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WI Tunes Up Car Insurance

August 3, 2009

MADISON, Wis. - When you are injured in a car accident in Wisconsin, the last thing you need is to get caught in a battle between two insurance companies. A provision in the new state budget is designed to make sure that does not happen anymore.

Mark Thomsen, president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice, says the new rules mandate health insurers to pay now and ask questions later.

"A person who is injured who has health insurance is going to have coverage for their medical expenses from day one."

Under the old rules, a person injured in an accident could be left holding the bag while two insurance companies fought over which one would pay. The new law says the health insurance provider will pay immediately and work out the responsibility with other insurers later. The measure, which takes effect in November, also mandates insurance for all drivers and raises minimum insurance levels for the first time since 1982.

Thomsen says the new rules take a big burden off the accident victim who has health insurance.

"It allows the person injured to have their health care providers - their doctors - receive immediate payment and then the insurers will have to fight it out later as to who will be reimbursed."

Being injured in an accident is bad enough, but Thomsen says a bad situation was made worse when bills stacked up and insurance companies refused to pay. Now, that all will change.

"The injured person won't be getting letters of collection, and down the road the insurance companies can sort out the issues."

Additional information is available from Jane Garrott, 608-257-5741, at the Wisconsin Association For Justice.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI