Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Insurance – reducing clauses
The “Truth in Auto Law” does not apply to a policy issued prior to November 1, 2009, even if the policy contains an elasticity clause.
“The fact of the matter is that the legislature chose not to make policies such as Wolf’s conflict with Wisconsin law. As to policies entered into before November 1, 2009, the law that was in effect prior to that date remained in effect. The legislature could have written the Act in a way that would have made Wolf’s policy conflict with Wisconsin law, thereby using the elasticity clause to incorporate the changes into the policy. But it did not do so. A case in point is Hanson v. Prudential Property & Casualty Insurance Co., 224 Wis. 2d 356, 591 N.W.2d 619 (Ct. App. 1999). There, this court confronted a similar argument arising out of a legislative change in statute that resuscitated anti-stacking provisions in car insurance policies. Id. at 369. The statutory amendment at issue inHanson explicitly stated that for motor vehicle insurance policies issued before the act’s effective date, the antistacking provision is ‘first enforceable with respect to claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents occurring on the effective date of this subsection.’ 1995 Wis. Act 21, § 5(2) (emphasis added). Therefore, in Hanson, the emergence of a claim drove the Act’s effective date, while in this case, the issuance or renewal of a policy determines the effective date. Wolf tries to use Hanson to support her argument, but clearly, the words of the legislature show the difference between her case and Hanson.”
Recommended for publication in the official reports.
2014AP1522-FT Wolf v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co.
Dist. II, Washington County, Muehlbauer, J., Brown, J.