What to do after a hit-and-run in Wisconsin

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Committing a hit-and-run in Wisconsin results in full coverage car insurance premiums, on average, to rise by nearly double from an average of $1,186 before the offense up to an average of $2,235 afterward, according to 2021 data pulled from Quadrant Information Services. Hit-and-runs can present many complications and expenses compared to standard car accidents, even when you have the best car insurance.

The risks of a hit-and-run are one reason why Wisconsin, like most states, requires all drivers to carry car insurance. There are around 600,000 to 700,000 hit-and-runs annually across the United States. Considering that, on average, only about 10% of hit-and-run culprits are caught, it’s easy to see how these offenses create financial risk for everyone.

Hit-and-runs in Wisconsin

Hit-and-runs in Wisconsin are a little trickier than in some states because a Wisconsin hit-and-run is defined somewhat differently. In many states, fleeing the scene of the accident is required to commit a hit-and-run. In Wisconsin, though, you may be charged with a hit-and-run if you fail to meet your on-site legal obligations to the party(s) that you hit. These obligations involve sharing your information with the affected parties, including name, address, vehicle registration number and driver’s license if requested. Beyond that, you are required to give or procure aid (calling an ambulance) for injured parties if necessary or requested. Failure to meet these obligations could result in a hit-and-run charge.

Wisconsin hit-and-run laws

There are substantial legal and financial consequences for committing a hit-and-run in Wisconsin. Hit-and-run Wisconsin statutes state that fines of up to $10,000 and up to nine months imprisonment can be leveled against a driver who commits a hit-and-run that causes great bodily harm. Injuring or killing someone in a hit-and-run is a felony under Wisconsin law.

How hit-and-runs impact car insurance rates in Wisconsin

Beyond legal troubles, there are insurance consequences for a hit-and-run as well. A driver convicted of a hit-and-run may need to file an SR-22 to prove they have the state-required levels of car insurance for a certain period and will likely face significantly higher insurance premiums. On average, in Wisconsin, car insurance rates nearly double after a hit-and-run conviction. Being involved in a hit-and-run can affect your car insurance even if you are the victim, as auto insurance rates tend to rise after filing a claim. Costs for the at-fault driver are much worse, however.

After being charged with a hit-and-run, the average Wisconsinite would go from paying $1,186 annually to paying $2,235. In contrast, causing an accident that isn’t a hit-and-run will see the average annual cost rise from $1,186 to $1,616. As the numbers show, staying at the site of an accident you are at fault for and meeting your obligations to other parties can end up being far less costly than the alternative.

Average annual full coverage car insurance premiums before and after a hit-and-run accident
Before a hit-and-run After a hit-and-run After a standard accident
Wisconsin average $1,186 $2,235 $1,616
National average $1,674 $3,367 $2,405

Four things to do after a hit-and-run in Wisconsin

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run in Wisconsin, there are some crucial steps to take. First and foremost, always put safety first.

  • Ensure safety and contact medical services: Check for injuries and call an ambulance if needed. Once safety is assured, and any required medical assistance has been arranged, it’s time to inform the police.
  • Contact police: Contact the police and file a report. They will need some details of the incident, including the location, time (estimated if necessary), and information about you and your vehicle.
  • Document scene: Once you can do so safely, document the scene of the accident. Include any details about the condition the vehicle was in before the accident and how it was damaged. Take pictures if possible.
  • Contact insurance company: Now it’s time to contact your auto insurer and start filing your claim. Your policy may cover hit-and-runs, depending on the circumstance, your insurer and your auto coverage types. Ask your agent, and if covered, inform them that you would like to file a claim.

Will insurance cover a hit-and-run

If you wonder whether your car insurance covers damages and injuries resulting from a hit-and-run, a few types of optional coverage can help. Uninsured motorist, collision, and medical payments are all types of auto coverage that can help with the financial risks of being on the receiving end of a hit-and-run.

If the culprit of a hit-and-run isn’t known, their auto insurance can’t be used to cover your damages or injuries, which can leave some drivers paying out of pocket when they are victims of a hit-and-run. Collision coverage is designed to cover the costs to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident, up to your policy limits, and is one type of coverage that can help mitigate the expenses after a hit-and-run accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage effectively fills in for another driver’s minimum coverage if they are at fault for an accident that injures you or damages your property and can also be used if the other driver’s identity isn’t known. As a result, this type of coverage is well-suited to help with the financial fallout from a hit-and-run. Medical payment coverage is a third option that can help mitigate costs after a hit-and-run. While this one won’t help with car repairs, it can cover medical costs for you and your passengers.

If you are unsure which coverage options you have that may help you after a hit-and-run, speak with your insurance agent.

Frequently asked questions

How much does car insurance cost?

Individual car insurance costs can vary quite a bit and are based on several factors, but the average annual cost of full coverage car insurance in Wisconsin is $1,186 per year. By comparison, the average across the U.S. is $1,674.

How much car insurance do I need?

Depending on your state of residence, there are different required minimums and types of coverage. Numerous personal factors can determine how much auto insurance you might want beyond these minimums. Many drivers choose to purchase additional coverage to protect themselves better financially.

What company has the best car insurance in Wisconsin?

Because rates and plans are personalized, one driver’s best car insurance company may not be the best for another. This is one reason that experts recommend shopping around and getting quotes from multiple companies when looking for car insurance. Consider starting your search with the Bankrate guide to the best car insurance companies in Wisconsin.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Joshua Cox-Steib
Joshua Cox-Steib has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com, Thesimpledollar.com, Reviews.com, and more. His work has also been featured on such sites as Msn.com and BBB.org. His insurance writing career has spanned across multiple product lines, with a primary focus on auto insurance, life insurance, and home insurance.
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