I wrote last week about the bill to reduce automobile liability insurance limits in Wisconsin, and I said that was bizarre in these days of rapidly escalating medical costs. An article in the Green Bay Press Gazette has a little more information about the proposal. Here are excerpts:
Door County lawmakers are among the sponsors of companion bills in the Wisconsin Legislature that would roll back increases in auto insurance rates that were approved last year.
Senate Bill 7 and Assembly Bill 4 are scheduled for public hearing before the state Senate Committee on Insurance and Housing and the Assembly Insurance Committee today in Madison. State Sen. Frank Lasee, R-Bellevue, introduced the bill in the Senate and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, is a co-sponsor.
The Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2009 passed budget provisions requiring all Wisconsin drivers to carry insurance and also doubled the minimum allowable coverage to $50,000 for the injury or death of a person, $100,000 for the injury or death of more than one person and $15,000 for property damage.
The new bill would roll the minimum allowable coverages to the previous levels of $25,000, $50,000 and $10,000 respectively. Republicans, who won control of the Senate and Assembly in the November election, argue that the new limits raised premium rates for consumers who can only afford the minimum insurance required by law.
The Wisconsin Association for Justice, formerly the Wisconsin Academy of Trial Lawyers, objected to the rapid scheduling of a hearing on bills that alter what the previous Legislature had dubbed the “Truth in Auto Insurance Law.”
“This means that if a drunk driver crashes into you or a loved one, the drunk driver won’t have as much insurance to pay for your injuries or damages to your car,” said Mike End, president of the association, in a news release. “Responsible drivers will be left holding the bag and not be paid for medical bills and lost wages.”