Uninsured driver coverage is insurance, which covers a driver or passenger damaged by the negligence of an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist coverage, referred to by the acronym UM coverage, is mandatory in Wisconsin automobile insurance policies. In this way, responsible people who buy insurance will have some coverage protection in their own policy against people who do not get insurance. There has been a lot of changes back and forth in Wisconsin over the last twenty years, and it is essential for anyone analyzing an accident to determine what statutes were in effect at the applicable time. For this purpose only the current state of the law will be discussed, after the 2011 statutory changes.
Currently, the minimum UM coverage limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Wisconsin defines an uninsured motorist as follows:
(g) “Uninsured motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle, … at the time of the accident, a bodily injury liability insurance policy is not in effect … . “Uninsured motor vehicle” also includes any of the following … involved in an accident with a person who has uninsured motorist coverage:
1. An insured motor vehicle, … if before or after the accident the liability insurer … is declared insolvent … .
2. A phantom motor vehicle, if all of the following apply:
a. The facts of the accident are corroborated by competent evidence that is provided by someone other than the insured or any other person who makes a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage as a result of the accident.
b. Within 72 hours after the accident, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured reports the accident to a police, peace, or judicial officer or to the department of transportation or, if the accident occurs outside of Wisconsin, the equivalent agency in the state where the accident occurs.
c. Within 30 days after the accident occurs, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured files with the insurer a statement under oath that the insured or a legal representative of the insured has a cause of action arising out of the accident for damages against a person whose identity is not ascertainable and setting forth the facts in support of the statement.
3. An unidentified motor vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident with the person.
The 2011 changes allow policies to have anti-stacking clauses, meaning the if a person owns and insures two or more vehicles, he cannot combine the UM limits on a loss.
The 2011 law also permits insurance companies to reduce coverage by certain payments from other sources such as workers compensation or disability insurance.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin gets settlements in uninsured driver claims.