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Milwaukee Dems try to end higher auto insurance rates in big cities with higher crime

Some Milwaukee Democrats are trying again to end the practice of setting higher auto insurance rates in places with dense populations and higher crime. Wisconsin drivers will be required to have auto insurance starting next year and Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee, says his bill would make it affordable.

Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed a state budget measure in June that would have stopped using a driver's home Zip code as a factor in setting premiums.

Doyle said it would have disrupted the market, and cause many folks in less-congested areas to pay more.

But another sponsor of the bill, Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, says insurance rates should be based on a driver's record and experience and not on a Zip code.

Insurance group owner Mark Lindow of Pewaukee says it's a proven fact that motorists are at a bigger risk for crashes, vandalism and vehicle theft in a big city.

He says drivers who move from central Wisconsin to Milwaukee's inner city will pay 40-60 percent more, but the increase will be less if the driver has a good credit score.