Uninsured motorist coverage is there for you when the other driver has no insurance. Every Wisconsin automobile policy must include uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage pays you for personal injuries caused by an uninsured driver, but not property damage to your car. If your hit by an uninsured motorist, you’ll need your own collision coverage to pay for the car damage. Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is optional and applies to cases where the other driver has some insurance but not enough to cover your personal injury losses. UM and UIM are complicated and one needs to know your policy, the statutory mandated law and the applicable case law, which has changed considerably over the last 20 years in a back an forth manner.
The initial questions in UM coverage cases are: whether you are an insured under a policy and what is the other car a covered uninsured motor vehicle. Then, the next two questions are do any stacking or reducing clauses apply and are they valid.
For stacking, the new law permits insurance policies to limit, restrict, reduce, or exclude coverage in an antistacking clause, and for a vehicle for which the person is not insured.
Wis. Stats. Sec. 632.32 (5) (f) and (g) provide:
(f) A policy may provide that, regardless of the number of policies involved, vehicles involved, persons covered, claims made, vehicles or premiums shown on the policy, or premiums paid, the limits for any coverage under the policy may not be added to the limits for similar coverage applying to other motor vehicles to determine the limit of insurance coverage available for bodily injury or death suffered by a person in any one accident.
(g) A policy may provide that the maximum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or medical payments coverage available for bodily injury or death suffered by a person who was not using a motor vehicle at the time of an accident is the highest single limit of uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or medical payments coverage, whichever is applicable, for any motor vehicle with respect to which the person is insured.
For reducing clauses, the law permits UM or UIM policies to reduce limits by payments made by a third party with legal responsibility for the payments, including the other driver, your own worker’s compensation or disability benefits.
Wis. Stats. Sec. 632.32 (5) (i) states:
(i) A policy may provide that the limits under the policy for uninsured motorist coverage or underinsured motorist coverage for bodily injury or death resulting from any one accident shall be reduced by any of the following that apply:
1. Amounts paid by or on behalf of any person or organization that may be legally responsible for the bodily injury or death for which the payment is made.
2. Amounts paid or payable under any worker’s compensation law.
3. Amounts paid or payable under any disability benefits laws.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.