Wisconsin Car Insurance Law – 2015 Update
This article has been updated. Read 2020 Wisconsin Car Insurance Minimum Requirements.
Governor Walker signed into law 2001 Wis. Act 14, effective November 1, 2011, repealing:
- The Truth-in-Auto policy liability minimum limits and returning minimum limits to their pre-TIA levels: Liability $25,000.00; Property Damage $10,000; and $1,000 for medical payment coverage (that can be waived)
- The Truth-in Auto Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist minimum limits and dropped them back down to their pre-TIA limits of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- The Truth-in Auto provision prohibiting “reducing clauses.” Auto insurance companies are permitted to show coverage limits on their declaration page; clauses into their uninsured and underinsured motorist policies deduct any payments made by any other liability carrier, any workers’ compensation carrier or any disability insurance the victim had also purchased. The effect is that uninsured motorist insurance companies will almost always enjoy a reduction in their coverage limits from coverages that others paid the premiums
- The Truth-in Auto provision prohibiting “anti-stacking clauses.” Insurance companies will once again be permitted to stack uninsured and underinsured motorist premiums but can cleverly insert anti-stacking clauses that limit recovery to a single limit even if the insured’s damages exceed that limit, no matter how many coverages the insured had paid for. This change is particularly offensive to any sense of fair play in that it falls only on those most responsible by paying for the most coverage, who are then in need of the benefit of multiple coverages they had purchased, because they are the ones most badly injured.
- The Truth-in Auto provision regarding uninsured motorist claims caused by a “miss-and-run” vehicle was modified. Innocent drivers who had purchased uninsured motorist coverage can still bring a UM claim if they are the victim of a miss-and-run driver only if they: 1. An independent witness verifies the existence of the miss-and-run vehicle; 2. The insured notifies police within 72 hours; and Within 30 days the insured files a sworn statement to his insurance company detailing the accident. This change weakens driver’s rights towards their own insurance company; but at least there is a remedy for the most vigilant and informed drivers.
- The Truth-in Auto provision as it relates to mandatory insurance was also modified. The minimum liability limits have been reduced to their pre-TIA amounts; but the law for mandatory liability insurance remains in place.
More Helpful Resources Regarding WI Car Insurance
According to NOLO: Fault states like Wisconsin are the majority in the U.S., but there are a dozen or so “no-fault” states, where the laws typically require people involved in crashes to file with their own insurance companies, and in many cases that’s an injured person’s exclusive remedy. If you want to know more about how no-fault insurance works, see No-Fault Car Insurance and State Laws: The Basics.
Auto Insurance Requirements: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/vehicles/ins-req.htm
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