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Auto Accident Safety Information

By RichardHess Subscribe to RSS | March 16th 2012 | Views:

“Truth in Auto Insurance” legislation was enacted in 2009. It first applied to automobile insurance policies issued or renewed on or after November 1st of 2009. It was intended to provide precisely what its name suggests. More specifically, this legislation sought to offer “truth” to Wisconsin drivers by providing them the insurance coverage they both paid for and expected. Unfortunately, Governor Scott Walker and the legislature repealed Wisconsin's "Truth in Auto Insurance" in January of 2011. Instead, they passed a bill that does not adequately protect Wisconsin citizens. This bill applies to auto insurance policies issued or renewed on or after November 1, 2011. The repeal of “Truth in Auto Insurance” and the bill that was enacted in its place will have severe consequences for any Wisconsin resident who is unfortunate enough to be injured in an automobile accident.

Supporters of the bill claim that it will lower auto insurance rates for consumers. However, Wisconsin premiums have been some of the lowest in the nation for many years, including the time period that “Truth in Auto Insurance” was in effect. Wisconsin citizens pay less for auto insurance than nearly every other state.

"Truth in Auto Insurance" ensured that Wisconsin residents injured in automobile accidents had adequate insurance coverage to compensate them for their injuries. Some of the unfortunate changes associated with “Truth in Auto’s” repeal and the new law enacted in its place include: (1) a decrease in the mandatory auto liability limits from $50,000 to only $25,000; (2) allowing illusory reducing clauses in policies; and (3) preventing an insured person from "stacking" coverages from their own insurance policies even though they paid a premium for each policy.

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Reducing Clauses

Reducing Clauses allow insurance carriers to reduce your underinsured motorist limits by any amount you receive from the at fault party. For example, if you have $100,000 in underinsured motorist coverage, and you are involved in an accident with a driver who carries only $50,000 worth of liability coverage, you can only collect an additional $50,000 from your own insurance company. In other words, your insurance company can “reduce” your $100,000 underinsured motorist limits by the $50,000 you receive from the insurer of the driver that caused the accident. Therefore, even though you paid for $100,000 worth of coverage, you will not be able to recover the $100,000 because of the “reducing clause.” "Truth in Auto" got rid of this "illusory" coverage and protected Wisconsin consumers by providing them the coverage they paid for and expected.

Anti-Stacking Provisions

When you insure your cars, you pay a premium for Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist coverage for each car that you insure. “Truth in Auto” allowed Wisconsin citizens to "Stack" their uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage on each of their vehicles so that they could be fully compensated for damages caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. This makes perfect sense. Since Wisconsin consumers paid premiums for coverage on all of their different vehicles, why shouldn’t they be able to use that coverage in the event they are injured by an uninsured or underinsured motorist? It is simply what consumers would expect in exchange for the premiums they are paying. Following the repeal of “Truth in Auto”, however, even though you paid a premium for two vehicles for example, and expected that you were provided with $100,000 worth of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on each vehicle, in reality you are only allowed to recover from a single $100,000 limit. Furthermore, if you combine that with a reducing clause mentioned above, you will be paying premiums for hundreds of thousands of dollars of coverage that you will never be able to use.

The repeal of “Truth in Auto” and the passage of the auto insurance bill in its place are very unfortunate for all of Wisconsin. Consumers are no longer adequately protected in the event of an auto accident resulting in injuries. Instead the new law allows insurance companies to continue to charge insurance premiums without ever having to cover claims that consumers paid for and expected. Thus, injured people are no longer likely to obtain the fair and reasonable compensation they rightfully deserve and pay for.

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Contact Midea Information

Company Name: Gruber Law

Contact Name: David Gruber

Address : 100 East Wisconsin Avenue Suite 1650

Contact No : 414.276.6666

Email ID :

Website :

RichardHess - About Author:
The team of professionals at Gruber Law Offices, LLC is passionate about what we do. We only handle accident and personal injury cases. We aggressively represent each and every one of our clients.

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