DOT adds raising carrier insurance minimums to regulatory calendar, pushes Safety Fitness rule back

| May 19, 2014
Roll-over crash scene

FMCSA wants to increase the liability insurance minimums for carriers from $750,000 to an undetermined higher figure.

An official timeline for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s push to raise liability insurance minimums for carriers has been released by the Department of Transportation, and it signals the agency plans to begin work on the regulation quickly in hopes of publishing a proposed rule in November. 


FMCSA: Current insurance minimums for carriers ‘inadequate,’ new rule coming

The current $750,000 minimum liability insurance required to be held by carriers is too low, said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week, and ...

The agency released a report in April saying it found the current $750,000 liability insurance minimum for carriers to be “inadequate.” It also said then it planned to make upping that minimum a high priority. 

In its monthly regulatory update released last week, the DOT says FMCSA hopes to send the insurance minimum rule proposal to the Office of the Secretary June 30 and to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Aug. 1. The timeline says a proposed rule could be published Nov. 12. 

Neither the DOT’s may report nor FMCSA’s April report, however, set a target number for the new minimum — which hasn’t been increased since 1985. FMCSA did say in April that if minimum insurance had kept up with the core consumer price index, a measure of inflation, it would be $1.62 million. If it had kept pace with the medical consumer price index, it would be $3.18 million. 

Both the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the American Trucking Associations reject the agency’s claims that the current minimum needs changing, citing studies that show just 1 percent of all crashes exceed $750,000 in claims. 


CSA’s Fallout: ‘Ugly little secret’ — severity weights, peer groups need work

The draft report issued April 30 from the CSA Subcommittee of FMCSA's MCSAC advisors included a large section on potential methods of improving the scoring ...

FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee is holding meetings this week in Alexandria, Va., to begin work on the rule. 


In other rulemaking updates in the report, the agency’s timeline for producing a speed limiter rule for heavy trucks was unchanged, and FMCSA said it expects to send a proposed rule to the Office of the Secretary this week. It expects to publish a proposed rule Oct. 1 for public comment.

The timeline for the long-awaited Safety Fitness Determination rule, though, has been pushed back from Sept. 16 as a projected publication date to Dec. 17. 

The Safety Fitness Determination rule would allow the agency to use a similar data set it uses for its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s Safety Measurement System rankings to produce a score for carriers it could then use to target unsafe carriers for intervention. 

  • Dee Frasier

    Insurance on personal vehicles should be raised to take care of a semi and cargo when a car is at fault then instead of just having minimum amount. In Idaho a cars min. Is 15000.00. Our Truck Insurance Company had to pay the difference when a car hit our Semi, they were at fault and it totalled our Semi.

  • helmethead

    Why Do These people spend so much time Ruining our economy. Doing their Best to Destroy the Trucking industry and the lives of 4 million Drivers that spend their life’s trying to make this a better place to live.

  • Stormy

    Because they need to justify their job and existence and the entire Obama administration and Obama are pure evil.

  • Stormy

    Yep, and you pay a pretty price for that coverage called under insured motorist. Add up what you pay for uninsured motorist and under insured bodily injury and property damage. That limit increases with your liability imit so you get to pass pay even more. The insurance companies are taking a higher risk not only with limits but with more trucks driving during more rush hours and soon they will be limiting our speed so we can’t get out of the way if traffic. They also plan to have us pushing EOBR buttons, having cameras going off in our face and heaven knows what else is to come.

  • roland

    They want small carrier to be put out of business…. That is Fmcsa agenda….. Lobby from big companies…..

  • roge160

    There not going to stop until they put all of us owner operators under the truck .if there going to make me pay 3 times as much for insurance
    then they better get use to 5.oo a mile rate .

  • Mind Games

    This is not about the Obama administration it is about the large carriers many of you work for THAT Is where your source of evil comes from.
    Drivers let me ask you some very important questions, Who do those people that own those trucking companies look like?
    Answer: They look like us! These are our own damn people stabbing us in the back!
    Any one of us could be in the position of living as well as they do but because our kin folk are so damn greedy they stab you and I in the back.

    Many of you owner operators have your own trailer and so what you could do is plaster a message of truth on the sides and the back of it and scream to the nation like Paul did when the British were coming ” “The ultra rich trucking company owners have corrupted our nation!!!”

    In another message ask that your fellow drivers who drive for them to leave that nest of rats and join you in the fight for our nation and what it stands for and baby it ain’t for making a few even richer than they are now.

    I left a large company called Dart when I found out what the owner was up to and if I can anyone can and to tell the truth I can truly face myself in the mirror and say I did my part.
    I work for a small company now and I have never been more happy in the trucking industry than I am now.

    Are you company drivers going to join us? Do you love America and what she was meant to be? She was not designed to be a haven for the rich to bathe themselves in money, power and control.

    I know many of you people have fought on a battlefield or two I now ask you to fight the terrorists here at home that have bought your lawmakers and the only way to stop this is to cut off their money.

    Do you want your children to grow up in a government like oh say Mexico where the rich hog all the money and the people live like rats in an alley scurrying around for food?

    Keep listening to those rigged up talk shows on the radio and not look in your own backyard and you AND your children will find out how rats live…

  • Mind Games

    Grow up please…

  • guest

    Heck..ya really dont NEED insurance since Ferro and Foxx have made everything so SAFE! Whats’s to worry about??

  • helmethead

    The Large Companies are self Insured so this will not affect them. It will just hurt the O/O and small carriers. it is time to tell the FMCSA to go p up a rope. And stick to safety Issues this is not a safety issue.

  • roland

    Good point….

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  • Leslie the Insurance Girl

    The difference in premium isn’t that much from $750K to 1 million. There’s an increase, but it’s not too bad. Most companies require 1 million liability anyhow, plus cargo, and lienholders require physical damage. I don’t know many carriers operating with lower limits these days. Maybe a garbage truck service I have insured, they do commercial dumpsters locally. it won’t affect too many people, but I agree it isn’t fair to push an increase. If anything should increase, it should be personal auto insurance minimums. 30/60/25 isn’t enough to cover a severe accident. Too many times people get raked over with medical bills from an accident caused by someone underinsured.

  • Leslie the Insurance Girl

    Yeah $15,000 is nothing these days. Even $25,000 in Texas isn’t enough. What if you hit more than one car? Or more than one person is injured?

  • localnet

    They are going to price and regulate the transportation industry into the dust bin of History. I called my agent last month, they currently will not write policies to new or old carriers, in regards to authority.

    I am sure the goal is to destroy small carriers, but then think about that for a minute… The big outfits can in no way replace every little niche carrier, just look around.

  • helmethead

    It seems this whole Administration hates small business.

  • Mark

    Isn’t it interesting that this minimum insurance requirement has all of the sudden come up? It is because of a congressman (can’t remember his name or state) who was recently elected. Guess what his job was before he became a politician? He and his family were trial lawyers that specialized in suing trucking companies involved in crashes. He also introduced legislation to increase insurance minimums but it apparently died in committee. He and his sleazy family see an opportunity to make bank by getting more out of the insurance companies. Nothing but a bottom feeder trying to fatten his wallet on the backs of truckers. Someone should ask FMCSA where the idea for this came from. I’ll bet it was this POS congrtessman.

  • Hubcituscoot

    Wow. I didnt know there were any truckers with enough intelligence to get such a revelation. The radio talk show guys have truckers so reved up that they are ready to fight by the end of the day. But their anger is directed at the wrong person, other drivers and not the crooks they work for. I have owned my own business for over five years and i’ll never look back. When people stop letting talk shows and news outlets think for them, we all will be much better off.

  • Big R Phillips

    Good stuff in this room. Thanks Mind Games…you said it all.

  • vince

    go ahead and put a camera in, the only problem is. it needs to face the traffic not the driver. if I had a camera on me, it would become a hat hook

  • vince

    because every other person in this country is an idiot. not scientific but that’s sure as hell the way they vote!

  • vince

    karma takes care of scumbags like that. greed bit the Kennedy’s in the ass.

  • vince

    I have had a million dollar coverage for some 15 plus years. I hear they are talking about 2.5 to 4 mill COVERAGE, I can only pray that in November both houses flip. we need the brightest minds controlling the greatest country in history. not the burnouts from the 60’s

  • Stormy

    Yep, when I drive down the road and a car comes to an abrupt stop in front of me then the very first thing that goes through my mind is WOW, it is a good thing that I have $5,000,000 in liability limits because now I will be far more safer than if I had a lower liability limit. Somebody…. anybody give me a reasonable connection between the amount of liability coverage and safety. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.