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Wisconsin Auto Insurance Rates to Jump from Third Lowest to One of the Highest

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

With the backing and support of Wisconsin trial attorneys, Gov. Jim Doyle is proposing a raise in the minimum liability coverage for auto insurance policies in the state. If passed, this proposal will become part of Wisconsin auto insurance laws January 1, 2010 and could propel the state auto insurance rates from the third lowest to one of the highest in the country. The plan proposes to raise minimum coverage from $25,000 to $50,000 per person and from $50,000 to $100,000 per incident. Property damage will go from $10,000 to $15,000.

This proposal comes as a part of the governor’s new budget plan and has raised concern among members of the state’s insurance industry. Mark Thomsen, president of the Wisconsin Associate for Justice, points out that it has been more than 25 years since the state has raised the minimum amount of auto insurance. He applauds Governor Doyle’s proposal. According to Doyle spokeswoman Carla Vigue, “the proposed changes would bring coverage more in line with the increased costs of treatment for people injured in accidents, and would provide greater certainty to those with insurance.”

However some believe that these changes are for the benefit of Wisconsin trial attorneys. For them, a change in the state’s auto insurance coverage will provide for greater settlements on personal injury cases. Many lawmakers also question why the proposal is included in the budget plan for Wisconsin. The governor believes that the state’s Medicaid health care program is being affected as car accident victims can’t pay for medical costs to treat their injuries. It remains to be seen if this proposal will actually be a part of the upcoming discussion on Doyle’s budget since the Joint Finance Committee will ultimately decide whether it will have great enough impact on the state’s budget.

Wisconsin is one of only two states in the U.S. that does not require drivers to have auto insurance. Insurance industry trade groups worry that Wisconsinites may forego auto insurance as the impact may force state residents to pay at least 33 percent more in premiums. According to 2007 estimates from the Insurance Research Council, the uninsured rate in Wisconsin is higher than the national average. As unemployment rises, more of the state’s residents find paying for inessentials to be out of the question.

Wisconsin Insurance Alliance president Andrew J. Franken has encouraged the Doyle administration to give the proposal more thought and consider all of the ramifications. However Wisconsin auto insurance reform is a part of Doyle’s budget rather than a separate bill so it is unlikely that there will be any public debate. Says, Franken, “We’re very disappointed that this is the process the governor and others have chosen.”

How Consumers are Benefitting from Wisconsin’s Budget Changes on Auto Insurance

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Consumers in Wisconsin should be happy about the recent changes that have been made to the state’s auto insurance laws, as these laws are in place to ensure that everyone gets the coverage that he or she has paid for. Starting in July of 2010, every motorist in Wisconsin will be required by law to have auto insurance. While on the surface this makes it sound like certain people will be paying more, the opposite is actually true because everyone will have full access to the coverage that they are paying for, which could save the consumer a great deal of money if he or she is involved in an accident.

The majority of drivers in the state already have insurance, but they are forced to pay because of a certain number of people who do not. This does not seem fair, as responsible motorists are having their coverage reduced by the few people who do not have their own insurance or are underinsured. Because of this, Wisconsin has also increased the minimum coverage that individuals must have in order to meet up with today’s economic situation. While most people already have these levels of car insurance, these new provisions will ensure that everyone in Wisconsin carries these levels of insurance.

Some consumers might complain about the fact that these new provisions will cause auto insurance rates to increase, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. This is because these new laws will hold auto insurance companies accountable for paying out the coverage that they have granted people, rather than looking for loopholes that prevent people from getting the money that they are owed. These auto insurance companies are capitalist ventures and, therefore, government intervention is needed in order to ensure that consumers are getting everything that they deserve.

There might be some companies out there that will increase their auto insurance rates because of what these new laws are offering consumers; but remember that you are not tied to one insurance company. There are plenty of places all over the state to buy your auto insurance, so make sure that you go with a company that is truly looking out for your interests. These new laws are in place to help you find the perfect insurance to meet your needs, so you will not have to settle for auto insurance rates that you do not agree with at any time. There has never been a better time to be have Wisconsin auto insurance because insurance companies and motorists are finally being held accountable.

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