Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
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Senate Passes Insurance Industry Bill

Industry gave $1.9 million in campaign donations. Bill allows shorter notice of premium hikes.

By - Oct 16th, 2019 11:39 am
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Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

Wisconsin State Capitol. Photo by Dave Reid.

The state Senate approved a bill on Tuesday that would cut from 60 days to 45 days the advanced notice that insurers are required to give policy holders about premium increases.

The measure, Senate Bill 289, which is backed by the insurance industry and has bipartisan support, was approved on a voice vote and now goes to the Assembly for consideration.

The insurance industry gave more than $1.9 million in individual, corporate and political action committee (PAC) contributions to current legislators between January 2011 and July 2018. That includes about $965,600 to the current 33-member state Senate and its two legislative campaign committees. The top recipients of insurance industry contributions in the Senate were:

Committee to Elect a Republican Senate, $256,222

State Senate Democratic Committee, $125,699

GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, $94,721

Republican Sen. Alberta Darling, of River Hills, about $78,000

GOP Senate President Roger Roth, of Appleton, $48,195

Top contributors from the industry between January 2011 and July 2018 to current state senators were:

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance PAC, $147,200

WI Insurance Alliance PACs and corporation, $102,340

Alliance of Health Insurers PAC and corporation, $50,000

WI Insurance & Financial Advisors PAC, $49,000

Humana PACs, $42,250

In addition to the WI Insurance Alliance, the other PACs and corporations controlled by companies or groups on record as supporting SB289 and their contributions to current state senators were:

American Family PAC, $22,850

State Farm’s corporation, $17,100

Property Casualty Association of America PACs, $9,250

Current law requires insurers who offer to renew policies on less favorable terms or with a premium increase of at least 25 percent to notify policyholders about the new terms or the increased premium at least 60 days prior to the policy’s renewal date. The bill would reduce the 60-day time frame to 45 days for personal property and casualty policies.

SB289 was introduced by Republican Sen. Dave Craig, of Big Bend, and GOP Rep. Mary Felzkowski, of Irma, who owns an insurance company – CIS Insurance Group in Tomahawk.

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