Wisconsin, one of only two states that don’t require drivers to carry car insurance, is finally one step closer to making car insurance mandatory for its residents.
This year’s state budget includes a measure requiring drivers to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles.
The state has had a history of turning down proposals for mandatory insurance for motorists since the 1970’s. The presence of reluctant drivers forced the insurance industry to block the measures with companies unwilling to deal with uninterested motorists.
Racine Democrat Senator John Lehman says that the inclusion of a measure in the state’s budget send a stronger message on financial responsibility. He points out that drivers will now have to secure adequate insurance in case they get into an accident.
Lehman has been fighting for tougher car insurance legislation since 2001. Despite the recent headway this year, he believes that there will still be stubborn motorists on the state’s roads.
The same measure also raises the minimum liability requirements for drivers in the state. That would result to higher insurance premiums for Wisconsin’s residents.
Local agents like Andrew Bartlett of Wayne Syring Insurance Agency have expressed optimism over the recent developments, saying that the measure will definitely help agencies get more business.
Bartlett, however, warns that some of the state’s residents may not be able to afford higher premiums. He also points out that the government might have difficulty enforcing the new measure.
Drivers caught without insurance cards will be fined $10.