A group of senators are asking for changes to a current highway bill that would remove a massive increase in minimum insurance requirements for truckers.
On September 8, Montana U.S. Senator Steve Daines and six others penned a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation asking for the removal of a controversial provision to increase commercial vehicle minimum insurance liability requirements from $750,000 to $2 million.
The provision was introduced by Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia, who said that the insurance hike is meant to benefit the families of crash victims.
From the letter:
An increase in insurance requirements is both unnecessary and impractical with the result having little to do with improving highway safety. Furthermore, the addition of these requirements would negatively impact a wide range of industries that are crucial to our states and the nation.
Increasing minimum liability coverage would impact any business that transports property, which would be felt by the very industries that have been deemed essential during this period of crisis. A coalition composed of truckers, farmers, and manufacturers recently sent a letter to the Committee warning of the economic impact that would come as a result of an increase in insurance rates. As you push for legislation designed to support economic recovery and growth, it is imperative that you do not add policies that would lead to even more lost American jobs.
Daines also pointed to a 2014 FMCSA commissioned study that found that current commercial vehicle insurance minimums adequately cover damages in 99.94% of crashes.
The insurance increase has come under fire from members of the trucking industry, who say that the cost could force smaller or struggling trucking companies out of business.
Other senators who signed the letter include Indiana’s Mike Braun, Tennessee’s Marsha Blackburn, North Dakota’s Kevin Cramer, Arizona’s Martha McSally, Georgia’s David Perdue and Nebraska’s Deb Fischer.