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Best 6 Car Insurance Companies in Wisconsin 2020
We compared six car insurance carriers for Wisconsin’s minimum coverage and found that a driver could save as much as $858 a year on their premium just by picking a certain company over another. Of all the insurers, American Family made it to the very top of the list. However, it would be a mistake for you to assume that American Family would be the best car insurance company for you without doing some comparisons of your own.
Why’s that? Insurance rates are based on a bunch of individual factors. Every insurance provider has its own formula for determining how much to charge you that’s based on your age, marital status, driving history, location and a bunch more factors. The only way to figure out who offers the best deals for you is to get quotes — as many as you can stand, really. It doesn’t sound very fun, but the potential savings makes putting in a little time well worth the effort.
Going through the quote process isn’t a huge deal, though it can be time-consuming if companies don’t offer an online tool. You can speed things up by having your personal and vehicle information handy, including the make and model of your car (the vehicle identification number is even better) and the details of any accidents or citations from recent years.
Our Top 6 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Wisconsin
The six picks on this list are the cream of the crop when it comes to customer service ratings in Wisconsin and financial stability.
Anyone who purchases car insurance should be able to trust that their company can not only afford to pay claims but also will lend a helping hand when you need to file one. No one needs the extra stress of haggling over contract stipulations in the heat of a crisis. That’s why the choices on this list are companies with top scores from A.M. Best and J.D. Power. A.M. Best is a financial strength rating agency that assesses a company’s long-term stability, and J.D. Power is a global leader in car insurance customer satisfaction surveys. So, between the two criteria, you should be able to trust that you have the cream of the crop among car insurers.
American Family emerges as the best car insurance option because it can have an average premium of $920 a year. The Hartford and Country Financial are close behind, offering $930 and $1,246 a year, respectively. Erie Insurance ended up being the most expensive quote by far, but this was largely due to the fact that it can require you to buy optional coverages that you don’t need or want. However, if you do want more than the minimum coverage, give Erie a shot and it might wind up being more competitive. Also, keep in mind that you will be quoted different rates than the ones mentioned here based on your risk level and other factors.
Wisconsin’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
Wisconsin law requires drivers to have liability and uninsured motorist coverage. Liability coverage breaks down into three parts: $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $50,000 of bodily coverage per accident, and $10,000 for property damage (you’ll often see this written as $25,000/$50,000/$10,000 or 25/50/10). Uninsured motorist coverage takes care of you if you or your passengers are injured by a driver without insurance. It carries the same $25,000/$50,000 minimum as the liability coverage.
Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
There are many factors that affect your rates, but there are ways to cut your costs.
Car insurance is relatively pricey for young drivers, but you might qualify for some discounts if you shop around. Some insurers offer “good student” discounts that they apply to lower your rate when you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above. Taking driver training courses may also help lower your premium. Every insurer has different details for their discounts, so look around to see where you qualify and how much you’d save.
If you have a low credit rating, your insurance rates could be higher than what you’d pay if you had a better credit rating. This is just one more reason that it’s worthwhile to do everything you can to maintain good credit and raise your score if it’s low. It may not seem fair that low credit could mean you pay more for car insurance, but insurers see a correlation between not-so-great credit scores and more frequent filing of claims. If you’re a low credit driver, it’s still worthwhile to shop around for the best car insurance for your needs.
Maintaining a record as a good driver also will help you to get the best car insurance rates that you can.
When determining your rate, insurance companies don’t just look at your risk; they also assess how likely you are to remain a loyal customer by analyzing a ton of your personal data, including how long you stayed with previous insurers, social media activity and even your online shopping habits. This practice is called price optimization, and to no one’s surprise, it’s stirred up a lot of controversy in recent years. Basically, it allows insurers to estimate which customers aren’t sensitive to price changes, and take advantage of them with incremental rate increases. Customers who frequently shop around, on the other hand, receive more competitive rates as an attempt to retain their business.
That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around for quotes with other car insurance companies every year or two. Just by getting a few quotes on a regular basis you can avoid being marked by complex algorithms as someone who’s comfortable paying a higher rate. Besides, your risk to insurers changes over time, so a year from now, you may be able to score a much better rate than you can today. (Every year, you get older and your car loses value, which makes the cost of insuring you go down.)
Your rates should be based upon your risk profile, not someone a computer sizes you up to be.
The Consumer Federation of America has brought attention to this issue, citing evidence of this discriminatory practice. So far, 15 states have acknowledged and addressed price optimization, but unfortunately, Wisconsin is not one of them. Insurance companies deny they are doing anything wrong and the state has yet to rule one way or the other. So in the meantime, it’s up to the drivers to avoid falling victim to price optimization.
Finding cheap car insurance is simply a matter of putting in the time. Get quotes from several companies and compare levels of coverage as well as price. If you can afford it, it’s better to go with more than just the bare minimum. Yes, that means higher premiums, but it also means fewer headaches if an accident occurs.