UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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Wisconsin’s auto insurance rates place them on the lower end of the spectrum when compared to other states; Wisconsin drivers pay several hundred dollars less than the national average. That is good news, but it does not mean every driver is getting the best deal on car insurance.
Finding the best car insurance at the best rate can be challenging, but Wisconsin drivers can count on a few great companies to help.
The Basics of Auto Insurance in Wisconsin
Wisconsin law requires that all drivers be financially responsible for an accident they cause while driving. To meet this requirement, drivers must carry liability insurance in the amounts of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury and $10,000 in property damage. These are the limits of what the policy will pay on injuries and damages for which you are responsible.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is also required at the same minimum levels for bodily injury – $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. This covers you in the event of an accident involving another driver that is either uninsured or does not have sufficient coverage.
These amounts are about average when compare to other states; higher than some but not the highest in the country. In the event of an at-fault accident, these limits are likely to be exhausted very quickly, leaving the driver responsible for the remaining damages.
While the law does not require it, the lender through which you have financed or leased your vehicle will require you to carry comprehensive coverage and collision coverage on your policy as well. Some financial institutions may also have requirements for how high your deductible can be, and some leases also have requirements for higher liability limits. It is best to check the details of your loan or lease.
Specifics of Wisconsin Auto Insurance
There are no unusual aspects to car insurance in Wisconsin, but it is important to know that it operates on a tort system. This means that you can be sued for damages in court when you are found at fault in an accident.
Damages in a serious accident can very quickly exceed the limits on a state minimum insurance policy, and if you are sued your assets can be at risk. In a tort system, carrying higher liability limits is even more vital to protecting yourself financially.
Our search for the best car insurance companies in Wisconsin started with the highest rated companies – those that maintain a great reputation for taking care of their customers. This includes high satisfaction ratings for the overall customer experience as well as for claims handling.
Since rates are always a top concern when it comes to car insurance, we looked for companies that offer excellent value for the dollar. We looked for great rates on great coverage, and always from companies with the reputation to match. While there may be less expensive car insurance options than our top picks in Wisconsin, if those companies do not take care of their customers properly they didn’t make our list.
All of our top picks offer coverage across Wisconsin. While the best choice may vary based on whether you live in a big city, a small town, or a farm, we looked for companies that offer policies in all of those areas. We also chose companies with no eligibility requirements; while there are some great companies that cater to a particular market, we wanted to offer choices that are available to the general public.
Our Top Picks
These three companies cover Wisconsin drivers from Green Bay to the Dells, offering an excellent value for your insurance dollar.
The biggest auto insurance company in the country is a great pick for Wisconsin drivers. They rank highly in J.D. Power’s regional survey for customer satisfaction, and they have an overall solid reputation.
State Farm also offers Wisconsin drivers great rates, with competitive premiums for all kinds of drivers. Their auto and home insurance bundling program offers a great discount, and all of it comes with the service of an agent and the backing of a very strong financial footing.
West Bend is a local mutual insurance company with a great reputation. They are a top pick for those looking to insure both home and cars in one place since they write only a combined policy for both. The Home and Highway policy can include homeowners, condo owners, or renters insurance along with your auto, which leaves it open to just about anyone. It is a comprehensive policy that offers a lot of coverage for your money.
Combining these together has a lot of benefits, and they are offered by a homegrown company that has been taking care of Wisconsin’s insurance needs for well over a hundred years.
One of the top-rated companies for overall satisfaction in the North Central region, Country also offers Wisconsin drivers great rates. They are a large company but not overly so, which means a good combination of that smaller insurer feeling with the backing of a company big enough to be financially sound.
Country offers a wide range of products, which makes them a good one-stop shopping experience for those looking to bundle. They also have a great range of discounts available to help bring insurance rates down.
Shopping for Car Insurance in Wisconsin
While big car insurance companies have most of the market share, Wisconsin is a state that has some excellent smaller companies that are well worth a look. It is a good idea to find a reputable independent agent to help you get quotes from some of the companies that might otherwise fly under the radar; you may find the best value for you is a homegrown insurer like West Bend.
Always know what coverage you want before you start getting quotes. Insurance companies usually have a standard level of coverage that they will quote for people who do not have limits and deductibles they want to be included and the result of this is that the quotes are difficult to compare to one another. Some companies will quote legal minimum liability or very high deductibles in order to make their rates look lower.
Comparing quotes that are based on the same limits and the same deductibles not only allows a fair comparison, it also ensures you will get the coverage you need on your policy. Remember that Wisconsin’s legal minimums are lower than experts recommend to protect yourself and your assets from the cost of a major accident.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of great choices for car insurance in Wisconsin, from big names to local brands. Take a little extra time to compare some of those smaller companies and it could pay off for you in big savings on your insurance bill.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.