Motor Carrier Legislation Advances

It’s no secret that the IIAW has been working closely with the Office of Commissioner of Insurance (OCI), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and members of the Legislature to address the change in liability limits which was instituted for certain "for-hire" motor carriers. DOT was made aware that the lower insurance minimums dictated by the administrative code were not consistent with the requirements in statute. The department announced a change to raise the minimum requirements in May 2016. 

Several concerned members contacted the IIAW looking for clarification about the new law and its impact. Dave Burkart and Tom Delahunt were a few of those members who have since been instrumental in working with the IIAW to find a remedy to this issue. Since this change went into effect, the IIAW has published numerous newsletters and articles detailing the situation and how agents should advise their clients of these new limits.

Under both state statute and administrative code, Wisconsin currently requires that passenger carriers maintain minimum insurance coverage and file proof of that insurance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) as a prerequisite for vehicle registration. The minimum requirements are generally those specified under federal law (currently between $300,000 and $5,000,000) with some exceptions.

In 2016, DOT was made aware that the lower insurance minimums dictated by the administrative code were not consistent with the requirements in statute. The department announced a change to raise the minimum requirements in May 2016. 

The minimum requirements prior to 2016 were:

PASSENGER

CAPACITY

ONE

PASSENGER

ALL

PASSENGERS

PROPERTY

DAMAGE

7 or less

$100,000

$300,000

$50,000

8 to 12

$100,000

$350,000

$50,000

13 to 20

$100,000

$400,000

$50,000

21 to 30

$100,000

$450,000

$50,000

31 and over

$100,000

$500,000

$50,000

 

The new current minimum requirements are:

SEATING CAPACITY

 

15 or less, including driver

$1,500,000 combined single limit

16 or more, including driver

$5,000,000 combined single limit

Regardless of seating, vehicles weighing 10,000 lbs. or less

$300,000

 

We believe that the existing minimum insurance requirements place a substantially greater burden on passenger carrier businesses operating in this state. Due to the increase in limits the cost of insurance has increased dramatically for those in possession of these vehicles. Many businesses such as bars, restaurants, churches, and limousine companies have been adversely affected by this inadvertent law change. Insurance has become unaffordable and has forced some businesses to close, significantly increase their prices, or no longer offer transportation services.

To remedy this situation, while ensuring adequate coverage remains in place, we worked with Representative Felzkowski and Senator Petrowski to find a suitable middle ground. The table below represents the proposed minimum requirements for intrastate travel:

SEATING CAPACITY

 

15 or less, including driver

 

$500,000 combined single limit

16 or more, including driver

$1,000,000 combined single limit

 

Legislation was introduced on October 19, 2017. On October 24th the Assembly Committee on Transportation held a public hearing on the AB 546. IIAW CEO, Matt Banaszynski, Dave Burkhart, Managing Partner of Advisor Net and Tom Delahunt, VP Schueller/Harrington & Associates all testified in support of the legislation. Thanks to Dave and Tom’s efforts, AB 546 was voted out of the Committee on Transportation and now heads to the full Assembly to be taken up and voted on. Later this year or early next year it will be taken up in the Senate

The IIAW is hopeful this legislation will pass both the Assembly and Senate and will be signed into law early next year! Stay tuned…

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