Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If you have a car accident, what will it cost you? Republicans say you know, so why not repeal Truth in Auto Insurance law?

If you’re a Republican, how could you not hate the “Truth in Auto Insurance” law designed to curb abuses and protect consumers. All it did was guarantee that the coverage you actually paid for, pays out if you need it. Why that was a bad thing, who knows. But Republicans said it was bad...for insurers.

Specifically, it allowed accident victims to collect from both involved insurance company policies to cover medical costs and losses, instead of just one company.  The law “prohibited ‘reducing clauses’; 
Capital Times:...a reducing clause says coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists is not paid out on top of other liability coverage. 
It also lifted the state ban on “stacking” of insurance policies. Stacking allows people to collect benefits from multiple insurance policies or from multiple vehicles insured on one policy.
Nothing could be more consumer friendly. Which is contrary to the business friendly Republican Party.
A proposal to repeal most of the 2009 changes appears headed for approval by the Wisconsin Legislature and a signing by Gov. Scott Walker. Sponsored by Rep. John Nygren, R … would again allow reducing clauses and reinstate a ban on the stacking of policies. It also would make underinsured motorist coverage optional.
This of course would leave unassuming consumers, who have no idea what really happens after an accident, with a mountain of repair and medical bills that could wipe out everything they have. But families know better, don’t they?
“It is very clear … that Democrats continue to believe that they can make better decisions than the families of Wisconsin,” says Nygren … cash-strapped consumers and small businesses have been forced into buying more coverage than they want or need to appease trial attorneys who hope to collect large awards in the event of an injury accident.
The rub is that no one knows how much coverage they’ll actually need, until they have an accident. That’s why the argument is so stupid. How vacuous is this:
The president of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance Andy Franken says … that consumers are indeed facing higher auto insurance costs since they are now required to carry additional coverage … Franken was unable to produce any data on whether costs have risen, saying it’s still too soon to assess the impact of the changes.
Ah, it’s the bogey man threat from the future. And we’re somehow “out of step,” whatever that means, with the rest of the country.
Franken says the mandated coverage amounts have put Wisconsin out of step with the rest of the country. 
(The facts tell a different story.) The states are split roughly 50/50 on whether they allow reducing clauses or prohibit stacking. Figures compiled by Insure.com, a insurance rate website, however, show Wisconsin with the fourth lowest auto premiums in the nation based on July 2010 numbers. 
Democrats can't make better decisions for Wisconsin consumers, say Republicans, but they can.

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