FMCSA Recommends Higher Minimum Truck Insurance

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In May, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) advisory committee delivered a report to Congress recommending higher minimum insurance requirements for large trucks. The last adjustment to insurance minimums was made in 1985, which set the standards at $750,000 for general freight, $5 million for very dangerous Hazmats and $1 million for all other Hazmats.

The recommendation stems from a 2012 study ordered by Congress as part of its highway law, MAP-21, which was drafted in response to the increasing costs of truck crashes. During the drafting process, Congress reportedly considered raising the general freight insurance minimum from $750,000 to $1 million but instead decided to ask the FMCSA to conduct an analysis every four years.

The resulting FMCSA study determined the following:

  • While catastrophic truck crashes whose costs exceed the current minimums are rare — comprising just over 1 percent of all truck accidents — the crashes that do exceed that minimum tend to do so by a great amount.
  • The excess is mostly attributable to increased medical costs resulting from the accidents.
  • According to the FMCSA, if current minimums were aligned with the medical consumer price index (CPI), the general freight minimum would be closer to $3.2 million, dangerous Hazmat minimums would be $21.3 million and other dangerous Hazmats minimums would sit at $4.3 million.

Increased truck insurance requirements could have a significant impact on the victims of truck accidents. If you have been involved in a collision caused by a commercial truck driver’s negligence, meet with a respected Baltimore truck accident attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. right away.