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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Wisconsin for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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When it comes to getting cheap car insurance in Wisconsin, fortune favors the persistent. Insurance companies may offer different rates for the exact same type of policy, so comparing as many prices as possible is smart.

Your rates will also hinge on your driving history, credit score and other personal factors. To help you find the best prices, NerdWallet looked at rates from the 14 largest insurers in the state and found the five lowest options for several driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers in Wisconsin

For a Wisconsin driver with a clean driving record and good credit, these are the cheapest car insurance companies we found, ranked by average rates for full coverage:

  1. Geico: $670 per year.
  2. Erie: $689 per year.
  3. Auto Club Group: $871 per year.
  4. Secura: $872 per year.
  5. State Farm: $932 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Wisconsin

For Wisconsin drivers looking for the lowest coverage amounts available, here are the cheapest companies and average rates for minimum required insurance, assuming clean driving and credit histories:

  1. Erie: $182 per year.
  2. Geico: $223 per year.
  3. Auto Club Group: $255 per year.
  4. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $277 per year.
  5. State Farm: $308 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get car insurance quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

A driver in Wisconsin with poor credit and a spotless driving record may want to consider these insurers, which returned the cheapest average rates for full coverage:

  1. Geico: $1,020 per year.
  2. West Bend: $1,228 per year.
  3. Secura: $1,264 per year.
  4. American Family: $1,596 per year.
  5. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $1,818 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

These are the cheapest insurance companies for a Wisconsin driver who recently caused an on-record accident, ranked by average rates for full coverage:

  1. Erie: $827 per year.
  2. American Family: $993 per year.
  3. State Farm: $1,156 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,200 per year.
  5. Secura: $1,339 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation — and you still may be rejected for coverage from certain companies, including those above. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Wisconsin

For a Wisconsin driver whose record includes a recent DUI, here are the cheapest insurers and their average rates for full coverage auto policies:

  1. Erie: $964 per year.
  2. American Family: $993 per year.
  3. State Farm: $1,322 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,487 per year.
  5. Geico: $1,508 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Be warned that you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best available price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Wisconsin

After a speeding ticket, these companies have the cheapest average rates for a Wisconsin driver buying full coverage car insurance:

  1. Erie: $689 per year.
  2. Secura: $872 per year.
  3. Geico: $894 per year.
  4. American Family: $993 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,054 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Wisconsin

Newlyweds and growing families may want to take a new look at their car insurance rates. The companies with the best prices for a single driver may not be cheapest for a couple or family, because each insurer takes a different approach to rates and discounts. To get the best prices, it’s important to shop for insurance quotes after big changes in your life like marriage, moving or adding a new driver. We analyzed rates for a 50-year-old Wisconsin couple, with and without a teen driver, to see who has the best rates for families.

Cheapest for a married couple in Wisconsin

For a husband and wife in Wisconsin, each 50 years old with clean driving and credit histories, these are the cheapest insurers for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $804 per year.
  2. Erie: $1,070 per year.
  3. American Family: $1,175 per year.
  4. Secura: $1,308 per year.
  5. Auto Club Group: $1,386 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Wisconsin

To insure two vehicles in a family with three drivers, here are the cheapest companies and average rates for full coverage, assuming a 50-year-old couple with an 18-year-old driver on the policy:

  1. Geico: $1,466 per year.
  2. Erie: $1,779 per year.
  3. Secura: $2,131 per year.
  4. American Family: $2,263 per year.
  5. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $2,307 per year.
Adding a teen with two years’ driving experience to a married couple's policy is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers.

Cheapest for young drivers in Wisconsin

People in their 20s often pay steeper car insurance rates than drivers with more experience, but high prices aren’t inevitable. Since insurers evaluate factors like age and driving experience differently, some companies will be cheaper than others for young drivers. To learn which ones are cheapest for young drivers in Wisconsin, we checked rates for 25-year-olds in various situations.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For 25-year-olds in Wisconsin with clean driving and credit records, these companies showed the cheapest average rates for full coverage auto policies:

  1. Geico: $665 per year.
  2. Erie: $834 per year.
  3. Secura: $994 per year.
  4. West Bend: $1,075 per year.
  5. American Family: $1,082 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For Wisconsin’s minimum required car insurance, the cheapest options and average rates for young drivers are:

  1. Erie: $217 per year.
  2. Geico: $222 per year.
  3. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $301 per year.
  4. Auto Club Group: $315 per year.
  5. State Farm: $356 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

For 25-year-old drivers with poor credit and a good driving record, these are the cheapest insurers and average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Geico: $304 per year.
  2. West Bend: $498 per year.
  3. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $505 per year.
  4. Secura: $575 per year.
  5. Acuity: $694 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

After a young driver causes an accident, these are the cheapest companies and average rates for Wisconsin’s minimum required insurance:

  1. Erie: $273 per year.
  2. Geico: $353 per year.
  3. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $395 per year.
  4. State Farm: $450 per year.
  5. West Bend: $520 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. Depending on your situation, you may still be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For 25-year-old Wisconsin drivers with a recent DUI on their record, the cheapest companies and average rates for minimum insurance are:

  1. Erie: $328 per year.
  2. Geico: $461 per year.
  3. State Farm: $526 per year.
  4. Progressive: $541 per year.
  5. American Family: $640 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. Depending on the circumstances, you may be rejected for coverage, including from the companies listed above. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest price from a company available to you. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent DUI conviction. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For young Wisconsin drivers with a recent speeding ticket, these are the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum required coverage:

  1. Erie: $217 per year.
  2. Geico: $262 per year.
  3. Wisconsin Farm Bureau: $328 per year.
  4. State Farm: $401 per year.
  5. Secura: $403 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point, it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

Cheap insurance for military, veterans and their families is often available in Wisconsin through USAA, which offers policies exclusively to active service members, veterans and their families. We didn’t rank USAA with other companies because it isn’t available to the general public, but it was among the three cheapest insurers in Wisconsin for all of the driver categories listed above.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Wisconsin

  • Good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage: Erie.
  • Poor credit: Geico.
  • After an at-fault crash: Erie.
  • After a DUI: Erie.
  • After a speeding ticket: Erie.
  • Married couples: Geico.
  • Families with a teen: Geico.
  • Young good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Erie.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Erie.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Erie.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Erie.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum required auto insurance in Wisconsin

Wisconsin requires drivers to carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage in the following amounts:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $25,000 uninsured motorist per person for injuries.
  • $50,000 uninsured motorist per accident for injuries.

Liability insurance kicks in to cover others’ property damage and injury treatment, up to your limit, if you cause an accident.

If you’re ever struck by a driver who lacks car insurance, UMBI will cover your injuries plus those of your passengers, also up to your limit.

Keep in mind that the required amounts of insurance may not be enough to fully cover others’ damages or your own. In most cases, it’s wise to choose limits above the legal minimum and consider adding common optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive insurance.

See more state required car insurance.

Alternative Wisconsin car insurance

If you’re unable to purchase auto insurance on the voluntary market because of DUIs, at-fault accidents, poor credit or other circumstances, you can apply for coverage through the Wisconsin Automobile Insurance Plan.

For more help sorting through the companies in your area and finding the most competitive car insurance rates, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $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 coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added and "good driver" discounts were automatically applied. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household.

In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.