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EDITORIAL: If you're driving, it's about time for insurance

Wisconsin was one of the two remaining states in the union that didn't require motorists to carry automobile insurance.

As of June 1, that's changed.

Wisconsin joins 48 other states in requiring auto insurance for those who drive.

More than a few people have been critical of the new mandate.

Why would anyone oppose the idea? It only makes sense.

We've often heard that driving is a privilege, not a right. As a consequence, everyone who takes advantage of the ability to drive on Wisconsin roadways should be forced to carry insurance.

The vast majority of Wisconsin drivers carry the necessary insurance on their vehicles. But the few who don't often cause problems on the roadways if they are involved in accidents. If motorists follow through and actually become insured, responsible drivers will no longer be forced to file claims against their own insurance policies for damages that are caused by others.

Critics have also sounded the alarm about higher coverage minimums that are part of the new law.

Auto insurance policies must now cover $15,000 of property damage, $50,000 for the injury or death of one person and $100,000 for the injury or death of more than one person. The newly established mandate doubles the previous minimums for motorists who purchased insurance.

But the increased minimums only make sense. Anyone who has been in an accident lately knows that it doesn't take long for thousands of dollars of damage to pile up. Sufficient coverage is necessary to cover whatever loss may occur.

Critics say the new mandates are a sign of state government gone wild, that legislators should keep their noses out of private people's business.

In this case they've done the state proud, however. Equalling the playing field for all drivers only makes sense.