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FMCSA Withdraws Proposal to Increase Minimum Insurance Level for Truck Drivers

The current liability insurance minimum for commercial motor carriers is $750,000. This amount was set by Congress in 1980. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has the authority to establish a minimum at or above the level set by Congress. In November, 2014, the FMCSA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that sought input from carriers, insurers, brokers, and other interested parties about the effects of raising the minimum liability insurance level. On June 2, 2017, the FMCSA announced the withdrawal of the ANPR because of insufficient feedback.

Supporters of increasing the minimum insurance level have argued that the $750,000 minimum is too low to cover the costs of today's motor vehicle accidents. These supporters have stated that the minimum has not kept up with inflation or the rising cost of medical care. Congressman Matt Cartwright, a Pennsylvania Democrat and attorney specializing in personal injury claims, introduced legislation in 2013 that would raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers to $4,422,000 per truck, a nearly 500 percent increase.

Opponents of a change, including lobbyists such as the American Trucking Association, have argued that only 1% of crashes involving commercial motor vehicles exceed the $750,000 minimum. Further, an increase to the minimum would result in higher insurance premiums that would push smaller carriers out of business.

In the end, the FMCSA determined that it had received too little feedback concerning the percentage of crashes that result in damages exceeding the minimum insurance level and the effect of premium increases to move forward with a change.

For more information on these issues, please see:
FMCSA scraps rulemaking on raising liability insurance minimums for carriers

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