Wisconsin is one of the most inexpensive states for auto insurance. With rates of around $1,128 per year, Wisconsin has the 48th least-expensive policies; only Maine, South Carolina and Vermont have policies that are less expensive. Of course, your auto insurance rates may be higher or lower than the average depending on what type of policy you have and your driving history.

Car insurance rates vary from one state to the next and even within cities. Several factors influence the cost of premiums. One major factor is the size of a state’s driver population. Wisconsin has approximately 3,765,000 registered drivers, ranking it as 19th in the country. Because of the state’s size and population, traffic is not as bad here as it may be in other states; congested city streets have a higher rate of accidents than roads in more rural communities.

Crime rates also influence the cost of auto insurance. Areas with high rates of vandalism, theft and other crimes against property will have higher insurance premiums than those with a lower crime rate. In the case of Wisconsin, auto theft is not a major concern. Car thefts are at their highest in major cities, especially those along country borders. Because Wisconsin is relatively remote, theft is much less common than other states. In 2009, Wisconsin had only 8,926 automobile thefts; California, on the other hand, had 164,000 thefts in that same year.

Weather also plays an important factor in determining auto insurance rates. Areas with a high incidence of flood, windstorms, hail or other inclement weather are more likely to have weather-related claims. Snow and ice is also a major contributor to unsafe driving conditions, leading to insurance claims during the winter months.

Car Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin

As of 2010, the minimum auto insurance requirements in Wisconsin have been raised. Currently, the limits of liability for bodily injury liability are $50,000/$100,000 per accident and at least $15,000 for property damage liability. These are comparatively high limits of liability; depending on your needs, you may wish to increase your policy limits.

Because Wisconsin is not a no-fault state, personal injury protection coverage is optional. If another person is at fault for an accident that causes injuries, you are entitled to file a claim against that person’s insurance or sue them for your medical expenses.

In addition to liability insurance, you may also wish to buy collision and comprehensive coverage. These will cover damage to your vehicle after an accident. You might also wish to purchase uninsured motorist coverage; this pays for damage to your vehicle if an uninsured driver is involved in an accident with you. You can carry uninsured motorist insurance whether or not you have other first-party insurance coverage. If you’re making payments on your vehicle, your lien holder will require you to carry full coverage insurance on your vehicle; once you’ve paid off the car loan, however, you can choose to drop your insurance to a liability-only policy if you wish.

You may be able to purchase additional coverage like towing, rental reimbursement or roadside assistance. Not all insurance companies will handle this coverage the same way, so it’s important to check with the company to determine exactly what coverage is available and how much it would cost to add to your policy.

How can I find the most affordable car insurance rates?

If you’ve just moved to Wisconsin from another state, your rates may decrease. If they are still higher than you’d like, there are several ways you can reduce the cost of your insurance premiums. Safe driving plays the largest role in determining your insurance rates; if you have driven for several years without any accidents or citations, you can take advantage of any safe-driver discount that your insurance company might offer.

You can also save money on your coverage by driving vehicles that are inexpensive to insure. Vehicles that can be repaired easily and have high safety ratings have cheaper insurance rates than luxury vehicles or those that are more prone to damage in an accidents. You can also reduce your premiums by adding safety features or anti-theft devices to your vehicle.

If you’re looking for auto insurance, begin by looking for coverage online; once you obtain a list of providers in your ZIP code you can contact the insurance companies to determine exactly what coverage is available, what discounts you may qualify for and then discuss a personalized quote for your unique profile.