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Q

Is car insurance mandatory in the state of Wisconsin? (Example: If a person with car insurance hits someone without car insurance, would the person without car insurance be in any trouble for not having at least liability insurance although the accident is not his or her fault?) And what is the penalty (if any) for driving in Wisconsin without car insurance in your in a car accident?


A

Effective 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. At that point a WI 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. As always one may want to protect their assets by purchasing more coverage than what is provided in the minimum policy required in Wisconsin. Higher limits are available for an additional premium.

The state of Wisconsin previously stated that you must be financial responsible for your action in the car. State law which required owners or operators of autos to provide evidence that they have the funds to pay for automobile losses for which they might become liable. Since you were not at fault and before the state required insurance likely you would not be penalized. If however the at-fault party was uninsured and unable to show proof they could pay for the damages they caused then they could face penalties. The previous law stated that penalties for being uninsured and unable to pay for the damages you caused would result in the state taking away the driver license and vehicle registration of uninsured motorists who do not pay for damages or injuries they caused.

Insurance is the usual method for providing this evidence to the state and a majority of drivers had auto insurance when there was not mandatory car insurance requirement in Wisconsin. So before the new law took effect in 2010 the WI DMV would receive injury or damage reports and then review the accident report to determine if the uninsured driver appeared to be at fault. If so, DMV calculated a total for the damages, any injuries and estimated court costs. The WI DMV would then send a notice of suspension to the driver who appeared to be at fault in the accident. The registered owner(s) of the uninsured vehicle, if different than the driver, also would receive a notice of suspension.

The new laws in WI allow that being convicted of operating a motor vehicle without insurance may result in a fine of up to $500. Drivers who have insurance but are unable to provide proof of insurance at the scene will be able to provide proof later and be subject to a $10 fine. And offering proof of insurance that is found to be fraudulent may result in a fine of up to $5,000.

The state of Wisconsin does now require that you carry Liability coverages along with Uninsured Motorists Coverage, which is coverage designed to provide protection for the insured should he or she be included in an accident in which the driver at fault has no insurance (or not enough insurance) to cover the loss. If you do not comply with the specific state requirements your license and registration could be revoked.

Remember, you can come here for an auto insurance quote online to compare your rates.

Please check the last updated date below, as state laws change regularly.


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5 Responses to "Is car insurance mandatory in the state of Wisconsin? (Example: If a person with car insurance hits someone without car insurance, would the person without car insurance be in any trouble for not having at least liability insurance although the accident is not his or her fault?) And what is the penalty (if any) for driving in Wisconsin without car insurance in your in a car accident?"
  1. vera mckinney

    If an insured motorist hits my car and causes moderate damage and I don't have any insurance, do they have to pay for my injuries and damage?

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  2. Anonymous

    the ariticle is good but i think its messed up that we all have to have auto insurance. dosnt the governor think that maybe some of us are good drivers and dont need to waste our money on that?

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  3. Anonymous

    Financial responsiblity, how often do drivers actually prove this or have this in WI that are not insured. I live in WI, my son was a passenger in a accident in an uninsured vehicle. The driver had nothing but the totaled car, it is just too bad. Until this happens to you or someone you love, I don't think it matters to most people.

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  4. Anonymous

    Added, no you will not be in trouble, I told the cop exactly what happened and you will not be ticketed nor will your plates be cancelled like some stupid states and there, whoever is at fault pays damages not like those ridiculous insurance laws of no-fault. Wisconsin is the best place to live if you are looking for simplicity.

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  5. Anonymous

    USER COMMENT: I lived in Wisconsin and you do not need insurance to register your car nor does anyone ask you to show proof. That is what I loved about there. A drunk hit me though, and I do not have insurance, but he payed for a whole new bumper no questions asked. If its not your fault, then you are fine w/out insurance. NOT RECOMMENDED

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