Wis. Senate Passes Auto Insurance Changes

Legislators aiming to roll back changes made in 2009 to the state’s car insurance laws overcame an important hurdle Tuesday with a 25-7 vote in the state senate to advance a bill that would do just that.

Before the changes that were made in 2009, motorists in the state were not required to carry coverage, and those that did purchase liability policies had to get coverage for only up to $25,000 in bodily injury liability for damages to one person, $50,000 for damages to two or more, and $10,000 in property damage liability–commonly referred to as 25/50/10 coverage.

After the Democrats altered the financial responsibility laws, though, all drivers were required to carry 50/100/15 coverage, as well as uninsured motorist coverage for up to $100,000 for damages to one person and $300,000 per accident.

The rollback that was passed by the senate Tuesday and is likely to be passed by the state assembly later this month reduces the liability minimums back to 25/50/10 and the uninsured motorist minimums back to $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

The push to lower the minimums back to previous levels came as a result of some legislators’ claims that the higher requirements pushed premiums in the state to unsustainable levels.

Statistics about the actual effects on premiums vary widely. Some groups put the increase in the 33-percent range, while other have estimated that they rose by less than 1 percent. State regulators have not released any numbers regarding how automobile insurance coverage prices were influenced by the 2009 legislative change.

About John Pirro
John Pirro is a licensed fire and casualty insurance agent specializing in various aspects of the auto insurance industry. He worked in the auto body repair industry before taking a reporting position at Online Auto Insurance News.

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