Auto Insurance Coverage Laws Change

Wisconsin to Lower Minimum Limits for Auto Insurance

If you live in Wisconsin, you may have heard that auto insurance laws are changing again.
While auto insurance is still required, the minimum mandatory coverage limits will be lowered
Nov. 1, 2011
, as part of the Consumer Choice in Auto Insurance Act. Read on for details.

Do Customers Need to Change Their Coverage Limits?

No. Wisconsin customers are not required to change their coverage limits. Existing limits for Bodily Injury / Property Damage, Medical Expenses and Uninsured Motorist / Underinsured Motorist coverage will remain in effect, unless a customer specifically requests to have his or her limits lowered.

Keep in mind, for some people, the new minimum may not provide the level of protection that's best for their situation. If you are uncertain how such a change would affect your protection, please contact your agent for a personal insurance review.

What Are the New Minimum Coverage Limits?

  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability: $25,000 / $50,000 / $10,000
    (lowered from $50,000 / $100,000 / $15,000)

    The new limits mean that if you were in an auto accident, your insurer would pay a maximum of $25,000 for any one injured person; up to $50,000 for all injured people; and no more than $10,000 for damaged property.

  • Medical Expenses: $1,000
    (lowered from $10,000)

    The new limit provides up to $1,000 coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses for injuries resulting from a collision. (This coverage is optional in Wisconsin.)

  • Uninsured Motorist (UM): $25,000 / $50,000
    (lowered from $100,000 / $300,000)

    The new coverage means that if you're involved in an auto accident where the other driver is at fault and doesn't have auto coverage, your insurer will pay a maximum of $25,000 for any one injured person, and up to $50,000 to all injured people.

  • Underinsured Motorist (UIM): $50,000 / $100,000
    (lowered from $100,00 / $300,000)

    The new limits mean that if you're involved in an auto accident where the other driver is at fault and doesn't have enough insurance to cover the costs, your insurer will pay a maximum of $50,000 for any one injured person, and up to $100,000 to all injured people. (UIM coverage is optional in Wisconsin.)

The Consumer Choice in Auto Insurance Act also includes the following changes.

'Stacking' No Longer Part of Auto Insurance Definition

"Stacking" – applying more than one policy limit to the same loss – will no longer be allowed for UM, UIM and Medical limits (when someone is injured as a pedestrian). This change will take effect with your first renewal after Nov. 1, 2011, even if you do not lower your coverage limits.

Example: If you have two cars on your policy, each with $50,000 / $100,000 UIM coverage, you cannot combine your limits to provide $100,000 / $200,000 coverage for an accident that just involves one of the vehicles.

'Phantom Vehicles' Now Under UM Coverage

The definition of uninsured motor vehicle has been expanded to include "phantom vehicles" – that is, those that hurt someone or damage property without making physical contact. This change will take effect with your first renewal after Nov. 1, 2011.

For example, a car that crosses the center line and runs another vehicle off the road without making contact would be considered a phantom vehicle.

For more information:

For further details on these changes and others brought about by the Consumer Choice in Auto Insurance Act, check out the Consumer's Guide to Auto Insurance, available on the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) website.

To contact the OCI directly, call 1-800-236-8517.