Most people would agree that auto insurance is a crucial protection against
the financial devastation of a motor vehicle accident. Auto insurance
is so important, in fact, that nearly every state in America has laws
requiring drivers to be insured. The logic is simple: Even if you're
willing to gamble with your own safety, you cannot gamble with the safety
of other drivers.
Insurance policy details depend on what kind of vehicle you drive and for
what purpose, but it stands to reason that larger vehicles driven for
commercial purposes should carry the most generous policies. Unfortunately,
the required insurance coverage for trucking companies may be inadequate
to compensate victims of the most serious
Under current federal law, trucking companies (or independent truck owners/operators)
must carry a minimum of $750,000 in insurance coverage. That minimum was
set way back in 1980 and didn't go into effect until about 1985. Although
it may have been appropriate for the time, it has not gone up in the last
30 years, even as the price of health care has skyrocketed.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the division of the
U.S. Department of Transportation tasked with regulating interstate trucking.
A few months ago, the FMCSA announced that it is considering raising the
minimum insurance coverage that truck companies/drivers must carry. The
agency asked for public comments, and as expected, the issue has already
proven to be deeply divisive.
Trucking companies argue that higher insurance rates will make it more
difficult to turn a profit and may even drive some companies out of business.
Personal injury attorneys and others knowledgeable about the costs of
truck accidents argue that $750,000 is often not enough to compensate
victims in the most severe cases.
Please check back as we continue this discussion in our next post.
Source: Cleveland.com, "
Trial lawyers vs. truckers: a feud over trucks, crashes, insurance and
devastation," Stephen Koff, March 9, 2015