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Changes in Wisconsin Auto Insurance Laws May be Coming

Republican leaders in the Wisconsin House of Representatives are pushing to repeal new auto insurance coverage changes approved by the Democrats. These recent auto insurance changes have caused an increase in auto insurance rates state wide. Even if the change is approved, drivers would still be required to maintain auto insurance. As most Wisconsin residents are aware, these changes in Auto Insurance Law took effect in 2010. Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and Sen. Frank Lasee, R-De Pere’s bill would repeal almost every change the Democrats approved in 2009 that was signed into law by the former Governor, Jim Doyle. Even though Wisconsin residents are required to carry auto insurance, the proposed changes will reduce the cost and ensure auto insurance is more affordable.

Governor Scott Walker (R), whom took over the Governor’s chair in January 2011, likes the new bill and will sign it into law once approve by the legislature. Many new Republicans whom took office this last January had been hearing numerous complaints regarding the new auto insurance law during the campaign.  Democrats, who were in power when the higher auto insurance coverage requirements were passed in the Legislature, will be unable to stop the Republicans proposed changes since they now control both the Senate and Assembly. The republican’s new bill will lower the state required limits of auto insurance liability and underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

All the change made by the Democrats raised auto insurance rates for no apparent reason. When auto insurance consumers complained to their representatives, Democrats stated any increases in auto insurance rates were as a result of changes at the auto insurance companies and not the recent changes they made in the law. As a licensed insurance agent for nearly 20 years, these statements by democratic law makers are ridicules.  If a state law requires an auto insurance buyer to purchase additional coverage, an increase in premium would be as a result of purchasing more coverage. An auto insurance company just can’t lower its rates. Providing higher coverage for the same price as reduced coverage would cause immediate loses to the auto insurance company. It seems to me the new law only hurts the public and helps the legal community, commonly known as lawyers.

The Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, a lobbying firm which represents these auto insurance companies, heavily railed against the changes in the new auto insurance laws passed by the democratically controlled legislature. Andy Franken, the Alliance President said each policy holder would be immediately affected differently by the changes, but anyone who purchased higher levels of coverage but could not lower them should see a price cut.

The Wisconsin Association for Justice, which represents the states trial lawyers, obviously backed the previous law stating the higher minimum auto insurance coverage limits were needed because the state had not increased its limits of auto insurance liability in 30 years. As a nationally licensed insurance agent/broker; neither has the vast majority of other states.

Under the new law, minimum auto insurance coverage would decrease to what they were prior to the 2009 changes. Today, the minimum level of auto insurance liability insurance required is $50,000 for causing injury or death of one person, $100,000 for injury or death of two people and $15,000 for property damage. The proposal would drop the levels to $25,000, $50,000 and $10,000.

Under current law, all auto insurance policies must have underinsured motorist coverage. That coverage, which has been previously voluntary, is for when another motorist causes an accident and has lower liability limits than the amount of damages in the accident. The proposed changes in the auto insurance laws would continue to keep that coverage required. The coverage levels needing to be maintained would lower from $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident to $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, $10,000 in Property Damage.

In addition, auto insurance policy holders are no longer able to “stack” coverage, which was approved in 2009. Stacking refers to insured motorists involved in an accident with a covered vehicle applying uninsured and underinsured coverage from up to three other vehicles to help pay for damages.

Although there seems to be bad news in many economic areas, Auto Insurance does not need to be one of them. The good news is, the Auto Insurance Rates offered by Mike Dortch and the Licensed Agents at InsureDirect.com have never been lower. We represent more auto insurance carriers than any other licensed insurance web-site. Please call (800) 807-0762 or log on to www.insuredirect.com to see how much you can save. You can also email or Fax your Declaration Page to quotes@insuredirect.com or (877) 362-9203.