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.
Car Insurance FAQs
How much auto insurance do I need in Wisconsin?
The Wisconsin minimum auto insurance requirements are designed to provide a small level of protection in the event you damage someone else’s property, or you cause harm to another person. In Wisconsin, drivers need a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage and $10,000 per accident for Property Damage Liability Coverage.
What is the best deductible?
The best deductible is what you can afford to pay out of pocket when you file an auto insurance claim. The higher the deductible, the lower your premium will be, and vice versa. A higher deductible means your accepting a more significant portion of the risk yourself. It is best not to take on more risk than you can afford.
What is “full coverage?”
There is no such thing as “full coverage” insurance. Full coverage auto insurance is a term that is used to suggest you have chosen protection that goes beyond the minimum coverage required by your State. It typically includes collision and comprehensive coverage, medical payment coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
How can I save money on my car insurance?
You can save money on your car insurance by avoiding moving violations, crashes, DUIs, and other incidents. By having a clean driving record, you may also qualify for a safe driver discount. Students may qualify for good student and student-away-at-school discounts. Your vehicle’s anti-theft devices and safety features may also provide more discounts. Paid-in-full, multi-car, and prior carrier discounts are also common.
How long does an auto accident affect my insurance?
A crash won’t impact your car insurance premiums forever. After about three to five years, your rates should recover. Exactly how long this takes will depend on the type of accident as well as the company you are insured with.
Is buying direct cheaper than buying through an agent?
Buying direct is not always cheaper than buying through an agent. You might think that cutting out the middleman would result in cheaper car insurance rates, but when it comes to insurance, this isn’t the case. In fact, an independent agent, one that represents many insurance companies, can often save you money.
What is the best auto insurance company?
The best auto insurance company differs per individual. No insurance company is objectively the best. It all depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want the best customer service, the broadest coverage, or the lowest rates? Or maybe you have unique coverage or underwriting needs? An agent can help you compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the right policy for your situation.
What is the best or cheapest auto insurance rate?
The best or cheapest auto insurance rate can be found by comparison shopping. Compare premiums as well as differences in coverage. An independent insurance agent can help. They can provide options from multiple carriers, along with the expert guidance you need to make a smart choice.
How do I switch to a new auto insurance company?
You can switch to a new auto insurance company at any time, but to avoid overpaying or violating state law, you do need to watch out for a couple of things. Car insurance policies are often sold for coverage periods of six months or one year. In some cases, you may be charged a fee if you decide to cancel your insurance policy early. You may also be entitled to a refund for the unused portion of the premium. You also want to make sure you have continuous coverage to avoid a coverage gap.
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.