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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Auto insurance for high risk drivers in Wisconsin

If you have caused a car crash, filed a claim, or received a ticket for a serious moving violation, you could be a good candidate for high-risk auto insurance.

Car insurance coverage for drivers with poor records is usually costly, but the increase in rates you receive depends on your car insurance company, your driving record, and the area in which you live.

Auto insurance for high-risk drivers in Wisconsin — table of contents:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. View Wisconsin driving laws


What impact does an at-fault accident have on auto insurance in Wisconsin?


If you’re found at-fault for an auto accident, expect your car insurance rates to go up. In Wisconsin, the typical insurance premium following an at-fault crash is $1,608, versus the U.S. average of $2,012. A major accident such as an at-fault crash will stay on your insurance record for up to three years.

Location With At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate No At-Fault Accident — Annual Rate Yearly Rate Increase
Wisconsin $1,608 $1,040 $568
National Average $2,012 $1,397 $615

The best insurer following an at-fault accident in Wisconsin is State Farm. The insurance company's typical rate increase after a crash is $674, 42 percent less expensive than the average offered by all companies. If you’ve caused a collision in Wisconsin, steer clear of American Family and Acuity, which are on the pricier end of the spectrum.

Company Annual Premium With an At-Fault Accident
State Farm $934
SECURA $1,238
GEICO $1,338
American Family $1,470
Acuity $1,554


What's the impact of a speeding ticket on car insurance in Wisconsin?


One of the ways drivers earn the "high-risk" tag is speeding. In Wisconsin, car insurance premiums rise by $298 per year post-speeding ticket, to an average yearly price of $1,338.

Location With a Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate No Speeding Ticket — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Wisconsin $1,338 $1,040 $298
National Average $1,727 $1,397 $330

The foolproof way to get cheap car insurance after getting a ticket for speeding is to shop around and weigh your options. The most affordable car insurance with a speeding citation in Wisconsin is available through SECURA, with an average rate after a violation $536 less than the state's average. If you have been caught speeding in Wisconsin, Acuity might not be the cheapest option.

Company Annual Rate After a Speeding Violation
State Farm $869
GEICO $955
American Family $1,005
Acuity $1,248


How does a ticket for distracted driving impact car insurance premiums in Wisconsin?


If you're ticketed for distracted driving, your car insurance bill is going to get more expensive. In Wisconsin, auto insurance prices typically increase by $251 per year. That amounts to a 24% increase from the average annual rate in Wisconsin and 45% more than the national average cost of car insurance with a distracted driving offense.

Location With Distracted Driving — Annual Rate No Distracted Driving — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Wisconsin $1,291 $1,040 $251
National Average $1,570 $1,397 $173

The easiest way to find affordable auto insurance after a distracted driving ticket is to compare options from a variety of companies. The least expensive car insurance company after a distracted driving ticket in Wisconsin is GEICO, with a typical rate of just $718 per year, 44% lower than the average distracted driving insurance rate among top insurers.

Insurance Company Annual Rate With Distracted Driving
GEICO $718
American Family $842
State Farm $869
West Bend Mutual $1,135


How does a ticket for racing impact Wisconsin car insurance rates?


Racing is an extremely serious offense. Auto insurance providers frequently penalize racing convictions severely — in fact, Wisconsin car insurance premiums go up by an average of $708 annually following a citation for racing. That's a 68% increase from the average yearly car insurance premium in Wisconsin!

Location With a Racing Citation — Annual Rate No Racing Citation — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Wisconsin $1,748 $1,040 $708
National Average $2,397 $1,397 $1,000

If you have been pulled over for racing, do your due diligence and seek out the cheapest rates. In Wisconsin, you should start with American Family, offering rates 12 percent cheaper than the state average for drivers found guilty of racing.

Company Annual Rate After Racing
American Family $1,532
Allstate $1,536
GEICO $1,592
SECURA $1,678
Progressive $1,741


Does a citation for reckless driving in Wisconsin raise car insurance rates?


As one of the most serious driving violations, reckless driving is a surefire way to get a car insurance rate hike. Insurers raise rates by an average of $647 per year after a ticket for reckless driving. That's 62% more than than the typical insurance rate in Wisconsin, and 13% less than the national average price increase for reckless driving.

Location With Reckless Driving — Annual Rate No Reckless Driving — Annual Rate Annual Rate Increase
Wisconsin $1,687 $1,040 $647
U.S. Average $2,395 $1,397 $998

If you're cited for reckless driving, compare quotes from a variety of insurance companies to get the best rate. In Wisconsin, the best car insurance company with a reckless driving ticket is State Farm.

Insurer Annual Rate After Reckless Driving
State Farm $869
American Family $1,532
Allstate $1,536
GEICO $1,592
SECURA $1,678

If you are seeking auto insurance as a high-risk driver, the best course of action is to do your research, compare rates, and find an affordable policy.

Compare rates from top insurance companies.

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Wisconsin driving laws

Traffic laws in Wisconsin are in place to keep its residents safe. If you’re caught speeding, participating in reckless or distracted driving, racing, or you’re at-fault for an accident, you’ll be charged with an appropriate fine or penalty.

Learn more about Wisconsin's auto insurance laws.


Speeding in Wisconsin

What constitutes speeding in Wisconsin?

If you’re driving at a speed “greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing, ” you are breaking Wisconsin’s basic speeding law.

You must drive at a safe speed, depending on the current road and weather conditions. The below speed limits serve as general guidelines:

  • 15 miles per hour when passing a schoolhouse or crossing, a pedestrian safety zone, on most streets and town roads, and in alleyways
  • 25 miles per hour on highways and on service roads within city or village limits
  • 35 miles per hour in any outlying district and on any highway in a semi-urban district within city or village limits
  • 45 miles per hour on any highway classified as a “rustic road”
  • 65 miles per hour on expressways
  • 70 miles per hour on freeways

Wisconsin drivers are advised to remain vigilant at all times on the road and adjust speed accordingly.

Penalties for speeding in Wisconsin

If you’re caught speeding in Wisconsin, the consequences vary depending on the severity of the violation. However, you can expect to pay the following fines:

  • $30 to $300 for a first offense of speeding in Wisconsin
  • $80 to $600 for a second offense within a year of a prior conviction

Certain circumstances can lead to fines being doubled, such as speeding in a construction or school zone.

Any type of speeding violation will add three to six points on your driver’s license. Accumulating 12 or more points within a one-year period will result in a license suspension.


Reckless driving in Wisconsin

What is reckless driving in Wisconsin?

Reckless driving in Wisconsin is defined as endangering “the safety of any person or property by the negligent operation of a vehicle.” Generally speaking, if you drive in such a way that poses a serious risk of harm to property or person, then you’re guilty of reckless driving.

Speeding in excess may also lead to a charge of reckless driving in Wisconsin.

Penalties for reckless driving in Wisconsin

If you’re convicted of reckless driving in Wisconsin, the penalties depend on the specific circumstances. However, the possibilities are as follows.

A driver’s first conviction for reckless driving in Wisconsin leads to $25 to $200 in fines.

A second or subsequent reckless driving offense within a four-year period results in:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • $50 to $500 in fines

A reckless driving offense that causes minor injuries to another person results in:

  • 30 days to one year in jail
  • $300 to $2,000 in fines

A reckless driving offense that injures another person is a class I felony, resulting in:

  • Up to 3.5 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • License suspension for up to one year

In addition to the above penalties, reckless driving in Wisconsin leads to the accumulation of six points on your driver’s license.


Distracted driving in Wisconsin

What counts as distracted driving in Wisconsin?

Distracted driving in Wisconsin is separated into three categories:

  1. Manual - taking your hands off the wheel
  2. Visual - removing your eyes from the road
  3. Cognitive - having your mind distracted from driving

Each type of distraction has a different effect on a driver and some incidents may be caused by multiple distractions. For instance, texting while driving falls into all three categories.

Some common examples of distracted driving include:

  • Eating or drinking
  • Searching for items in the glove compartment
  • Using a cell phone
  • Grooming
  • Changing the radio station

While driving, Wisconsin traffic laws state that your attention should always be on the road.

View texting and driving statistics.

Penalties for distracted driving in Wisconsin

The penalties for distracted driving vary in Wisconsin depending on the situation. Offenders may receive one or more of the following penalties:

  • A distracted driving ticket
  • A distracted driving fine
  • Points on your driving license

Fines for distracted driving in Wisconsin in which you are suspected of doing something that interferes with your ability to drive safely range from $20 to $400.

For all other types of distracted driving violations, the fines are:

  • $10 to $40 for a first offense
  • $50 to $100 for a second offense within a year

If you have a graduated driver license holder or on an instruction permit and you’re convicted of distracted driving, you’re subject to extended driving restrictions or wait times.


Racing in Wisconsin

What is racing in Wisconsin?

Traffic laws forbid racing in Wisconsin. For the purpose of the law, drivers may be convicted for racing if they participate in a race or speed or endurance contest on any highway.


At-fault accidents in Wisconsin

What is an at-fault accident in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. The person who is at-fault is responsible for covering financial loss due to injuries, lost income, and vehicle damage through their car insurance policy.

Traffic laws state that all Wisconsin drivers have to carry car insurance. Their policy must include these minimum amounts of coverage:

  • $25, 000 for bodily injury or death of one person
  • $50, 000 for total bodily injury or death
  • $10, 000 for property damage

Penalties for at-fault accidents in Wisconsin

According to Wisconsin traffic laws, there are penalties involved for failing to produce active proof of insurance when asked by law enforcement. These penalties include:

  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Suspension of vehicle registration
  • License suspension

However, if you can provide proof of insurance following an appearance in court or in the office of a law enforcement officer, you will not be convicted.


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Auto insurance for high risk drivers in Wisconsin

Have a specific question about high risk car insurance in Wisconsin? Ask one of our licensed agents!

How much will my insurance cover if I have an accident while towing my friends trailer?

Each policy is going to have different guidelines as to what they will and will not cover. You will definitely want to check with your specific company to find out if your policy will cover the damages. With that being said, typically, your insurance would only cover damage that you caused to other…
Jun 20, 2018 Milwaukee, WI

My camper stays at a seasonal campground year-round. What type of insurance do I need?

Thanks for reaching out! Insurance can be extremely confusing, especially when you get thrown a bunch of insurance jargon in a contract and you have no idea what any of it means. Luckily, I'm a licensed insurance agent with over 10 years of experience, and it's my job to explain coverage …
Jul 17, 2019 Beaver Dam, WI

Does car insurance cover rodent damage?

Sorry to hear about your misfortune! Luckily enough, you should be able to file this claim through your insurance company assuming that you have comprehensive coverage on your policy. Comprehensive covers most damage to your vehicle that wasn't the result of an accident. This would include thi…
Jul 17, 2016 Appleton, WI

Do I still have to pay a deductible for a hit and run incident?

In the case of a hit-and-run, if you filed a police report and have uninsured motorist coverage, this could be used to cover the damages. This is additional coverage that must already be on your policy. It could also be covered by the collision portion of your insurance, but keep in mind your premi…
Jun 25, 2019 Manitowoc, WI

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.