Wis. OCI Warns of Winter Driving Perils

November 11, 2003

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) is encouraging drivers to make sure that winter weather doesn’t become a year-round problem for them via increased auto insurance premiums.

“Even though there is snow and ice on our roads, insurance companies will look at winter accidents when reviewing your driving record, so it’s important to realize that your actions can have a financial impact on your auto insurance premiums long after the ground has thawed,” said Phil Kress, OCI Property and Casualty Section chief.

To avoid high insurance premiums, Kress urges policyholders to think about all facets of their driving record.

“It’s easy to think, ‘I haven’t had an accident, so my insurance premium will be fine.’ However, insurers look at the driver’s entire driving record when assessing a driver’s risk level,” said Kress. “Winter holidays and traffic patterns can cause you to feel like you need to ‘makeup’ time on the roadways, but even minor traffic violations and speeding tickets have a direct effect on your premiums.”

The OCI recommends that drivers allow themselves increased travel time during winter months to account for the road conditions.

“Safe drivers adjust their driving style based on road conditions. So, if you always put your safety and the safety of other drivers at the forefront, you’ll not only be safer, but your auto insurance bill should not have any unanticipated surprises,” Kress said.

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