Wisconsin Drivers Need Insurance by June 1

Written by
April 14th, 2010

On June 29, 2009, the Wisconsin Budget Bill was signed by Governor James Doyle. Included in that bill were a number of significant changes to Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Insurance Law. Despite insurance industry attempts to strike them from the budget, all insurers licensed to do business in Wisconsin are required by law to implement these mandates. The effect on individual policies will vary based upon your current coverages and limits. The mandated changes may result in a higher renewal premium for your policy due to increased or additional coverages that may need to be added. Policies that renew on or after 11/01/2009 are subject to the following changes:

Liability Minimums

The law requires the minimum limit for Bodily Injury Liability to be $50,000 for each person and $100,000 for each occurrence. The minimum limit for Property Damage Liability is $15,000 for each occurrence.

Medical Payments Coverage

The minimum limit for Medical Payments coverage has been increased from $1,000 per person to $10,000 per person. If your policy limit is less than the new minimum limit, it will be increased to $10,000. If your policy limit is greater than the new minimum limit, it will remain unchanged. In addition, the new law allows stacking (current coverage limit multiplied by the number of vehicles in your household) for up to three autos on a policy. Medical Payments remains an optional coverage.

Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

Previously, UM was a required coverage and remains so under the new laws. The minimum limits for UM coverage have been increased from $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident to $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. If your policy limits are less than the new minimum limits they will be increased to the new minimum limits. If your policy limits were greater than the new minimum limits, they will remain unchanged. The definition of an uninsured motor vehicle has been revised to allow UM coverage when there has been no physical contact between vehicles but can be substantiated by an independent third party witness. The provisions of the new law no longer allow UM limits to be reduced by sums paid by another applicable coverage. In addition, the new law allows the UM limits to be stacked for up to three vehicles on a policy.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage

Previously, UIM coverage was an elective coverage. UIM coverage is now required on all auto policies issued in Wisconsin. The minimum limits for UIM coverage have been set at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident via the provisions of the new laws. If you previously did not have UIM coverage on your policy, it will be added to your policy at the new minimum limits. If you previously had UIM coverage with a limit greater than the new minimum limits, your limits will remain unchanged. The definition of an underinsured motor vehicle has been revised to allow UIM coverage to apply when the limits under the Bodily Injury Liability policy are less than the amount required to completely compensate the insured for his or her damages. The provisions of the new law no longer allow UIM limits to be reduced by sums paid by another applicable coverage. In addition, the new law allows the UIM limits to be stacked for up to three vehicles on a policy.

Personal Umbrella Coverage

Personal Umbrellas will now automatically include Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage unless your insurance carrier receives a signed rejection form from you. Your carrier may also automatically increase your underlying Auto Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist coverage limits to prevent any gap in the underlying coverage and the umbrella. Personal Umbrella Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist coverage limits can also be stacked on your Umbrella in the event of a covered loss, for up to three vehicles on a policy. The stacking feature cannot be rejected if Personal Umbrella Uninsured Motorist and/or Underinsured Motorist coverage applies under the Personal Umbrella coverage. As a result of this mandate, we are anticipating noticeable increases in current Umbrella premiums.

For a Home/Auto Quote, call 800-566-7007 or visit myknowledgebroker.com/newlaw

No coverage is provided by this summary. Please refer to your Declarations Page and policy including all applicable endorsements for complete details concerning specific coverages and limits provided. If you have any additional questions or would like to make any changes to your policy, please contact us.
Comments

4 comments

  1. Great article on mandatory auto insurance!

    Comment by Brandy Enger on May 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm
  2. it’s a great thing but what statute will cover an owner/driver if you are stopped and given a citation? What will be the fine for this new violation?
    Thank you.

    Comment by Terry Skaar on May 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm
  3. Wisconsin’s new mandatory insurance law kicks in on June 1, 2010. Drivers and owners of vehicles will be required to show proof of insurance at traffic stops/accidents if requested by law enforcement. Drivers without proof will be fined $10. Drivers operating without insurance will be fined up to $500.

    Comment by Dan Wolfgram on May 13, 2010 at 8:03 am
  4. Fantastic blog about insurance :D Bookmarked!

    Comment by backpackers insurance on May 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm
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