With one year to go before Wisconsin implements new car insurance rules, many car owners in the state are gearing up for more expensive insurance. Wisconsin is one of only two states that do not require car insurance. The remaining state, New Hampshire, is also considering requiring its residents to purchase insurance.
According to legal experts and insurance specialists, Wisconsin’s new insurance rules will benefit car owners and motorists. At present, there are fears that mandatory insurance will mean more expenses for consumers struggling to meet payments and keep their jobs.
However, analysts contend that the demand for mandatory insurance has been strong among many residents of the state. They say that most car owners are in favor of new laws to promote responsibility among motorists.
Studies show that an estimated 15 percent of the state’s drivers do not have insurance. A significant portion of those who have insurance are underinsured, the studies also point out. According to experts, statistics have shown that in 2006 alone, there were some 8,000 traffic accidents. The mishaps have resulted in 78 deaths an over $35 million in unpaid medical bills.
Supporters of the insurance rules say that with the passage of the state’s budget for next year, accident victims may no longer have to worry about costly hospital bills. However, some analysts warn that the number of uninsured drivers can rise dramatically with the implementation of the new insurance rules.
The latest move by the state government to introduce changes to Wisconsin’s car insurance situation is the one of the most influential since 1982, experts say. The new provisions will also increase the level of liability insurance significantly. Starting July next year, drivers need to have a minimum coverage of $50,000 for injuries to a single person, $100,000 for all injuries, and $15,000 for property damages.
Currently, analysts estimate that some 80 percent of car owners with insurance have liability coverage that meets the new levels. Because of this, they contend that only a few car owners will be affected by the new changes.
Wisconsin’s new rules will also mean higher coverage levels against underinsured and uninsured drivers. Come July next year, motorists will receive up to $100,000 in coverage if they get involved with uninsured or underinsured drivers. This can also increase to $300,000 per accident.
Critics of the provision say that car insurance companies are making use of the rules to increase rates. Experts, however, say that car owners can get more affordable insurance by sampling shopping around and comparing the different premiums of many insurers.