Wisconsin Bill Could Keep Auto Insurance Costs for Safe Drivers Low

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  • A law that was expected to be considered by lawmakers in the state of Wisconsin – which would have made it impossible for insurance companies to access data on certain drivers – has not been acted upon, and that might be good news for those who operate their vehicles safely. As such, insurance agents in that state might be able to find their clients a little more wiggle room when it comes to their auto coverage policies.

    Assembly Bill 737 would have allowed drivers who had been convicted of traffic violations to have those incidents effectively stricken from their records on the condition that they completed a safe driving course, according to a report from Insurance News Net. Specifically, upon completion of those classes, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation would have been prevented from sharing their conviction records with insurers. Experts were very concerned about the impact that this would have 

    “While having traffic violators take safe driving courses is a good thing, keeping the record of drivers who have been convicted of violations out of the state database is not,” Mark Johnston, state affairs director for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, told the site. “These records are used by insurance companies to accurately assess risk and determine the cost of automobile insurance. If that data is not available to insurers, the likely alternative is that insurance costs for everyone goes up because no one would know where the risks should be appropriately allocated. That means good drivers would be subsidizing the cost of insurance for bad drivers. And that is not fair to good drivers.”

    Why would this have been a problem?
    The statistics show that regardless of having taken safe driving courses, those who have their moving violations dismissed are more likely to have another crash within a year than those whose violations were kept on their records, the report said. In fact, the likelihood of their doing so is about double, and having the ability to get those convictions dismissed can lead to other problems, including not suspending the licenses of those who would have otherwise racked up enough convictions to qualify for such a punishment.

    Insurance agents will certainly need to keep an eye on the legislative proceedings for the states in which they operate to make sure that any bills passed will not affect the ways in which they operate, or their clients’ policies.

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