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Report Reveals Auto Insurance Cos. Misled WI about Rate Increases

A recent report, released by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, has revealed some interesting information concerning auto insurance rates in the state of Wisconsin. During the late budget session, the state established new consumer protections that were hoped to increase the quality of auto insurance coverage sold in Wisconsin. When the new mandated auto insurance limits were enacted in June 2010, the auto insurance industry expressed that this change would increase insurance premiums by "at least 33 percent." The report released on Sept. 16 reveals that the auto insurance industry's previous claim to be "grossly misleading."

According to the report, the insurance industry and its supporters claimed that "profit margins are so tight they only way to pay for improved standards that better protect consumers from financial disaster is increased rates." The report claims this statement to be wrong. Authors of the report claim that "this report makes it clear that the Wisconsin insurance industry's claim that new consumer protections will dramatically increase rates is an orchestrated effort to mislead lawmakers and the general public in order to protect out-sized profits."

Some of the key findings from the report supported these statements. In 2010, WI auto insurance rates were flat, increasing less than 1 percent for the top insurers in the state. Additionally, the state's 2010 auto insurance inflation was less than 1/3 of the historical average and auto insurance premiums were the 4th lowest in the nation. Furthermore, over the last two decades Wisconsin insurance industry profits have been 25 percent above the national average and they take in double the profits that the Wisconsin health insurance industry takes in each year.

The state of Wisconsin recently mandated that all Wisconsin motorists carry a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage back in June 2010. Wisconsin was one of the last states to require minimum insurance limits in the U.S. It requires motorists to obtain at least $100,000 in insurance coverage for injuries to one person and $300,000 to cover accidents in which two or more people are injured. These limits were established from prior levels of $25,000 per injured person and $50,000 per multiple-injury accident.

To read the complete report, click on the link below.

Source: Citizen Action Wisconsin Report "False Claims: New Consumer Protections and the Cost of Auto Insurance in Wisconsin" 09/16/2010

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