Best car insurance in Wisconsin in 2021
Wisconsin is forever tied to automotive history due to its engine plant in Kenosha dating back to 1902. Today, nearly 4.3 million licensed drivers fill Wisconsin’s roads with vehicles, all insured under different car insurance providers. On average, full coverage car insurance costs $1,186 per year in Wisconsin, according to 2021 data pulled from Quadrant Information Services. Based on rate data, coverage options and other factors, Bankrate’s top two picks for the best car insurance for Wisconsin drivers are USAA and Auto-Owners.
While car insurance costs in Wisconsin are relatively low on average, choosing the right auto insurance coverage may be especially important for many motorists. According to the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicle, over 4,000 claims were made against uninsured motorists last year, leading to more than $23 million in damages and court fees. Not having the proper car insurance can put you at financial risk. As part of Bankrate’s mission to make insurance accessible and easy to understand, we reviewed and collected rates from some of the best car insurance companies in Wisconsin to help you narrow your search.
Best car insurance in companies in Wisconsin
To find the best auto insurance in Wisconsin, our insurance editorial team began by determining the most popular providers in Wisconsin by market share. We use trusted third-party consumer ratings from the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Study to gauge customer satisfaction. We also collected current quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services and reviewed financial strength scores from AM Best, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s.
Finally, we combined these data points into our proprietary Bankrate Score — scored out of 5.0 points — which weighs a provider’s performance to assess its competitiveness in the marketplace. From our research, USAA, Auto-Owners, Geico, Travelers and Allstate stand out for their great policy offerings in Wisconsin.
|Provider||Bankrate Score||Average annual full coverage car insurance premium||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
*Not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.
USAA may be the number one choice for military families in Wisconsin due to its low average premiums and dedicated coverage for military service members. The company consistently earns high customer satisfaction scores and even earns our highest Bankrate Score from the providers mentioned. This is in no small part due to its reliable claims handling and strong reputation in the insurance industry. Although membership and coverage eligibility with USAA depend on military association, for drivers who qualify, it could help to know that they are covered no matter where they are in the U.S. or even while on deployment.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Auto-Owners is the third-highest ranking company in the J.D. Power Auto Claims Study and ties for second with two other top companies on our list, with a Bankrate Score of 4.6. Wisconsin policyholders are likely to find those competitive ranks translate to a positive customer service experience and reliable claims processing. While only offering coverage in 26 states, including Wisconsin, Auto-Owners is known for its “No Problem” service motto, meaning that Wisconsin drivers can take advantage of a quality customer experience. Additionally, there is a “plus” package for drivers to include multiple important coverages in a single, competitively-priced policy.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
Geico consistently ranks as one of the best insurance companies for affordable premiums for all demographics, regardless of credit score, driving history or location. Coverage is relatively basic compared to other providers in terms of add-ons and extra features. However, Geico customers have plentiful options for savings. For example, according to Geico, Wisconsin drivers may save up to 23% on a portion of their premium for having air bags or an anti-theft system installed. Geico is also one of the few companies that include discounts for military personnel and federal employees. For standard car insurance, Wisconsin drivers may find Geico to be a great option.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
Similar to Geico, Travelers is an excellent option for basic coverage and several discount options. It may be worth noting that Travelers does not rank as highly in customer claims satisfaction, with a score 10 points below the industry average. However, as an insurance company that offers one of the lowest average rates in the state based on quoted premiums, below-average customer satisfaction scores may not be the biggest concern for some Wisconsin drivers. Policyholders may also gain additional confidence in knowing that, for two consecutive years, Travelers has won a CIO 100 award, which recognizes organizations making valuable tech innovations to drive business. Travelers’ award in 2020 was extended for its work to make the underwriting process more efficient and accurate.
Learn more: Travelers Insurance review
Coming in with the highest average annual rate on our list, Allstate offers various online tools to help customers get quotes, improve their driving and save money on their premium. Policyholders rank Allstate’s claims processing above the industry average. However, the company also has a slightly above-average complaint index, exceeding the industry average of 1.0 by .3 points. While customers may want to be mindful of customer service experiences, Allstate’s policies are easily personalizable. They can be expanded to cover your vehicle’s sound systems, which includes theft and damage to video and sound equipment.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
Average car insurance cost in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, the average annual cost of car insurance is $1,186 for full coverage, or about $99 monthly, almost $500 less than the national average of $1,674 for full coverage. Minimum coverage in Wisconsin costs an average of $332 annually, which is also considerably less than the national average of $565 annually.
Wisconsin’s low average rates may be partly due to its lower risk of fatal accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported 566 fatalities resulting from car accidents in Wisconsin for 2019, which lands somewhere on the lower end of the scale compared to some other states with a higher rate of auto fatalities. Furthermore, only 38% of Wisconsin accidents resulting in passenger fatality included unrestrained passengers. This is considerably lower than some states, like New Hampshire, where unrestrained occupants made up 62% of passenger fatalities.
|Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Wisconsin||Average annual premium for full coverage in Wisconsin|
How to find the best car insurance in Wisconsin
When it comes to finding great car insurance, Wisconsin drivers will find that the right provider largely depends on individual circumstances. Everyone’s financial picture and insurance history look different. Because of this, drivers may even find that the best insurance provider for them changes every so often because of changing personal circumstances. However, there are at least three steps any person can take to begin narrowing down their options:
- Assess your situation. Some drivers may need an affordable coverage option for an older vehicle, while others may be looking for robust policies to sufficiently insure a newly purchased vehicle. Regardless of your circumstances, it helps to take time to consider what kind of insurance you are looking for, as some providers specialize in dealing with certain coverages or driver profiles.
- Determine your insurance wants and needs. You may initially set out wanting the lowest cost coverage possible. However, as you continue your research, you may find that choosing a provider that offers coverage options you need, such as rideshare insurance, is non-negotiable. Settling on what aspects may be necessary versus “nice to haves” could come in handy when deciding your best option.
- Compare multiple quotes. Because each insurer weighs rating factors differently, it is generally a good idea to compare at least a few quotes from different insurers. By selecting the same coverage amounts, you could get an accurate depiction of how your insurance expenses may vary with each company.
Consider minimum insurance requirements in Wisconsin
Like most states, drivers in Wisconsin have car insurance laws to abide by, which requires minimum liability insurance limits. As Wisconsin is an at-fault state, these include limits for property damage and bodily injury or death liability. By default, you have to purchase at least the state’s requested minimums. However, many insurance experts recommend purchasing more than the minimum insurance limits to protect yourself better financially. If you are unsure how much car insurance is right for you, talk with a licensed agent.
Consider lender requirements
Although the state requires only liability insurance, individual lenders or lienholders often require drivers purchase full coverage auto insurance policies for financed or leased vehicles. Because liability insurance does not include financial protections for damage to your car itself, adding comprehensive and collision coverages helps prevent loan default. Additionally, drivers may purchase gap insurance to cover the difference between a vehicle’s actual cash value and an insurance claim payout should the vehicle be stolen, severely damaged or totaled.
Consider driver risk impacts
Insurers base car insurance rates on an assessment of risk. Factors considered “high-risk,” such as being a young or teen driver, having a speeding ticket or getting a DUI, generally result in steeper rates. If these risk factors apply to you, it could help to seek providers that are known to offer better rates for these circumstances. Additionally, some providers offer multiple discounts that are not driving-based, such as making timely payments, which could help you earn a better rate.
Car insurance discounts in Wisconsin
There are multiple options to save on Wisconsin car insurance, many of which are available from most major providers. In general, discounts relate to driving habits, payments and loyalty.
- Young driver discounts: Most providers will offer at least one discount for young drivers to help reduce premiums. These may include discounts for good grades, attending college away from home or safe-driving programs for drivers under 21.
- Safe driver discounts: While you can generally earn better premiums by maintaining a clean driving record, you could also apply for safe driver programs. Many insurers have telematics devices or apps that track your driving habits, calculating a discount based on behaviors like soft braking and driving at the posted speed limit.
- Other discounts: There are a variety of discounts, some of which may be more unique to some providers. For example, some insurers may offer discounts for insuring an electric vehicle, while others may offer options exclusively available to affiliation groups.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest car insurance company in Wisconsin?
In general, collecting and comparing quotes from multiple providers is the best way to fully gauge which company offers you the best rate for your desired coverage. However, our research found that for many state drivers, USAA, Erie and Geico offer the cheapest car insurance in Wisconsin on average. Speaking with an insurance agent can help you determine other important considerations before settling on a policy and exact coverage amounts.
Is car insurance required in Wisconsin?
Yes, car insurance is legally required in Wisconsin, unless you opt to provide a bond, a certificate of deposit for money or securities, or a certificate of self-insurance to satisfy the financial responsibility law. If you do not opt to satisfy the financial responsibility law in one of those ways, residents must have car insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage and uninsured motorists at 25/50/10/25/50. Coverage for underinsured motorists, medical expense coverage, collision and comprehensive is optional.
What is the best car insurance in Wisconsin?
You may decide that the best car insurance provider for you is the one with the most useful types of coverage and competitive premium. However, every Wisconsin driver is likely to prioritize different factors. Experts recommend receiving quotes from multiple insurers to aid in the decision-making process.
What information is needed in order to get car insurance in Wisconsin?
To get a quote for Wisconsin car insurance, you will need to include your address, the type of vehicle you want to insure (make, model and year), marital status, driving record and any information about the vehicle that could make you eligible for discounts, like safety features on your car.
How can I save money on car insurance in Wisconsin?
The car insurance providers we evaluated on this list all offer discounts for customers in Wisconsin. Drivers can often save money by bundling their policies, paying their policy in full, insuring a new car, having a clean driving record and owning their own home. Check out each provider’s discount page for a full list of the savings they offer.
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.
Bankrate scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.