Date of enactment: December 3, 2021
2021 Senate Bill 482   Date of publication*: December 4, 2021
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. “Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
An Act to amend 76.60 and 628.02 (1) (b) 8.; to repeal and recreate 632.977; and to create 628.34 (15) and 629.01 (5) (g) of the statutes; relating to: regulating travel insurance.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:
111,1 Section 1. 76.60 of the statutes is amended to read:
76.60 Fire, travel, and marine insurers; license fees. Every insurer doing a fire, travel, or marine insurance business, other than domestic insurers and insurers excepted under s. 76.61, shall pay to the state, in respect to travel or marine insurance a tax of 0.5 percent and in respect to fire insurance a tax of 2.375 percent on the amount of its gross premiums, as calculated under s. 76.62. In case any insurer discontinues business in this state and reinsures the whole or a part of its risks without making payment of this tax, the insurer accepting such reinsurance shall pay the tax. If several insurers make such reinsurance the tax shall be apportioned among the insurers in proportion to the original premiums upon the business in this state so reinsured by each such insurer. Upon the payment of the tax provided in this section, and the fees required by s. 601.31, such insurer may be licensed to transact its business until May 1 in the ensuing year, unless before then its license is revoked or forfeited according to law. In the case of travel insurance, the premiums subject to tax under this section are the premiums for travel insurance, as defined in s. 632.977 (1) (i), paid by an individual who is a resident of this state and who purchases travel insurance coverage under an individual or group policy or paid by a person who is a resident of or has a principal place of business in this state and who purchases blanket travel insurance, as defined in s. 632.977 (1) (a).
111,2 Section 2. 628.02 (1) (b) 8. of the statutes is amended to read:
628.02 (1) (b) 8. A travel retailer, as defined in s. 632.977 (1) (d) (k), or an employee or authorized representative of a travel retailer, that offers and disseminates, as defined in s. 632.977 (1) (am) (f), travel insurance under s. 632.977.
111,3 Section 3. 628.34 (15) of the statutes is created to read:
628.34 (15) Travel insurance. (a) In this subsection:
1. “Blanket travel insurance” has the meaning given in s. 632.977 (1) (a).
2. “Limited lines travel insurance producer” has the meaning given in s. 632.977 (1) (e).
3. “Travel insurance” has the meaning given in s. 632.977 (1) (i).
4. “Travel retailer” has the meaning given in s. 632.977 (1) (k).
(b) No person may market blanket travel insurance as free.
(c) No person may offer or sell a travel insurance policy that could never result in payment of any claims for any insured under the policy.
(d) When travel insurance is marketed to a prospective purchaser through the Internet site of the insurer or an aggregator Internet site that provides access to information on insurance products from more than one insurer, the inclusion on the Internet site of a summary of the travel insurance policy's coverage does not violate this section if the summary is accurate and the prospective purchaser has access to the policy's full provisions through electronic means.
(e) When a person purchases a trip or travel package to a destination jurisdiction that requires insurance coverage, a travel retailer or limited lines travel insurance producer supplying the trip or travel package does not violate this section by requiring that the person, as a condition of purchasing the trip or travel package, choose between purchasing the required coverage through the travel retailer or limited lines travel insurance producer or agreeing to obtain and provide proof of the required coverage prior to departure.
111,4 Section 4 . 629.01 (5) (g) of the statutes is created to read:
629.01 (5) (g) A travel administrator, as defined in s. 632.977 (1) (g).
111,5 Section 5. 632.977 of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
632.977 Travel insurance. (1) Definitions. In this section:
(a) “Blanket travel insurance” means a policy of travel insurance issued to an eligible group that provides coverage for specific classes of persons defined in the policy, without a separate charge to any individual group member.
(b) “Cancellation fee waiver” means a contractual agreement between a supplier of travel services and a purchaser of the services to waive a nonrefundable cancellation fee provision of the underlying travel contract with or without regard to the reason for the cancellation or form of reimbursement.
(c) “Eligible group” means 2 or more persons who are engaged in a common enterprise or have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship, including any of the following:
1. An entity engaged in the business of providing travel or travel services if, with regard to a particular travel or type of travel or travelers, all members or customers of the entity have a common exposure to the risk attendant to such travel. For purposes of this subdivision, “entity engaged in the business of providing travel or travel services” includes a tour operator, lodging provider, vacation property owner, hotel, resort, travel club, travel agency, property manager, cultural exchange program, and common carrier or operator, owner, or lessor of a means of transportation of passengers, including an airline, cruise line, railroad, steamship company, and public bus carrier.
2. A college, school, or other institution of learning, covering any group of students, teachers, employees, or volunteers.
3. An employer covering any group of employees, volunteers, contractors, board of directors, dependents, or guests.
4. A sports team, camp, or sponsor of a sports team or camp, covering any group of participants, members, campers, employees, officials, supervisors, or volunteers.
5. A religious, charitable, recreational, educational, or civic organization, including a branch of any such organization, covering any group of members, participants, or volunteers.
6. A financial institution or financial institution vendor, or a parent holding company, trustee, or agent of or designated by one or more financial institutions or financial institution vendors, including accountholders, credit card holders, debtors, guarantors, or purchasers.
7. An incorporated or unincorporated association, including a labor union, that has a common interest, constitution, and bylaws and is organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance for its members or participants, covering any group of its members or participants.
8. Subject to the commissioner's permitting the use of a trust, a trust or its trustees if the trust is established, created, or maintained for the benefit of the members, employees, or customers of one or more associations described in subd. 7., covering any group of the members, employees, or customers.
9. An entertainment production company covering any group of participants, volunteers, audience members, contestants, or workers.
10. A volunteer fire department, ambulance, rescue, police, or court or a first aid, civil defense, or similar volunteer group.
11. A preschool, daycare institution for children or adults, or senior citizen club.
12. An automobile or truck rental or leasing company covering any group of individuals who may become renters, lessees, or passengers defined by their travel status on the rented or leased vehicles. The common carrier, the operator, owner or lessor of a means of transportation, or the automobile or truck rental or leasing company, is the policyholder under a policy to which this section applies.
13. Any other group for which the commissioner has determined that the group's members are engaged in a common enterprise or have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship, and that issuance of a travel insurance policy to the group is not contrary to the public interest.
(d) “Fulfillment materials” means documentation sent to a purchaser of a travel protection plan that confirms the purchase of the plan and provides information about the plan's coverage and travel assistance services.
(e) “Limited lines travel insurance producer" means a person licensed under sub. (4) (a) to sell, solicit, or negotiate travel insurance.
(f) “Offer and disseminate" means to provide general information, including a description of coverage and price, as well as to process applications, collect premiums, and perform other activities permitted by statute or rule.
(g) “Travel administrator” means a person who directly or indirectly underwrites, collects charges or premiums from, or adjusts or settles claims of residents of this state in connection with travel insurance, but does not include any of the following:
1. An individual working for a travel administrator to the extent that the individual's activities are subject to the supervision and control of the travel administrator.
2. An intermediary selling insurance or engaged in administrative and claims related activities within the scope of the intermediary's license.
3. A travel retailer.
4. An individual adjusting or settling claims while acting in his or her professional capacity as an attorney.
5. A business entity that is affiliated with a licensed insurer while acting as a travel administrator for the direct and assumed insurance business of the affiliated insurer.
(h) 1. “Travel assistance services” means services that are furnished in connection with planned travel, the provision of which does not result in the transfer or shifting of risk that would constitute the business of insurance, and for which the purchaser is not indemnified based on a fortuitous event.
2. “Travel assistance services” includes security advisories, destination information, vaccination and immunization information services, travel reservation services, entertainment, activity and event planning, translation assistance, emergency messaging, international legal and medical referrals, medical case monitoring, coordination of transportation arrangements, emergency cash transfer assistance, medical prescription replacement assistance, passport and travel document replacement assistance, lost luggage assistance, concierge services, and any other service furnished in connection with planned travel that meets the conditions of subd. 1.
(i) 1. “Travel insurance" means limited lines insurance coverage for personal risks incident to planned travel, including any of the following:
a. Interruption or cancellation of a trip or event.
b. Loss of baggage or personal effects.
c. Damages to accommodations or rental vehicles.
d. Sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel.
e. Emergency evacuation.
f. Repatriation of remains.
g. As determined by the commissioner, any other contractual obligation to indemnify or pay a specified amount upon a determinable contingency related to travel.
2. “Travel insurance" does not include any of the following: