Following a serious truck accident, victims and their families often must turn to the truck company’s insurance provider to obtain proper compensation. The minimum insurance policy a truck company can hold under the law is $750,000. This level was set in 1985, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Due to rising medical costs and inflation, $750,000 may be inadequate to cover the victims of a catastrophic crash.
In April 2014, the FMCSA published a report detailing the problem. The report showed that a truck crash that leads to injuries and a fatality may lead to more than $4.3 million in damages. The FMCSA has created a team to make recommendations about how to address the problem of minimum insurance policies falling far short of full compensation in serious accidents. Congress, too, has taken notice of the problem. A new bill has been introduced that would require commercial carriers to purchase insurance policies capable of compensating victims of serious truck wrecks.
The Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act of 2013 (SAFE HAUL Act) would greatly increase the minimum acceptable insurance policy for these companies. In addition, it would establish a mechanism by which the minimum insurance requirements for cargo trucks would be updated to meet changing costs and inflation in the future. The bill will help ensure that the victims of truck accidents have access to the money they deserve following a truck or bus accident.
Source: Overdrive Online, “House bill would increase trucking insurance minimum by millions,” by Jill Dunn, 23 July 2014