AUTO INSURANCE:
Changes will benefit consumers

Letters to the Editor
October 26, 2009

The upcoming automobile insurance changes are a great benefit to consumers across Wisconsin. Legislators have finally put an end to deceptive policies, and consumers will finally get what they pay for.

If you purchase $100,000 of underinsured motorist coverage to protect yourself against a driver with too little insurance, you should be able to collect the full $100,000 if you need it. It seems straightforward enough, but since 1995, insurance companies said no.

They were allowed to reduce your coverage by the amount of insurance that the other driver had and worker's compensation benefits, which left many drivers stuck with medical bills they thought they had insurance to cover. The new law says if you buy $100,000 in UIM coverage, you will get it.

Of course, the insurance industry didn't ask for these changes. The Wisconsin Insurance Alliance alone spent almost $600,000 lobbying against the proposals. For years, insurance companies were able to deny claims and pocket more money. A pretty sweet deal.

Now they have to be accountable to their customers. Be suspicious of any claims that insurance companies need to raise rates. Independent consumer experts agree that shopping for insurance can reduce your rates by 15% to 40%.

Robert Kraig
Executive Director
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Milwaukee

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