Everyone who drives an automobile should be covered by auto insurance, either their own policy or someone else’s. Driving without insurance can carry serious consequences, including fines or even the loss of the driver’s license. Those who are held responsible for an accident that causes injury have an even more difficult time since things like medical bills and damages caused to another person’s vehicle are often still pursued, even if that means the uninsured person has to give up other assets including their home, savings, or future wages.
Most people are pretty good about following auto insurance laws, but deciding what to cover with their auto insurance can be a bit more challenging. There are several components of coverage in Wisconsin that drivers elect to purchase to varying degrees. In addition to mandatory requirements, policy owners can purchase extra liability coverage, bodily injury coverage, property damage coverage, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, collision coverage or comprehensive coverage.
In Wisconsin, mandatory auto insurance is based mostly on a driver’s liability to others when they are deemed responsible for an accident. If one person is injured or dies in a single accident, $25,000 needs to be available in order to cover related expenses. If two or more people suffer injuries or die, the coverage must be doubled. The same amounts are required for uninsured motorist coverage. In addition, another $10,000 needs to be set aside for property damage, such as damages to another person’s car.
Extra Liability Insurance
While it would be great if accident damage never exceeded the amounts required by law, unfortunately, that is not the case. Many drivers purchase additional liability insurance that will double the amount of bodily injury coverage if someone else is hurt or add an extra $5,000 to property damage coverage. Often both types of coverage are presented together in order to make things simpler. Whether the extra coverage is for bodily injury or property damage, compensation applies to other people, not the driver.
Uninsured/Underinsured Driver Insurance
Because some people try and bypass auto insurance requirements, and/or don’t purchase enough coverage many people purchase extra coverage for these situations. When hit and run accidents happen, it is this type of coverage that is tapped into, even if they are unable to catch the hit and run driver. Underinsured driver insurance will cover your own injuries or damage that goes beyond the amount of insurance the responsible driver carries. In Wisconsin, this type of insurance is not required, but many like to have it since bills can add up quickly.
Medical Payments Coverage
When medical injuries are not covered by health insurance, it is often medical payments coverage that steps in. This coverage can also pay for funeral expenses. The coverage is available whether you are injured through your own fault or someone else’s. It is not required by the state. However, it is something every auto insurer should be prepared to provide.
Physical Damage Coverage
Most people who do not own their vehicle outright are likely to need physical damage coverage, especially if they have a loan out on a decent ride. This coverage is also referred to as collision or comprehensive coverage and pay either for the cost of repair to a vehicle or the cost to replace the vehicle.
Looking for Discounts
On average, Americans spend $762 each year on their car insurance. In order to save money on car insurance, many people choose to look for discounts that they may be eligible for rather than compromising on the amount of coverage that they purchase. In Wisconsin, looking for discounts on car insurance in especially effective. More than 32% of drivers in the state get at least one discount on their policy. But sometimes getting a break is dependent on knowing what kind of breaks are available. Not every insurance provider will necessarily present you with all possible discount options. Some may want you to pay a higher premium, but others may be unaware of what you qualify for until you ask.
Some situations seem to scream for a discount, such as
- Never being in an accident
- Being an excellent student
- Bundling an auto policy with another policy
- Being married
- Taking a driver’s training course
- There are others that not everyone thinks about. Some of these include
- Miles a driver drives each year
- How a car is used (especially if driven on a farm)
- Renewing a policy early
Since driving is a major component of many people’s lives and livelihood, it is naturally an area where most people can use all the help they can get. At Frydach Insurance, we are willing to look at who you are in order to help you find any applicable discounts you might qualify for while identifying exactly what coverage is needed for your life and budget. Contact us to learn more about many available options.