A New York and New Jersey Lawyer Who Represents Policyholders and Beneficiaries in Life Insurance Denial Cases

These days, Wisconsin seems to have lined up squarely against the little guy. First, there was the controversy surrounding Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to end collective bargaining for public employees, and now the state Insurance Commissioner, Ted Nickel, has rejected a proposal to make insurance policies more clearly written, and easily understandable, for consumers.

The mandate would have required that insurance policies contain all limitations and exclusions on a single page, and in an easy to read format.

According to an article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, “Earlier this year, Nickel found that an emergency exists and that the new regulations must be scrapped “for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or welfare.”

Making insurance policies, which are difficult even for insurance lawyers to comprehend, more easily readable is a threat to the public peace? And to the health, safety, or welfare of Wisconsin citizens? Nickel must be living in some type of bizarro world where up is down and down is up.

And get this–the regulation required that insurance policies must be written to be understood by a person with less than the reading level of a high school graduate. Nevertheless, the Insurance Commissioner found that the cost of implementing the regulation would be too burdensome for the insurance industry. How it would be burdensome is left unsaid.

It’s nice being an insurance company, isn’t it? I only wish that my state government would be so concerned about the burdens that I and other regular citizens have to bear!

It is my opinion that all states should require insurance companies to set forth the limitations and exclusions in an insurance policy in prominent print and easy to understand language. More importantly, states should outlaw certain types of limitations and exclusions that are inherently unfair or that would not reasonably be expected by an average consumer.

The simple fact is that most people don’t read their insurance policies, and still wouldn’t read them even if they were drafted more clearly. Most people assume that the state will step in and protect them from unfair and deceptive insurance practices. And most people who are affected by such practices are surprised when they discover that the state doesn’t do this.


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