Minimum Truckers’ Insurance Limits Could Increase

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via flickr.com

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via flickr.com

Since 1985, non-Hazmat truckers have had the same mandatory minimum insurance limit of $750,000. This is despite raising inflation and claims costs.

Think about how much insurance you have when taking into account both personal auto and umbrella coverage. Chances are you have more coverage than some truckers on the road.

Separate efforts are underway to consider this issue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) closed out the comment period on a rule change last February. Many independent truckers complained insurance premiums would be too costly for them and the agency’s next step is unclear.

Meanwhile, some members of the U.S. House of Representatives have introduced measures to increase the limits. The current SAFE HAUL Act of 2015 proposes limits to increase to $4,532,550. The bill is an updated version of the 2013 act of the same name, which did not pass during the last Congress.

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The good news is that trucking accidents are declining. However, the cost per claim is on the rise.

Insurance advocates and some trucking associations see good reason to raise rates (and many suppliers require a $1 million insurance limit due to third party liability). However, the American Trucking Association points out that the vast majority of accidents are still covered by the current $750,000 limit.

_______________

Chances are you have more coverage
than some truckers on the road.
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Regardless of whether FMCSA raises the limits or if Congress is successful in doing so, the fact is that trucking companies are better off having more than minimal coverage if they want to be socially responsible and stay in business. When trucking accidents have led to huge court settlements, trucking companies risk going out of business and accident victims can suffer lifelong physical and financial consequences.

When and if trucking insurance limits will increase is anybody’s guess. Congress’s appetite to focus on the issue appears limited and the FMCSA rules process has different twists and turns.

To learn more, check out my article, published by AmWins. 

Lipold Communications provides full-service strategic communications services. To learn more, click here.

Congress Requires Trucker Safety Study

Should truckers be required to sleep two nights in a row — but end up driving during rush hour — or one night to avoid it?  This question has become controversial enough for Congress, through passage of the Cromnibus bill in December, to require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take another look. My article, “Congress Mandates Suspension and Study of Hours of Service Rules for Truckers,” published yesterday in the AmWINS Groups’ Client Advisory, takes an objective look at an issue. The article also provides a detailed look at the study based on the legislative language in the bill. I hope you will take a look.