Wisconsin law requires that you carry a minimum level of uninsured motorist, or UI, coverage, though it’s also important to carry UIM, or underinsured motorist, coverage as well. This coverage is among the most vital forms of protection you can have. Examine the Wisconsin laws surrounding UIM and UI coverage, why you should maximize this when possible and how an insurance agent can help.
What Is State Minimum Coverage?
Every state has a certain level of insurance you must carry in order to legally drive a car. This can include some or all of the following:
- Property damage coverage
- Bodily injury coverage
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
- Personal injury coverage (also called PIP, or personal injury protection)
The first two types of coverage are called liability coverage, and they protect other people if you have an accident that’s your fault. The third, abbreviated UI for uninsured motorists and UIM for underinsured motorists, protects you if you’re in an accident with someone who doesn’t have enough liability coverage.
Wisconsin Minimum Coverage
In Wisconsin, the minimum coverage you’re required to carry includes $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, with maximum coverage of $50,000 per accident; $10,000 in coverage for property damage per accident; and $25,000 in UI coverage per person, with maximum coverage of $50,000 per accident.
Are Uninsured Drivers Really a Problem?
Uninsured drivers are a growing epidemic across the nation. As of 2015, Wisconsin ranked 15th in the nation for the number of uninsured drivers on the road, with an estimated 15% of all vehicle operators not carrying insurance. That means any time you’re in an accident; there’s a statistically significant chance that the other driver won’t have the coverage to pay for the damages.
What’s worse, the problem is likely to grow. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of insurance companies offered modified payment plans for premiums, including some that are deferring payments entirely. When these payments eventually come due, a lot of drivers may find they can’t pay them. When this happens, we may see drivers reducing their coverage or even canceling it entirely to save money. That will only increase the current problem.
Understanding How UI and UIM Coverage Works
There are, in general, two different ways to express UIM and UI coverage on your insurance policy. The first, and most common is what is called a “split limit.” In a split limit, two numbers are expressed that indicate, in thousands, the amount of coverage you have per person and the amount you have total per accident. In the case of Wisconsin’s minimum coverage, for example, the split limit would be expressed as 25/50.
Another way coverage is expressed is as a “combined single limit.” Combined single limit coverage can often offer much higher coverage, but that’s because it applies only to one individual and not to each person in a car. So, a combined single limit policy of 500 would offer up to $500,000 in coverage per person, and per accident. What this means is that an individual would have higher limits, but the combined losses between all passengers would be capped at $500,000.00.
Get the Right Coverage from Feldbruegge Insurance
The best way to explore whether you’ve got the right level of coverage in the Abbotsford, Wisconsin area is to speak with an experienced independent insurance agent. At Feldbruegge Insurance, we’ve got years of experience helping people just like you. Get in touch with us today to discuss whether you need more UI or UIM coverage on your policy.