Bill Would Up Minimum Insurance Requirements To $4.4 Million

Money, Settlement, SueLast week, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright introduced the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (H.R. 2730) or “A SAFE HAUL.”  The bill would raise the required insurance minimum for motor carriers.

The current $750,000 minimum coverage requirement was established in 1980, more than 30 years ago, a press release from Representative Cartwright stated.

In today’s terms, with the increased cost of medical care,  $750,000 is equivalent to $4.4 million, the press release continued.

“This is a matter of public safety.  Tragically, more than 100,000 people have been killed in commercial vehicle collisions since 1980,” said 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.”

Representative Cartwright says that the current $750,000 minimum fails to meet the basic functions intended by congress of promoting safer operations by holding insurers responsible for trucking operations inspections prior to underwriting policies.

Cargwright pointed to a recent study conducted by the Trucking Alliance that found that 42% of cash settlements paid by carriers between 2005 and 2011 for crashes exceeded the current minimum insurance requirement.

Additionally, according to a recent study conducted by the Trucking Alliance, 42 percent of the dollar settlements paid by trucking companies between 2005 and 2011 for motor vehicle accidents exceeded the minimum insurance requirement.

“Outdated trucking insurance limits shift the burden of crash costs to injured motorists, taxpayers, medical insurance carriers, and Medicare.  This legislation is long overdue,” said American Association for Justice President Mary Alice McLarty.

If passed, the bill would increase the required insurance minimum for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4,422,000.  The bill would also tie the future insurance minimum requirement to the cost of medical care inflation.  

Original Co-Sponsors:

Rep. Bruce Braley [IA-1], Rep. Chaka Fattah [PA-2], Rep. John Lewis [GA-5], Rep. Grace Napolitano [CA-32], Rep. Bobby Scott [VA-3] and Rep. Albio Sires [NJ-8]