If you cause an auto accident, you may be responsible for the losses of the other people involved. A claim may be made or a lawsuit filed against you for those losses.
Auto insurance. Wisconsin.
If you don’t have insurance, anything of value that you own, including your home, savings, future wages, and other assets, may be taken to pay for those losses. Auto liability insurance can help protect you so that this doesn’t happen. Liability insurance also pays for an attorney to defend you against any claim or lawsuit that may be payable under the policy.
You can also buy insurance to cover damages to your auto. This optional coverage will help pay for your losses whether or not you were at fault.
What the law currently requires
Wisconsin has a financial responsibility law. It is designed to make sure that any motorist licensed to drive in Wisconsin has insurance or enough money to pay for damages to others that may be caused by a motor vehicle.
If you decide to satisfy the requirements of the Wisconsin Financial Responsibility Law by buying auto insurance, your policy must provide the following minimum liability 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.
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 $25,000 per person and $50,000 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.
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. It becomes effective when the party causing an accident has lower bodily injury liability limits than your UIM limits. The maximum dollars paid is then the difference between the two limits.
For example, assume the UIM limits selected were $100,000 per person and the person causing the accident had bodily injury limits of $50,000 per person. Under this scenario, you could collect up to $50,000 from the at-fault driver and up to an additional $50,000 (the difference in limits) under your own UIM coverage. UIM coverage typically does not add the amount you purchased to the amount available from the person causing the accident.
UIM coverage is an optional coverage in Wisconsin. Insurance companies are required to notify you of its availability. The minimum limits of UIM coverage, if accepted after notification, are $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
Every auto insurer has its own package of "special" discounts to attract particular types of customers.
The cost of automobile insurance varies from one group (classification) of drivers to another. The reason for this is that, on the average, some groups have worse driving records, higher accident rates, and more costly accidents than others. Usually, the highest premiums are paid by the male driver under age 25, with his rate depending on his marital status and whether he owns, or is the principal driver, of the car being insured. Under the most widely used rating system, the cost of auto insurance for youthful drivers is scaled downward periodically. Rates for unmarried males who are the owners of their cars are reduced periodically from age 17-29.
In most states, rates for unmarried males who are not the owners of their cars, for married males, and for females are reduced each year from age 17-21. For these groups, the "young driver" surcharges are eliminated at age 25.
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