Senators Debate Insurance Rate Increase
You might remember the INVEST in America Act from earlier this year. At first it had strong backing from commercial trucking organizations, but lost it when it insisted on increasing liability insurance requirements for commercial trucking accidents. Now a similar Bill introduced by House Democrats, called the Moving Forward Act, also increases requirements.
Moving Forward Act
The Moving Forward Act would increase the baseline liability insurance coverage from $750,000 to $2 million per truck.
Likewise with the INVEST in America Act, this bill is being opposed by trucking organizations. Lewie Pugh, who worked as an owner-operator for over two decades and is the executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA), is outraged at the new Bill. He says, “Trial lawyers are simply trying to increase their payouts at the expense of those deemed essential, including truckers, farmers and manufacturers.”
Members of the Senate have Pugh’s back. On September 8th, members of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation wrote a letter to the House. They insisted the House of Representatives remove the requirement in the Bill.
The Committee’s position rests on three arguments:
- According to a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study conducted in 2014, current insurance requirements cover 99.4% of instances (cases that are not “nuclear”).
- There is no quality research that says an increase in insurance coverage results in fewer traffic incidents.
- Increased insurance requirements put additional burden on truckers trying to do business.
“Increasing insurance rates on our hard working folks who transport goods across our nation would destroy jobs in our transportation industry,” said Senator Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana. “During these challenging times, we must promote economic recovery and growth for our truckers, farmers, and manufacturers, not burden them by increasing insurance rates further.”
We at TopMark Funding would like to give our opinion on the insurance requirement raise. While the lawmakers behind the idea have good intentions to the victims of calamity, more research needs to be done about the positive effects of increased insurance rates before such a change is done.
For example, If 99.4% of all crashes cause fewer than $750,000 in damages, what percentage will $2 million cover? What happens if a crash reaches $3 million in damages? At what point does the insurance costs for the business exceed the tiny chance of catastrophe? 99.4% of all cases is a very large base of incidents to cover; it is almost 199 of 200 cases. We think the increase should not become law, and if it is, raised only a slight amount to $1 million, if that.
The seven writers of the letter stated they would not support a Bill that requires a raise in insurance coverage. Even if it passed both the House and the Senate, it is unlikely that such a bill would be approved by the president. There is a good chance that the Moving Forward Act is not going anywhere.
What are your thoughts on the insurance requirement changes that were proposed in the halls of Congress? Do you think it is a great idea that compensates victims fairly? Let us know your opinion on the matter in the comments below.