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RISK INSIGHT: New Rules on the Road

Property & Casualty

New Wisconsin Laws Impact Your Insurance Policy

On Thursday 2/4/2016 Governor Walker signed 21 bills into law which went into effect on Saturday 2/6/2016.  Several of these new laws have a direct impact on your insurance policy or how you operate a motor vehicle on the roadway.

Under your Automobile policy, Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claims now have a shorter statute of limitations then other contract actions “three years in those cases which the contract is a motor vehicle insurance policy.”

Additionally, any cause of action involving Wrongful Death/Survival cause of actions have changed to two (2) years in cases where death is caused by or arises out of a motor vehicle accident. The reasoning offered was a shortened statute of limitations in these cases is warranted because the damages are usually reasonably ascertained early on.

Another change impacting liability for property damages you cause the statute now has a shorten timeframe for the initiation of actions for real and personal property damage from six (6) years to three (3) years. The reasoning offered was a shortened statute of limitations will promote consistency, especially in actions of combined personal injury and property damage.

Assembly Bill 223 – changes the time limit to file action in cases where there is injury or damage to property to three years from the current requirement of six years.  Additionally, in cases involving a death covered by an automobile insurance policy, claims must be filed within two years of the date of death.  Authored by Representative John Spiros (R–Marshfield) and Senator Frank Lasee (R–De Pere), the bill passed the Assembly by a vote of 61-36 and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 133.

Road Rules – Know What’s New

Assembly Bill 223 addresses the aftermath of an accident which has already occurred; however, maintaining defensive driving skills as an engaged, vigilant operator is the key to staying safe on the road – and awareness is the first step.

Be aware that additional laws passed by Governor Walker impact the way drivers can legally perform certain right turns on red signals (Senate Bill 319) and give larger vehicles the right-of-way as well as clearance to deviate from their lane at round-a-bouts (Assembly Bill 451).

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