Wisconsin Car Insurance Requirements
Car insurance requirements in Wisconsin are pretty easy to understand. Every driver must protect himself either by purchasing a liability insurance policy or posting a $60,000 cash deposit or bond with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
One of the nice things about the Wisconsin statute is that it works on the honor system unless you give the state DMV reason to require otherwise. In other words, you need not prove your financial responsibility when you register a car, obtain a drivers license, or renew either one. As long as your record is clean the DMV assumes you are meeting your obligations.
That may change if you’re found guilty of certain types of violations, including driving without insurance. In such a case you will then be required to furnish proof at your next registration or license renewal. Either way, every driver is required to carry proof of coverage in his vehicle and produce it when a police officer requests to see it.
Liability Insurance in Wisconsin
A liability policy is the cheapest kind of car insurance you can purchase in Wisconsin. It covers only the minimum amounts required by state law in order to protect other drivers you may harm through your own negligence. Those minimum limits are:
- $10,000 property damage liability (per accident)
- $25,000 bodily injury/death liability (one victim, per accident)
- $50,000 bodily injury/death liability (combined multiple victims, per accident)
If you’re required to prove to the Wisconsin DOT you have proper insurance coverage, as stated above, the only way to do so is to purchase an insurance policy and file an SR-22 document. The document itself is filled out and submitted by your insurance company after you purchase your policy. How long that document must be maintained will depend on your circumstances. Keep in mind that an SR-22 requirement carries with it higher insurance rates.
Breaking the Law in Wisconsin
If you’re found driving without insurance you may be fined up to $500 for a first offense. Additionally, you may have your license and/or registration temporarily suspended. If you’re found without insurance due to an accident, the investigation may warrant further penalties as directed by the law.
In either case, in order to reinstate a suspended license or registration you’ll need to meet a number of requirements including the SR-22 filing. You’ll also have to pay reinstatement fees accordingly.
The fees and penalties imposed by Wisconsin are designed to encourage you to obey the law. It’s simply not worth the hassle and expense if you’re caught without insurance, so find yourself the cheapest car insurance you can find and save yourself the trouble.