Efforts to roll back Wisconsin’s auto insurance mandate hike by Wisconsin House Republicans has been delayed by opposition Democrats. Democrats opposed to the Republican led effort to roll back the hike in mandated minimum coverage argued that lowering the level of coverage required could hurt victims of an accident and deny them proper coverage. Democrats also argued that the rate hikes Republicans predicted have not come to pass.
“State Representative David Cullen (D-Milwaukee) says lowering coverage levels could prevent those injured by another driver from accessing the money they need to recover. He says the insurance changes were actually better for consumers because they make sure drivers have adequate coverage.
The bill does not change the mandate that all drivers carry insurance.”
The coverage hikes, enacted as part of Former Governor Jim Doyle’s 2009 budget moved Wisconsin from the nation’s third-lowest level of mandatory minimum coverage for auto insurance to one of the highest. Republicans criticized the Democrats use of procedure to delay the final vote and insist that the higher mandates are hitting some Wisconsin families hard.
“State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) says the increase required many families to spend more on auto insurance, especially since coverage is now mandated. Nygren on Wednesday criticized Democrats for mocking those who saw premiums rise by even $15 a month, saying that amount is hard for some financially struggling families to deal with.”
Wisconsin’s auto mandates were lower on average then the majority of states before Doyle’s hikes, perhaps this delay could prompt legislators to find a middle ground that doesn’t overburden Wisconsin drivers and isn’t unnecessarily low. The Center on Finance, Insurance and Real Estate has written a Research & Commentary on this issue, which is available at: http://www.heartland.org/full/27855/Wisconsin_Auto_Insurance_Mandate_Hikes_Hit_States_Drivers.html