Effective next month, Wisconsin law will allow motorists to reduce the minimum amount of their liability insurance coverage to $25,000 for bodily injury to one person and $50,000 per accident. The new minimum limit to cover property damage is set at $10,000.
The previous limits, instated on June 1, 2010, were $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident (bodily injury), and $15,000 for property damage.
While lawmakers behind the bill argued that the new rules will allow Wisconsin motorists to pay lower premiums, a positive factor in a depressed economy, many insurance and traffic accident experts take a different view. If motorists can save a few dollars bringing back their coverage limits to the legal level, in case of a serious Wisconsin car crash their liability is likely to be far in excess of the insured amount, and they will be personally responsible for the remaining cost. This could easily lead to financial ruin.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) advises motorists in Wisconsin either to keep their present limits, or to purchase an umbrella, or excess liability policy that will be triggered when the insured limits have been reached.
Motorists ought to know how quickly any claim resulting from a serious car crash can reach significant amounts, to compensate damages for wrongful death, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income and material damage.