OAI: Wisconsin Auto Insurance Changes Should Prompt Coverage Discussion

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Starting in November, the requirements and application of some coverages will change significantly

With new legal requirements set to take effect next month that cut in half the amount of Wisconsin car insurance motorists must carry and that change the application of some types of protection, Online Auto Insurance (OAI) advises consumers to consult with their providers on how the changes will affect their policies and whether they should keep higher levels of protection.

The new regulations should be affecting policies that are newly issued or renewed after Nov. 1.

Supporters of the legislation, which repeals an increase in minimum coverage levels that took effect last year, say the changes will mean lower premiums statewide. But insurance industry experts have said for years that, while having only the minimum amount of coverage can save consumers a few dollars in the short term, it can be financially disastrous in the event of an accident.

Consumers can get free insurance quotes without personal information required online to get a feel for how much it would cost to maintain or even increase their coverage levels.

Drivers in almost every state are legally obligated to purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage to pay for damages resulting from a crash. Starting next month, the minimum in Wisconsin will be enough to cover damages of up to $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and up to $50,000 per accident. Policies must also include enough property damage coverage to pay for up to $10,000 worth of losses caused by policyholders.

Source: http://oci.wi.gov/consumer/autohome-faqauto.htm

But experts say those levels may not provide enough financial protection for those who get into a serious crash. The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that drivers who are found liable for bills that total more than their policy will pay find themselves having to cover the difference out of pocket.

OAI advises Wisconsin motorists—and drivers in other states—to ask their coverage providers how much it would cost to increase their coverage levels to a point where they will fully cover the fallout from a potentially serious accident.

III suggests that consumers think about purchasing an umbrella or excess liability policy that will pay when underlying coverages are exhausted.

To learn more about this and other coverage and safety issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/quotes/no-personal-info/ where they will find informative resource pages and a rate-comparison generator that can help users quickly evaluate their coverage options.

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Gregor McGavin
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