Republicans in Wisconsin have proposed a bill that would repeal provisions set by democrats in 2009 that raised minimum coverage limits on auto accident insurance. Scott Richmond of the Associated Press recently wrote an article for Bloomberg.com describing the bill and the controversy surrounding it.
This bill would set much lower standards of coverage for liability, underinsured and uninsured motorists insurance. Their argument being that current minimums are too high, which raised premiums therefore forcing people to go without insurance. However, Rep. John Nygren, one of the bill’s authors was unable to provide physical evidence that the current insurance coverage has caused higher premiums.
While car accident insurance is still mandatory under the bill, minimum coverage would be reduced by up to tens of thousands of dollars. Richmond gives the following example:
Current liability minimums of $50,000 for injuring or killing one person, $100,000 for injuring or killing two people and $15,000 for property damage would drop to $25,000, $50,000 and $10,000.
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The bill would also ban “stacking” which is when an injured person uses their uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance on up to three vehicles within their household to help cover the cost of damages. Without the stacking provision some victims would be financially devastated because they would not be able to afford their medical bills for a severe auto accident. As an example, Richmond’s article quotes Daniel Plumb, who referred to his 69 year old father who was severely injured in a motorcycle accident: “Without the stacking provision, his medical bills likely would have bankrupted him…to change this would have destroyed him.”
In Florida it is incredibly important that drivers carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance, because in Florida 23% of drivers do not have insurance, and even more do not have enough insurance to cover all injuries. Uninsured/underinsured motorist stacking in Florida is related to the number of automobiles you have in your household.
This bill seems to be just another way that the republican run government in Wisconsin is trying to save money for Insurance companies and businesses, by eliminating stacking and lowering minimum insurance coverage. If it is going to be mandatory to have automobile insurance the insurance should be strong enough to help people if the need arises.
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