Legislation Would Up Minimum Truck Insurance Almost 500%

July 22, 2013

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UPDATED--On Friday, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn) introduced a bill that would raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers, dubbed the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730) otherwise known as “SAFE HAUL."

The bill would increase the required insurance minimum for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4.422 million. The bill would also tie the future insurance minimum requirement to the cost of medical care inflation

Congress established the current insurance minimum in 1980 at $750,000. This minimum requirement has not been raised since. 

According to a statement from Rep. Cartwright’s office, in present dollars and adjusted for the increase in the cost of medical care, it takes more than $4.4 million to provide for the equivalent of the $750,000 in the original law.

“This is a matter of public safety,” he said. “Tragically, more than 100,000 people have been killed in commercial vehicle collisions since 1980. This legislation is essential to protecting our nation’s highways and ensuring that victims receive the proper amount of compensation for their losses.”

Cartwright contends the current minimum of $750,000 fails to perform the basic functions that Congress intended--to promote safe operations by holding insurers responsible for inspecting trucking operations prior to underwriting policies and to protect the public.  

The congressman’s office sites a recent study conducted by the Trucking Alliance that it says shows 42% of the dollar settlements paid by trucking companies between 2005 and 2011 for motor vehicle accidents exceeded the minimum insurance requirement.

Other trucking groups take a dim view of the Alliance’s work, however. “It’s pretty much just garbage,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

He cited the small number of carriers in the survey and the caveat of the Bickerstaff firm that the analysis is informal and not a statement of actuarial opinion.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is working on its own analysis of the insurance standard, as required by the highway law Congress passed last year.

The legislation has seven cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure where it is awaiting action.

Update corrects percentage amount.

Related Story:

New Study Puts Spotlight on FMCSA Insurance Requirement


  1. 1. Paul Malandrino [ July 22, 2013 @ 04:21AM ]

    How much more can the Fed take from the trucking industry.
    Between health care, emissions standards, fuel, restrictions of operating hours and now insurance the industry is barely able to keep iteir heads above.water to survive now.
    People in this industry need to remember who they vote for because if this continues there won't be a transportation industry. It's getting out of hand.

  2. 2. garybary [ July 22, 2013 @ 05:16AM ]

    Looks like Rep. Cartwright knows who his "constituents" are, Lawyers/Law Firms were by far his biggest campaign contributor at $364,625.00. The next biggest sector, Public Unions, only contributed a measly 50k. What a parade of parasites we have in DC.

  3. 3. jeffrey p. miller [ July 22, 2013 @ 05:34AM ]

    Wonder how he would like his transportation freight rates to increase 600%

  4. 4. Kurt [ July 22, 2013 @ 06:04AM ]

    If we could just add a line to his proposal, I think the entire trucking community would get behind this bill. And that would be that rates and driver pay must be increased at the same rates/proportions as his insurance coverage. I think everyone would agree to a 587% increase in rates and pay! The trucking industry would be very happy......and the associated costs would crash the economy!

  5. 5. Bob Holmes [ July 22, 2013 @ 06:08AM ]

    Yet another politician that sees the trucking industry as a cash cow, we have not had a raise since then either, so lets use his scale to set our rates and I'll be the first one to vote yes.

  6. 6. JJMclure [ July 22, 2013 @ 06:38AM ]

    keep the illegals off the road and claims will go down

  7. 7. Roger [ July 22, 2013 @ 07:04AM ]

    A driver fell asleep at the wheel and drove head-on into our truck. The driver who is with Progressive has a limitation of $26,000. The value of the truck is $45,000, the trailer ? Drivers Injuries? Good thing the accident wasn't our fault.....DOT & Lawyers would put me out of business.

    Oh and the DOT had us clean up the spill of who ever leaked. Still we get nailed.

  8. 8. bunny [ July 22, 2013 @ 10:04AM ]

    We need to stop paying our poli(ticks)an so much and no free medical then we need a rate/price increase for we have not had one in over 20 years dont believe me check it out everything is going up but not the rates

  9. 9. craig skalla [ July 22, 2013 @ 10:04AM ]

    no way will anybody be able to afford that much ins. the small company that haul there own will be able to stay in business. all the farmers that has tractors can not do that. I am against that much.

  10. 10. Todd [ July 22, 2013 @ 10:56AM ]

    And how many of those 100,000 killed were at fault? Once again the truckers get blamed. If they put this on the trucking industry, then all non commercial drivers should have to carry $1million liability too.

  11. 11. Jammer [ July 22, 2013 @ 11:19AM ]

    When if enough going to be enough? That's the million doller question I have for every driver. Almost everything gets blamed on us as far as being unsafe, when cars can continue to drive like maniacs around us, cause accidents and we still get hammered for it. The company's that allow someone with 6mo experience train a newbie. Fuel always going up, while our rate had not changed in many, many years. When are we going to stand up to this absolute unfairness to us. When we are all out of a job? Every time I turn around we are being charged higher prices, and being looked at as garbage. Frankly, it makes me P.O. to keep hearing this and we just sit and let these people crap all over us. I as an O/O am willing to sit for as long as it takes to get the point across that I'm not taken this dung anymore. Look the computer giants shut down (or threatened)the Internet because the government wanted to mess with them,and the government backed off within days, when people whom seem to want to make our lively hood pure hell,were not able to get that steak dinner that they are accustomed to getting because we as American truckdriver's stuck up to stop their BS, then things might change. Until then, what they do is going to keep happening. We ALL need to stick together and tell these people, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!! I pray this happens.

  12. 12. RICHARD BOUTILIER [ July 22, 2013 @ 07:18PM ]

    the fucking fed should raise the railway insurnce to the sky and leave thr trucking industry alone 10-4

  13. 13. Bruce Cline [ July 23, 2013 @ 05:30AM ]

    We need to start protesting all this BS in the streets. All we do is cry like a bunch of little cry babies about like every does on a cb radio everyday then drive right on down the road. We have to come togehter to stop this goverment take over of the trucking industry and until we do don't expect any less. We have the power to do something about this and until we do go ahead and carry and the problems of the country on our back and our billfolds like the dumbasses they think we are. WE, the truckers have to stand up and stand together and do something now.. I'm ready.

  14. 14. Geeze Louise [ July 23, 2013 @ 10:58AM ]

    Raise 'em rates boys! 10-4 good buddy, durka, durka, durka, whooot whoooooooot! Bush's fault!

  15. 15. Santa [ July 23, 2013 @ 04:27PM ]

    Truckers are blamed even when it is not their fault. Blame the ambulance chasers. Lawyers. let's make it if they (lawyer's) lose they pay. what is right is right not what the judge says or the jury. I am tired of winning and still paying.....i guess it is better than losing and paying. Remember "without truck America Stops" Stand up and put a stop to this.

  16. 16. paul [ July 23, 2013 @ 08:31PM ]

    750,000 dollars are for insuring the goods in the trailer.

    There is usually one million dollars worth of insurance to cover accidental death etc

  17. 17. Kelly [ July 24, 2013 @ 07:33AM ]

    The lawyer's are ruining our country! It won't be long to we are a completley controled country with no rights. We stand up and help each other when the bombings happen and the wars destroy our economy while fighting for who even knows what for anymore. We cannot and should not fight wars for this many years. Yet the same people we are fighting are supplying our country with fuel and THEY OWN MANY OF OUR GAS STATIONS!!!!! WHY?? Does any one but me see what is going on with that! Why don't we hand them our country on a silver platter? But we cannot stand up for our own economy! If trucking companies and owner operators are required to increase their rates more than what they already pay for insurance and everything else that comes with keeping this country rolling, there will be no gas, grocery stores, department stores, heat for your homes and all of the other things people enjoy because it got to them by truck this will all be gone in a matter of a few weeks when it stops. But what does it take for all truck drivers owners and companies to pull together and say enough is enough? Maybe a week PARKED! We are not treated with respect but with torment every day. We are harrased by DOT, Police and government every day, we pay more taxes then most. So why are we not pulling together and putting this to a stop? You can complain forever and it just keeps getting worse. I personally wrote an email to the President of the United States several months ago and it was through the website that states every letter will receive a response. I heard nothing even still to this day. Get rid of the politicians in the government at replace them with your everyday hard working American and see what happens then.

    That is the only way I see things getting any better.

  18. 18. Rick A [ July 25, 2013 @ 08:02PM ]

    I hope all the O supporters are listening to this really good. I'm with Bruce. Big thug government is wanting to control everything we do including the future of trucking. We need a change in DC or we are screwed . Or should I use some poor English and say SCREWDER!!! I'm ready to stand with Bruce

  19. 19. ghost from tampa [ December 27, 2013 @ 07:21AM ]

    I'm with all the people who have posted that will wait parked as long as it takes so load the cooler or fridge up with groceries get a few cases of water and a full tank of fuel.. lets park it shouldn't take a week but prepare for two weeks and we will be busy for months restocking store d.c's because its a fact that a dc has only enough stock in it to stock their stores for three days...three days worth of fresh items..look around at all of those d'c's....iga /associated grocers....publix ,bilo,winn Dixie,, save a lot,,aldi,,pigglywiggly,albertsons,,dominicks,,Costco,walmart,bj's,samsclub,,,,, schnucks,,roundy's,c&s wholesale Kroger meijers,jewels,sysco,pfg.mtm...thats grocery how about auto parts,,,,fuel trucks that even we depend on.what about whirlpool,kenmore,,,appliance parts wow a nation wide shutdown would definitely hurt those mentioned but I haven't mentioned the rest...when is enough enough lets stand together or we will be divided by this government that needs to be fired


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