Over the past 15 years, the number of licensed Wisconsin drivers has increased, but the number of vehicle crashes causing injury has shown a steady decrease. This is great news, but drivers on Wisconsin roads still need to be cautious when venturing out. Planning ahead and having an auto insurance policy tailored to your needs is the first step to safe driving.
In Wisconsin, deer are a major safety concern while driving, as they are the third most common item struck by drivers. Deer-related crashes peak in October and November, but also are surprisingly high in June. When you see one deer, there are probably three or four more waiting to sprint across your path.
While alcohol-related crashes have been in a general decline over the last decade in Wisconsin, they remain a major concern for drivers in a state known for high alcohol consumption. If you’re a 180 pound man who drank six 12 ounce beers in two hours, you probably would have a .08 Blood Alcohol Content and would have definite impairment. You would be subject to arrest.
Wisconsin has both vibrant cities and quiet countryside. While the majority of crashes occur on urban city streets, the state’s rural areas have pitfalls for drivers as well. In 2010, speed related accidents were 21 percent more likely to happen in rural areas than in urban settings, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Roadways vary greatly in Wisconsin from interstate freeways to the network of state, county and town roads that cover the state. Driving on winding State Highway 33 through Wisconsin’s Driftless region presents different challenges than traveling along a busy stretch of I-94 near Milwaukee. Drivers should be aware of the challenges posed by different roadways and prepare accordingly.
Key Statistics according the Insurance Information Institute and the National Highway Safety Administration:
Nationwide: 12.6% (2012)
Wisconsin: 11.7% ((2012)
Insurance Coverage Requirements:
Bodily Injury Liability
Property Damage Liability
Motorists are required to carry a minimum of $50,000 for all persons injured in an accident, with a maximum of $25,000 per person. They are also required to carry $10,000 for property damage. Wisconsin also has a lower limit requirement for low-income drivers. If you’ve had a major medical experience lately, or know someone who has spent several days in a hospital you probably realize how low these limits are compared to the reality of hospital care costs. A more common limit for Wisconsin drivers is $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident bodily injury and $100,000 per accident property damage. Many consider an umbrella with an additional $1,000,000 in limits available. Considering the chain reaction accidents that occur on icy and snowbound Wisconsin roads it would seem prudent to have higher limits of auto insurance protection.
Average Car Insurance Premium
The Insurance Institute uses an “average person” to establish an average rate for an average car. This figure is only good for comparison as so many factors go into establishing an auto rate.
National Average Cost Per Year: $841 (2013)
Wisconsin Cost Per Year: $621 (2013)
Fatalities: 507 (2014)
Alcohol Impaired Driver Fatalities: 166 (2014)
Fatalities per 100 million miles driven (WI): .91 (2013)
Fatalities per 100 million miles driven (Nationwide): 1.09 (2013)
All of these issues, in addition to state auto insurance laws, impact Wisconsin auto insurance rates. A tested local agent will be able to help you sort through all of the factors that affect your auto insurance and find a policy right for you. A local independent agent is familiar with the unique considerations for insuring a vehicle in Wisconsin and will provide you with the kind of personal, tailored service you won’t find when shopping online.
Other Enhanced Insurance articles related to car care and purchasing:
Enhanced Insurance is not written by attorneys. If you’re looking for legal advice, you need to contact a lawyer. Further, insurance practices and forms change constantly and are varied from state to state. For definitive answers in your area, contact a local agent.