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High auto insurance minimums changed in Wisconsin

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In a shift regarding the mandated limits of auto insurance coverage for Wisconsin drivers, the Wisconsin State Senate has reduced the minimum limits required for auto insurance. The bill will now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

The prior limits established in the 2009 law included motorists to obtain a $50,000 level of coverage for accidents causing bodily injury or the death of a single individual, a $100,000 level of coverage for multiple individuals, and a $15,000 level of coverage for damage to property.

The new bill, identified as AB 4, will reduce those required limits back to their pre-2009 limits of $25,000 for bodily injury, $50,000 for multiple individuals, and $10,000 for property damage. It is considered that the new bill, once passed by Governor Scott Walker, will allow consumers the option to purchase auto insurance that is more affordable for their situation.

The goal for the reduction of premiums is to make the coverage minimums more affordable for consumers who may not be able to pay the higher premiums. The new lowered limits will also allow more choice for the consumers who may elect to keep the higher limits for added risk coverage.

In preparation for the passage of this bill, which is expected by many to be signed by Governor Walker, it is important for families to review their financial situation to determine how this new legislation may affect them. A reduction in coverage amounts is just that…a reduction in coverage.

In essence, this may appear appealing to many, however a reduction in coverage means that if found responsible for an accident that exceeds the coverage limits of an auto insurance policy, the policyowner may be held liable for costs and penalties that go above the coverage amounts. For accidents that involve bodily injury or death, those lower limits may be reached and exceeded very quickly.

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