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Insurance — stacking

Wisconsin Court of Appeals


Insurance — stacking

Auto insurance policies could not prohibit “stacking” coverage limits for uninsured motorist coverage under multiple policies owned by the same insured, during a two-year period when both sec. 632.32(5)(j) (2009-10) (authorizing certain “drive other car” exclusions) and sec. 632.32(6)(d) (prohibiting antistacking provisions in UM coverage) were in force.

“Our interpretation gives effect to all the applicable provisions under the statutory scheme. Per the directive of WIS. STAT. § 632.32(5)(e), paragraph (6)(d) applies during its effective period whenever a policy provision would prevent stacking of UM coverages that an insured paid for. However, where there are no multiple coverage limits to stack, so that subsection (6)(d) would not apply at all, an exclusion under § 632.32(5)(j) would be permitted. Section 632.32(5)(j) thus would apply in those situations for which ‘drive other car’ exclusions were originally conceived: preventing an insured who owns multiple vehicles from obtaining coverage for a vehicle that he or she did not insure at all. In other words, § 632.32(5)(j) still permits clauses that prevent an insured from invoking UM free rider coverage for accidents resulting from the insured’s use of a vehicle that the insured or a related member of the household owned, but chose not to insure at all. See Westphal v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 2003 WI App 170, ¶11, 266 Wis. 2d 569, 669 N.W.2d 166 (purpose of the drive other cars exclusion is to exclude coverage for a vehicle that the insured owns or frequently uses for which no premium has been paid); Arnold P. Anderson, WISCONSIN INSURANCE LAW, § 3.72 (6th Ed. 2010 & Supp. 2012). The statutory scheme allows each provision to take effect when applicable.”

Reversed and Remanded.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2012AP829 Belding v. Demoulin

Dist. II, Kenosha County, Wilk, J., Neubauer, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Pitts, Gregory A., Racine; For Respondent: Covelli, Claude J., Madison

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