The transportation Committee announced they have submitted a bill to increase the minimum required insurance for all trucking companies. The increase jumps from $750,000.00 to $4,422,000.00. The bill was introduced by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn) and has seven sponsors. The bill is called the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways Achieved through Underwriting Levels Act (SAFE-HAUL).
The bill states a recent study by the Trucking Alliance which is a group of seven very large trucking companies, that claims more than 40% of accident settlements paid by carriers between 2005 and 2011 exceeded the $750,000.00 minimum. The OOIDA (Owner Operator and Independent Drivers Association) and the ATA (American Trucking Association) both disagree with the findings and said only about 1 to 2 percent of crashes involving tractor trailers will see a claim above $750,000.00. A representative of OOIDA Todd Spencer called this study bogus and that all this will succeed in doing is increase costs for their competition in trucking and chum the water for personal injury lawyers. Most trucking companies have $1 million in coverage and that 98-99 percent of truck crashes are settled below the $750,000.00 minimum. Other companies have come forward and have basically said the same thing as Mr. Spencer claiming this is a way for the larger companies to force the smaller “Mom and Pop” companies out of business.
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