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Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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102.31 Worker's compensation insurance; policy regulations.

(1) (a) Every contract for the insurance of compensation provided under this chapter or against liability therefor is subject to this chapter and provisions inconsistent with this chapter are void.

(b)
Except as provided in par. (c) , a contract under par. (a) shall be construed to grant full coverage of all liability of the assured under this chapter unless the department specifically consents by written order to the issuance of a contract providing divided insurance or partial insurance.
(c)
1. Liability under s. 102.35 (3) is the sole liability of the employer, notwithstanding any agreement of the parties to the contrary.

2. An intermediate agency or publisher of a newspaper or magazine may, under its own contract of insurance, cover liability of persons selling or distributing the newspaper or magazine on the street or from house to house for an intermediate or independent news agency, if the contract of insurance of the publisher or intermediate agency is endorsed to cover those persons. If the publisher so covers, the intermediate or independent news agency need not cover liability for those persons.

(d)
A contract procured to insure a partnership may not be construed to cover the individual liability of the members of the partnership in the course of a trade, business, profession or occupation conducted by them as individuals. A contract procured to insure an individual may not be construed to cover the liability of a partnership of which the individual is a member or to cover the liability of the individual arising as a member of any partnership.
(dL) A contract procured to insure a limited liability company may not be construed to cover the individual liability of the members of the limited liability company in the course of a trade, business, profession or occupation conducted by them as individuals. A contract procured to insure an individual may not be construed to cover the liability of a limited liability company of which the individual is a member or to cover the liability of the individual arising as a member of any limited liability company.
(e)
An insurer who provides a contract under par. (a) shall file the contract as provided in s. 626.35 .
(2)
(a) No party to a contract of insurance may cancel the contract within the contract period or terminate or not renew the contract upon the expiration date until a notice in writing is given to the other party fixing the proposed date of cancellation or declaring that the party intends to terminate or does not intend to renew the policy upon expiration. Except as provided in par. (b) , when an insurance company does not renew a policy upon expiration, the nonrenewal is not effective until 60 days after the insurance company has given written notice of the nonrenewal to the insured employer and the department. Cancellation or termination of a policy by an insurance company for any reason other than nonrenewal is not effective until 30 days after the insurance company has given written notice of the cancellation or termination to the insured employer and the department. Notice to the department may be given by personal service of the notice upon the depart

Updated 15-16 Wis. Stats.

ment at its office in Madison or by sending the notice to the department in a medium approved by the department. The department may provide by rule that the notice of cancellation or termination be given to the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau rather than to the department in a medium approved by the department after consultation with the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau. Whenever the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau receives such a notice of cancellation or termination it shall immediately notify the department of the notice of cancellation or termination.

(b) 1. In the event of a court-ordered liquidation of an insurance company, a contract of insurance issued by that company terminates on the date specified in the court order.

2. Regardless of whether the notices required under par. (a) have been given, a cancellation or termination is effective upon the effective date of replacement insurance coverage obtained by the employer, the effective date of an order under s. 102.28 (2) (b) exempting the employer from the duty to carry insurance under s. 102.28 (2) (a) , or the effective date of an election by an employer under s. 102.28 (2) (bm) to self-insure its liability for the payment of compensation under this chapter.

(3)
The department may examine from time to time the books and records of any insurer insuring liability or compensation for an employer in this state. The department may require an insurer to designate one mailing address for use by the department and to respond to correspondence from the department within 30 days. Any insurer that refuses or fails to answer correspondence from the department or to allow the department to examine its books and records is subject to enforcement proceedings under s.
(4)
If any insurer authorized to transact worker's compensation insurance in this state fails to promptly pay claims for compensation for which it is liable or fails to make reports to the department required by s. 102.38 , the department may recommend to the commissioner of insurance, with detailed reasons, that enforcement proceedings under s. 601.64 be invoked. The commissioner shall furnish a copy of the recommendation to the insurer and shall set a date for a hearing, at which both the insurer and the department shall be afforded an opportunity to present evidence. If after the hearing the commissioner finds that the insurer has failed to carry out its obligations under this chapter, the commissioner shall institute enforcement proceedings under s.

601.64 .

601.64 . If the commissioner does not so find, the commissioner shall dismiss the complaint.

(5)
If any employer whom the department exempted from carrying compensation insurance arbitrarily or unreasonably refuses employment to or discharges employees because of a nondisabling physical condition, the department shall revoke the exemption of that employer.
(6)
The department has standing to appear as a complainant and present evidence in any administrative hearing or court proceeding instituted for alleged violation of s. 628.34 (7) .
(7)
If the department by one or more written orders specifically consents to the issuance of one or more contracts covering only the liability incurred on a construction project and if the construction project owner designates the insurance carrier and pays for each such contract, the construction project owner shall reimburse the department for all costs incurred by the department in issuing the written orders and in ensuring minimum confusion and maximum safety on the construction project. All moneys received under this subsection shall be deposited in the worker's compensation operations fund and credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.445 (1) (rb) .
(8)
The Wisconsin compensation rating bureau shall provide the department with any information that the department may request relating to worker's compensation insurance coverage, including the names of employers insured and any insured employer's address, business status, type and date of coverage, manual premium code, and policy information including numbers, cancellations, terminations, endorsements, and reinstate

ment dates. The department may enter into contracts with the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau to share the costs of data processing and other services. No information obtained by the department under this subsection may be made public by the department except as authorized by the Wisconsin compensation rating bureau.

History: 1971 c. 260 , 307 ; 1975 c. 39 ; 1975 c. 147 ss. 26 , 54 ; 1975 c. 199 , 371 ; 1977 c. 29 , 195 ; 1979 c. 278 ; 1981 c. 92 ; 1983 a. 189 s. 329 (25) ; 1985 a. 29 , 83 ; 1987

a.
179 ; 1989 a. 64 , 332 ; 1993 a. 81 , 112 ; 2001 a. 37 ; 2003 a. 144 ; 2005 a. 172 ; 2007
a.
185 ; 2009 a. 206 ; 2015 a. 180 . Cross-reference: See also ss. DWD 80.61 and 80.65 , Wis. adm. code. Sub. (1) (b) [now (1) (d)] does not apply to a joint venture, and insurance written

in the name of one venturer is sufficient to cover his or her joint liability. Insurance Company of North America v. DILHR, 45 Wis. 2d 361 , 173 N.W.2d 192 (1970).



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