The State of Wisconsin provides a high-quality
and affordable life insurance plan for Wisconsin citizens through
the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. This plan is not
well known because state law prohibits it from being advertised.
Furthermore, you are limited to a maximum of $10,000 in insurance
under the plan. However, if you are in the market for life insurance,
you may want to consider this possibility after comparing it with
other life insurance offerings.
The State of Wisconsin Life Insurance Fund is
a nonprofit organization and receives no state subsidies. In addition,
the fund is not allowed to use commissioned agents and is exempt
from federal income taxes.
You may purchase either term life to age 65 or
whole life insurance. The whole life insurance plan has several
options. You may choose an Ordinary Life Policy where you pay
premiums your entire lifetime, a Life Paid up at Age 65 plan where
you pay premiums only to age 65 with coverage beyond that date,
or a 20-Payment Life plan where you pay premiums for 20 years.
The application process is relatively simple.
However, if you are 45 or older, a medical exam, paid for by the
fund, will be required. The fund is not required to issue insurance
to those risks who are substandard. If applicants are considered
substandard, they are only eligible to purchase an Ordinary Life
policy where they pay premiums throughout their lifetimes.
You can find the premium rates and insurance
application at: http://oci.wi.gov/slif.htm.
The State Life insurance Fund’s telephone number is 1-800-562-5558.
Consumer Protection Continues to
Find Stores with Incorrect Retail Scanners
Somewhat overlooked in the regular media is the
continuing Wisconsin Division of Trade and Consumer Protection’s
effort to police retail store scanners. In early January of this
year, Consumer Protection Administrator Janet Jenkins reported
that Sherwin-Williams and Mautz Paint stores statewide paid more
than $15,000 to settle charges of checkout scanner overcharges.
Incredibly, the scanners had an error rate of 16 percent, of which
6 percent were overcharges. Late last fall, the division reported
that Elder Beerman Department Stores paid more than $13,000 for
scanner errors. Elder Beerman scanners had a more than 18-percent
The message from these recent investigations
is that you need to carefully monitor the prices coming up on
the store’s checkout scanner. If possible, try to remember
what the shelf price was for the items in your shopping cart.
I sometimes write the prices next to the item on my shopping list
so that I can compare later. Then, at checkout, watch the price
display for pricing errors and ask the clerk to immediately correct
any errors and to notify management so that others are not harmed.
Finally, if you later discover an error on your
receipt, call the store’s manager and ask for a refund.
I recently did this twice at Copps Grocery Store and fortunately
the store managers took care of the problem right away. Perhaps
they did so because Copps and Pick ’n Save paid the state
$44,576 in penalties due to scanner overcharges in early 2006.
Of course, if the store is uncooperative, you may also file a
complaint with Consumer Protection at 1-800-422-7128.