FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) has a proposed rule to change. They are asking the U.S. Congress to Raise the Minimum Level of Insurance on Trucks. Here is a brief summary of what is behind the proposal sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D) Pa.
A recent study commissioned by MAP-21 (U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration – “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century”) reported, “The agency (FMCSA) seems to be bowing to the economic objectives of the personal injury attorneys and mega-trucking companies who have been campaigning for higher insurance requirements.”
FMCSA states, “while catastrophic motor carrier crashes are rare, the costs for resulting severe and critical injuries can exceed $1 million. Current insurance limits do not adequately cover these costs, which are primarily due to increases in medical expenses and other crash-related costs.”
According to Rep Cartwright, “This legislation is essential to protecting our nation’s highways and ensuring that victims receive the proper amount of compensation for their losses.” He further stated that outdated insurance limits “shifts the burden of crash costs to motorists, taxpayers, medical insurance carriers and Medicare.
- The current $750,000 minimum coverage was established in 1980
- With the increased cost of medical care, $750,000 is equivalent to $4.4 million
- More than 100,000 people have been killed in commercial vehicle collisions since 1980
Understanding the millions of miles logged each year by Motor Carriers, there are going to be accidents. Here are accident statistics for the two leading express package delivery companies: In the two years from 2010 to 2012, FEDEX trucks were involved in 497 crashes, 197 involving injuries, including 11 deaths and UPS in the same period had 1,448 crashes, 541 involving injuries, including 39 deaths. Every single accident involved insurance coverage, litigation and every Motor Carrier will no doubt be impacted by the ruling.
Ramifications & Impact
In 2012, there were over 500,000 trucking companies in the United States owning over 26 Million registered trucks driven by 3 Million Drivers who logged nearly 400 Billion Miles. There were 6.8 million people employed in jobs that relate to trucking activity.
Over 9 Billion tons of freight was moved in that year representing $603 Billion in gross freight revenues. The trucking industry transports 67 percent of the cargo moved in the country each year.
When the amount of insurance currently paid by these companies increases, the result will be a ripple effect of increased costs for virtually everything companies transport and consumers purchase.