Date:August 11, 2004
To:Bulletin to All Property and Casualty Insurers
From:Jorge Gomez, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:Automobile Insurance Coverage for Returning Armed Forces Members

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) has received information indicating that some automobile insurers are denying reinstatement, refusing to issue coverage or raising premium rates for members of the Armed Forces who are returning from active military service overseas.

OCI is aware that some insurers are not applying continuous coverage underwriting and rating standards to policyholders who are on active military service. These insurers are to be commended for their actions.

Underwriting and rating standards often appropriately take into consideration whether an insurance applicant has had continuous insurance coverage. In this instance, however, these underwriting requirements are inappropriate and should be waived. These service men and women who have risked their lives on behalf of and in defense of our country should not be penalized for their service.

The Insurance Commissioner is issuing this bulletin to request that all insurers waive any such underwriting or rating requirements for returning members of the Armed Forces. If a member of the Armed Forces was a policyholder in good standing at the time of leaving for active duty, and can show proof that such active service was the reason for the loss in the continuity of insurance coverage, the Insurance Commissioner requests that insurers reinstate the policies and treat the applicant as if there was continuous coverage for underwriting and rating purposes.

If you have questions regarding this bulletin, please contact Susan Ezalarab, Director, Bureau of Market Regulation, at (608) 266-8885 or sue.ezalarab@wisconsin.gov