On Monday, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) put out a call for truckers to take a stand against pending legislation that would dramatically increase minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers.
On May 24, OOIDA took to social media and email to ask members to contact lawmakers to let them know that they oppose a bill reintroduced by Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García on April 20.
The bill, known as H.R. 2687 or the INSURANCE Act, would increase insurance requirements for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4.92 million — a 556% increase.
Garcia says that the increased insurance requirements are necessary to reflect an increase in the cost of medical care. “Families should not be saddled with long term-financial debt after dealing with the devastating injury or loss of a loved one. Still, thousands of families suffer in silence, burdened with insurmountable medical care costs after falling victim to catastrophic crashes with trucks,” said Rep. García. “The INSURANCE Act will reduce these undue burdens by increasing the minimum insurance requirement for trucks, which has gone unchanged for over 40 years.”
An 2019 version of the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit but never advanced.
OOIDA argued that the INSURANCE Act “would be devastating for small-business truckers” and “would line the pockets of trial lawyers at the expense of hard-working truckers, and it would do nothing to improve highway safety.”
OOIDA also pointed out that current insurance requirements cover the damages in 99.4% of crashes involving CMVs.
OOIDA is asking drivers to take action and contact Garcia’s offices to let the lawmaker know that the bill would be devastating for owner operators and smaller trucking companies.
“Please call his office today and tell him that the bill is another unnecessary and expensive federal mandate that will force the safest and most experienced truckers off the road,” OOIDA wrote in a Facebook post.
The group also provided phone numbers to reach Garcia:
• DC Office 202-225-8203
• Northside Chicago Office 773-342-0774
• Southside Chicago Office 773-475-0833