Wisconsin Assembly Rolls Back Auto Insurance Minimums

The State Assembly of Wisconsin has passed legislation meant to roll back the mandatory minimum auto insurance coverage in the state, and has sent it on to the Senate, where it will likely pass and be sent to Governor Scott Walker for his signature.

The bill, A.B. 4, would remove the increase in mandatory auto insurance coverage from the current levels, which were enacted in 2009 by the then-Democratic-controlled state legislature, and former governor Jim Doyle.

Under the 2009 changes, drivers must have $50,000 in coverage for accidents causing bodily injury or death to one person and $100,000 for two or more people, and $15,000 of property damage coverage. The new bill would reduce the first two limits by 50%, to $25,000 and $50,000 respectively, and reduce the property damage requirement to $10,000. At the same time, underinsured motorist coverage would be made optional.

According to Andrew Franken, President of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, which supports the bill, this legislation, “…rolls back changes enacted in the 2009 state budget that were unneeded and restores consumer choice and affordability in the auto insurance market.”

The bill’s sponsor, Republican State Representative John Nygren said in a written statement in that the legislation, “…is in response to the many hard-working Wisconsin families that are frustrated with the policies of the former administration and are working hard to simply make ends meet.” He also said that he expects Governor Walker to sign the bill.

Nygren tried to reverse the new coverage levels in the last legislative session, but failed. Now, with Republicans controlling both the State Assembly and the State Senate, as well as the governorship, his results are different.

Senator Franken said that the Senate will reconvene on April 5th.

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