Cargo insurance rule ends for most truckers

The federal cargo insurance mandate ends March 21 for most truckers, but the 76-year-old requirement will continue for household goods carriers and freight forwarders.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration final rule ends the $5,000 cargo coverage minimum requirement affecting for-hire motor common carriers of property and having to file proof of coverage with the agency.

The rule also eliminates this insurance requirement for freight forwarders, but the mandate continues for household goods freight forwarders and household goods carriers.

While FMCSA has not required such a filing, numerous non-HHG carriers have filed cancellations of their cargo insurance with FMCSA effective March 21. The carriers’ cancellation notices triggered system-generated letters to these carriers indicating that FMCSA would revoke their authority within 30 days of the service date of the letter.

FMCSA says it want to clarify that non-HHG carriers and non-HHG freight forwarders who have received Notices of Investigation for Revocation of Authority based on the termination of cargo insurance on or after March 21 need not respond to such letters if they have a service date of Feb. 19 or after. FMCSA will not revoke the operating authority of non-HHG carriers and non-HHG freight forwarders whose cargo insurance expires on or after March 21.

The agency says it is taking corrective measures to alert carriers.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and American Trucking Associations supported eliminating the rule, authorized in the 1935 Motor Carrier Act.

The agency surveyed insurers with the largest number of cargo policies on file with the FMCSA and found most policies are for $50,000 to $100,000 in liability. The agency said it is expected most carriers will continue cargo insurance because customers will require it.

To view the rule, go to and search docket number FMCSA-2010-0189.

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