Comments Needed on Proposed Changes to Minimum Trucking Insurance
The FMCSA has begun rulemaking to evaluate appropriate insurance minimums for interstate trucks and buses and has published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The Agency needs to hear from attorneys in support of this rule as well as how the rule will benefit your clients. The information below addresses some issues you should consider when drafting your comments.
We encourage you to include in your comments personal stories from your own cases.
- Overview of your practice
- Example of how a client was negatively impacted by the current insurance minimums (ie. life care plan far exceeded settlement amount, reliance on Medicaid, Medicaid and Tricare to cover health care costs, etc)
General Policy Points to Consider in Your Comments:
- Congressional Intent: The legislative history of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 envisioned regular increases to the amount of insurance that interstate trucks and buses are required to carry. However, no increases have taken place in more than 30 years.
- Medical Inflation: While minimum insurance requirements have stayed the same, health care costs have steadily increased. Moreover, victims of trucking and bus accidents often suffer severe injuries and burns that require long hospital stays and outpatient therapy.
- Burden Shifting: When truck and bus companies are not held financially liable for the full extent of victims’ injuries, taxpayer funded programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare are relied upon, resulting in high costs for the federal government.
- Improving Safety Culture: Discuss how increasing insurance requirements for motor carriers will lead to overall safer highways and company cultures.