Wis. Stat. § 632.32

Current through Acts 2021-2022, ch. 79
Section 632.32 - Provisions of motor vehicle insurance policies
(1) SCOPE. Except as otherwise provided, this section applies to every policy of insurance issued or delivered in this state against the insured's liability for loss or damage resulting from accident caused by any motor vehicle, whether the loss or damage is to property or to a person.
(2) DEFINITIONS. In this section:
(ab) "Commercial automobile liability policy" means a liability insurance policy that is intended principally to provide primary coverage for the insured's liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle in the insured's business or other commercial activities.
(ac) "Commercial liability policy" means any form of liability insurance policy, including a commercial or business package policy or a policy written on farm and agricultural operations, that is intended principally to provide primary coverage for the insured's general liability arising out of its business or other commercial activities, and that includes coverage for the insured's liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as only one component of the policy or as coverage that is only incidental to the principal purpose of the policy. "Commercial liability policy" does not include a worker's compensation policy or a commercial automobile liability policy.
(ag) "Governmental unit" has the meaning given in s. 50.33(1r) .
(am) "Medical payments coverage" means coverage to indemnify for medical payments or chiropractic payments or both for the protection of all persons using the insured motor vehicle from losses resulting from bodily injury or death.
(at) "Motor vehicle" means a self-propelled land motor vehicle designed for travel on public roads and subject to motor vehicle registration under ch. 341. A trailer or semitrailer that is designed for use with and connected to a motor vehicle shall be considered a single unit with the motor vehicle. "Motor vehicle" does not include farm tractors, well drillers, road machinery, or snowmobiles.
(b) "Motor vehicle handler" means any of the following:
1. A motor vehicle dealer, as defined in s. 218.0101(23) (a) .
2. A lessor, as defined in s. 344.51(1g) (a) , or a rental company, as defined in s. 344.51(1g) (c) .
3. A repair shop, service station, storage garage or public parking place.
(be) "Owned motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is owned by the insured or that is leased by the insured for a term of 6 months or longer.
(bh) "Phantom motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle to which all of the following apply:
1. The motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a person who has uninsured motorist coverage.
2. In the accident, the motor vehicle makes no physical contact with the insured or with a vehicle the insured is occupying.
3. The identity of neither the operator nor the owner of the motor vehicle can be ascertained.
(cm) "Umbrella or excess liability policy" means an insurance contract providing at least $1,000,000 of liability coverage per person or per occurrence in excess of certain required underlying liability insurance coverage or a specified amount of self-insured retention.
(d) "Underinsured motorist coverage" means coverage for the protection of persons insured under that coverage who are legally entitled to recover damages for bodily injury, death, sickness, or disease from owners or operators of underinsured motor vehicles.
(f) "Uninsured motorist coverage" means coverage for the protection of persons insured under that coverage who are legally entitled to recover damages for bodily injury, death, sickness, or disease from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles.
(g) "Uninsured motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle, other than a motor vehicle owned by a governmental unit, that is involved in an accident with a person who has uninsured motorist coverage and with respect to which, at the time of the accident, a bodily injury liability insurance policy is not in effect and the owner or operator has not furnished proof of financial responsibility for the future under subch. III of ch. 344 and is not a self-insurer under any other applicable motor vehicle law. "Uninsured motor vehicle" also includes any of the following motor vehicles, other than a motor vehicle owned by a governmental unit, involved in an accident with a person who has uninsured motorist coverage:
1. An insured motor vehicle, or a motor vehicle with respect to which the owner or operator is a self-insurer under any applicable motor vehicle law, if before or after the accident the liability insurer of the motor vehicle, or the self-insurer, is declared insolvent by a court of competent jurisdiction.
2. A phantom motor vehicle, if all of the following apply:
a. The facts of the accident are corroborated by competent evidence that is provided by someone other than the insured or any other person who makes a claim against the uninsured motorist coverage as a result of the accident.
b. Within 72 hours after the accident, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured reports the accident to a police, peace, or judicial officer or to the department of transportation or, if the accident occurs outside of Wisconsin, the equivalent agency in the state where the accident occurs.
c. Within 30 days after the accident occurs, the insured or someone on behalf of the insured files with the insurer a statement under oath that the insured or a legal representative of the insured has a cause of action arising out of the accident for damages against a person whose identity is not ascertainable and setting forth the facts in support of the statement.
3. An unidentified motor vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident with the person.
(h) "Using" includes driving, operating, manipulating, riding in and any other use.
(3) REQUIRED PROVISIONS. Except as provided in sub. (5), every policy subject to this section issued to an owner shall provide that:
(a) Coverage provided to the named insured applies in the same manner and under the same provisions to any person using any motor vehicle described in the policy when the use is for purposes and in the manner described in the policy.
(b) Coverage extends to any person legally responsible for the use of the motor vehicle.
(4) REQUIRED UNINSURED MOTORIST AND MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGES.
(a) Except as provided in par. (d), every policy of insurance subject to this section that insures with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury or death suffered by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle shall contain therein or supplemental thereto provisions for all of the following coverages:
1. Excluding a policy written by a town mutual organized under ch. 612, uninsured motorist coverage, in limits of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
2. Medical payments coverage, in the amount of at least $1,000 per person. Coverage written under this subdivision may be excess coverage over any other source of reimbursement to which the insured person has a legal right.
(bc) Notwithstanding par. (a) 2. , the named insured may reject medical payments coverage. If one named insured rejects the coverage, the coverage need not be provided in a subsequent renewal policy issued by the same insurer unless a named insured under the policy requests it in writing.
(c) Unless an insurer waives the right to subrogation, insurers making payment under any of the coverages under this subsection shall, to the extent of the payment, be subrogated to the rights of their insureds.
(d) This subsection does not apply to a commercial liability policy if the coverage it provides for the insured's liability arising out of the maintenance or use of a motor vehicle is limited to coverage for motor vehicles that are not owned motor vehicles, or to an umbrella or excess liability policy. If a commercial liability policy or an umbrella or excess liability policy provides medical payments coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, however, the coverage must have limits of at least those specified in par. (a).

Wis. Stat. § 632.32

1975 c. 375, 421; 1979 c. 102, 104; 1979 c. 177 ss. 67, 68; 1979 c. 221; 1981 c. 284; 1983 a. 243, 459; 1985 a. 146 s. 8; 1995 a. 21, 448; 1997 a. 48; 1999 a. 31, 162; 2007 a. 168; 2009 a. 28, 342; 2011 a. 14, 224.

Wisconsin Statutes 1979 to 2009 all contain an extensive 1979 Legislative Council Note regarding the recodification of prior statutes by 1979 Laws, ch. 102, as s. 632.32.

1995 Wisconsin Act 21, which became effective July 15, 1995, made significant changes in the law regarding the "stacking" of insurance policy coverage.

2009 Wisconsin Act 28, made significant changes to this section, effective November 1, 2009, regarding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as stacking and reducing insurance policy coverage.

2011 Wisconsin Act 14, made significant changes to this section, effective November 1, 2011, regarding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, as well as stacking and reducing insurance policy coverage, including the reversal of many of the changes made by 2009 Wisconsin Act 28.