverage you purchase if the at-fault driver's insurance does not cover your bodily injury losses.
The minimum limits of UIM coverage are $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.