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Insurance — UIM coverage — reducing clauses

Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Civil

Insurance — UIM coverage — reducing clauses

An endorsement issued on November 11, 2009, was a “polic[y] issued” after November 1, 2009, and, therefore, sec. 632.32(6)(g) (2009-10) bars the reducing clause included in the policy.

“The Botdorfs contacted Allstate on November 10, 2009, to request coverage for their new Ford Econoline.  Rather than issuing an entirely new policy, which clearly would have been a ‘polic[y] issued’ after November 1, 2009, see 2009 Wis. Act 28, § 9326(6), Allstate chose to add the new vehicle to the Botdorfs’ existing policy by endorsement.  In a document entitled ‘Amended Auto Policy Declarations’ Allstate insured the new vehicle.  Allstate argues that because coverage for the new vehicle was by an endorsement it was not a ‘polic[y] issued or renewed’ after November 1, 2009, see 2009 Wis. Act 28, § 9326(6), and was instead merely a change to the existing policy, which had been renewed on October 9, 2009.  We disagree.”

“WISCONSIN STAT. § 600.03(35) defines ‘[p]olicy,’ in relevant part, as ‘any document … used to prescribe in writing the terms of an insurance contract, including endorsements….’  (Emphasis added.)  The plain language of the statute includes an endorsement as policy and here the endorsement was issued after November 1, 2009.  We have repeatedly stated that we ‘assume that the legislature’s intent is expressed in the statutory language’ it uses and when ‘“the meaning of the statute is plain, we ordinarily stop the inquiry.”’  State ex rel. Kalal v. Circuit Court for Dane Cnty., 2004 WI 58, ¶¶44-45, 271 Wis. 2d 633, 681 N.W.2d 110 (citation omitted).  That being so, we must conclude that the Ford Econoline endorsement was a policy issued after November 1, 2009, and that the corresponding reducing clause is therefore invalid.”

Reversed and Remanded.

Recommended for publication in the official reports.

2012AP2041 Botdorf v. Kresbach

Dist. II, Fond du Lac County, Nuss, J., Brennan, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Jassak, Michael J., Milwaukee; For Respondent: Swietlik, John M., Jr., Milwaukee; Cerjak, Michael J., Milwaukee


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