Date:September 29, 2010
To:All Insurers Authorized to do Property & Casualty Business in Wisconsin
From:Sean Dilweg, Commissioner of Insurance
Subject:Clarification to the June 25, 2010 Bulletin regarding, in part, Newly Enacted Legislation--2009 Wisconsin Act 342

This is a clarification of the June 25, 2010 bulletin entitled Newly Enacted Legislation--2009 Wisconsin Acts 146, 165, 218, 275, 282, 285, 342, 343, 344, 346, and 369 issued to all insurers authorized to do business in Wisconsin.

Following the publication of the June 25, 2010 bulletin, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) received inquiries regarding the summary of newly enacted 2009 Wisconsin Act 342 pertaining to the modifications to motor vehicle insurance policy and umbrella and excess liability policy requirements.

Act 342, in part, makes various changes to current law relating to motor vehicle insurance policies and umbrella and excess liability policies. The following modifications under Act 342 were intended to simply clarify certain provisions that were enacted last year by the legislature under 2009 Act 28 affecting, in part, motor vehicle, umbrella and excess liability policy requirements. These modifications to Act 342 were not intended to change such provisions enacted under Act 28. Specifically:

  • Act 342 created s. 632.32 (2) (be), Wis. Stat., to define an "owned motor vehicle" and was intended to use this newly defined word to be consistent with s. Ins 6.77, Wis. Adm. Code, which exempts any umbrella or excess liability and commercial liability policy [as defined in subsection (3) (am) of Ins 6.77] from the medical payments, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage requirements, if the coverage of the insured's liability arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle is limited to coverage for non-owned vehicles. As such, any private passenger or commercial automobile liability insurance policy insuring only non-owned or hired vehicles is not exempt and is still subject to the medical payments, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage requirements.
  • Act 342 created s. 632.32 (4) (d), Wis. Stat., to exempt umbrella or excess liability policies which are subject to subsection (4r) from the requirements that apply to motor vehicle insurance policies relating to affirmatively offering medical payments coverage and providing mandatory uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. However, umbrella and excess liability policies insuring owned motor vehicles are still required to affirmatively offer at least 100/300 uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages and are still subject to the stacking and non-reducing requirements.
  • Act 342 clarified that only one named insured is required to reject or request uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages for an umbrella or excess liability policy and that such rejection or request applies to all persons insured under the policy.
  • Act 342 clarified that the definitions of an uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle exempt vehicles that are self-insured under any motor vehicle law. Governmental units are not exempt.

A complete copy of 2009 Act 342 can be viewed at http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2009/data/acts/09Act342.pdf (opens in new window)

2009 Act 342 became effective May 27, 2010. If a motor vehicle insurance policy or an umbrella or excess liability policy that is in effect on the effective date of this subsection contains a provision that is inconsistent with the treatment of s. 632.32 (2) (ag), (at), (be), (e) 2 or 3, (g) (intro.) or 1, (4) (a) (intro.) or (d), or (4r) (a) or (c), Wis. Stat., the treatment of s. 632.32 (2) (ag), (at), (be), (e) 2 or 3, (g) (intro.) or 1, (4) (a) (intro.) or (d), or (4r) (a) or (c), Wis. Stat., whichever is applicable, first applies to that motor vehicle insurance policy or umbrella or excess liability policy on the date on which it is renewed.

PERSONS TO CONTACT FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

If you have questions, please put them in writing and address them to: Ms. Ronnie Demergian, ronnie.demergian@wisconsin.gov