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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Will The Bogey Man Lower Auto Insurance Rates In Wisconsin?

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Wisconsin State Senate voted to repeal auto insurance legislation passed by democrats nearly two ago. By doing so, they dismantled several key consumer's protections and returned liability coverages back to 1982 levels. Because Republicans translated the higher coverages into higher insurance premiums for consumers, the issue was used as battering ram against democrats during the 2010 campaign.

One of the critics to the democrats earlier reform bill was the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance... Excerpt: (Feb. 20, 2009)
Wisconsin Insurance Alliance (WIA) President Andy Franken commented that the proposed increase would make Wisconsin car insurance rates the highest in the country. “There’s no need to raise it”, said Franken.


Capital times Excerpt: (Feb. 8, 2011)
Figures compiled by, a insurance rate website, however, show Wisconsin with the fourth lowest auto premiums in the nation based on July 2010 numbers.


Capital times Excerpt: (Feb. 8, 2011)
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. “It’s only been a year so we haven’t had enough time for all these costs to be factored in,” he says.

But it's been nearly two years since the WIA made those earlier cocksure claims of rates increasing anywhere from 33% to 43%, yet they could not come up now with some better figures?

As the Democurmudgeon Blog noted, that is indeed the "bogey man" threat from the future. The cost data the WIA won't produce showing those stratospheric increases on consumers premiums yesterday would reflect the amount car owners expect their premiums to drop by tomorrow, if Walker signs the auto insurance repeal into law. THAT'S the other bogey man they're afraid of. They know posting those phony campaign rate hike percentages now will telegraph to consumer/voters the wrong message. They're not working a campaign any more. What do they care?

In November of '09, I blogged about the change in my own auto insurance premiums. I was not one of those democrats who claimed my rates did not go up. They did - they went up 11.8%, but have not gone up again since. However, for the previous 10 years my liability coverages were identical to the coverages mandated by the new higher liability insurance laws. So, although my liability coverage did not change - my premiums did.

Despite the fact that many folks will soon have inferior coverage, will their rates go down as fast and as much as supposedly they went up? I'll still have the same coverage I've always had - but will my premiums go down the 11.8%? Regardless of where you stand on this, those decreases will be an interesting development to watch for after Walker signs the repeal. Stay tuned.

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