Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
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Elkhorn, WI

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Drivers with cut-rate insurance could leave you with big crash bills

For most people, car insurance is just a frustrating recurring expense. Although it technically protects you from personal losses after a crash, the average driver will go years or ideally a lifetime without ever needing that coverage.

The disconnect between the purpose of insurance and the constant obligation to pay for it, unfortunately, means that many people don’t buy enough insurance. Rather than trying to protect themselves as much as possible, their goal is simply to keep their costs low.

You are at serious risk of getting into a crash with a Wisconsin driver who doesn’t actually have enough insurance to adequately compensate you.

What does Wisconsin require?

Every state has its own rules regarding mandatory car insurance. Wisconsin has relatively low coverage requirements. Drivers only need to have $10,000 worth of property damage liability coverage if they smash up someone else’s vehicle.

The state requires more than that for bodily injury liability coverage, which pays both for medical bills and other losses related to injuries, like unpaid wages. Wisconsin drivers usually need to have at least $25,000 worth of bodily injury liability coverage and can count on that coverage doubling if they hurt two or more people in a single crash.

As the person making a claim, you may find that someone with those bare-bones levels of coverage won’t be able to pay all of your medical bills or replace your vehicle after the crash. Who protects you from underinsured drivers?

Wisconsin state law helps protect you from completely uninsured drivers

Requiring mandatory coverage helps ensure that you will have some reimbursement after a crash. However, the low levels of coverage required by law can leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in lost wages and hospital bills.

You may have protection under your own car insurance policy if you pay for underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. Many drivers left with uncovered expenses after a crash will need to look into whether the situation justifies a personal injury lawsuit. Someone with verifiable losses hurt by a driver who was negligent or breaking the law at the time of the crash could potentially sue the other driver.

Understanding car insurance rules in Wisconsin will help you manage the consequences of a major car crash.

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