Governor Walker Signs Act 14: Repeals Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Mandate
Governor Scott Walker recently signed Act 14, which repeals the auto insurance minimum coverage mandate put in place by the previous administration.
As reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Republicans, who now control state government, argue that the higher coverage requirements enacted as part of then-Gov. Jim Doyle's 2009-'11 budget are raising insurance costs for consumers, especially hurting those least able to pay premiums. Drivers should have the option of purchasing the lower coverage levels, they say. Some Democrats also supported the repeal legislation.
Supporters of the higher coverage amounts say the lower minimums were outdated and overdue for an increase because they were set in the 1980s. Since then, health care costs for accident victims have skyrocketed, they say.
Andy Franken, president of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, pointed out that even though rates may be low, the actual cost to consumers could be higher simply because they're required to buy more coverage.
Under the old law, drivers with insurance were required to carry minimum liability coverage of $25,000 for the injury or death of a person; $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person; and $10,000 for property damage. The Republicans restored those limits from the current $50,000, $100,000 and $15,000 limits, respectively.
Among other provisions, the legislation would reduce minimums for underinsured motorist coverage to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, from $100,000 and $300,000. The repeal measure would ban "stacking" of coverage, in which drivers could use coverage from up to three of their vehicles to help pay costs from an accident involving just one of the vehicles.