Setting minimum insurance requirements for trucking companies and brokers isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.
In a May report released to Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) emphasized the costs of catastrophic truck and bus crashes have greatly increased in the past 40 years, and these costs can significantly exceed minimum levels of financial responsibility.
But here’s the problem — the information needed to get a better grasp on appropriate minimum insurance rates simply isn’t available because (1) many lawsuits stemming from such accidents are settled out of court and (2) a lot of insurance company information is proprietary.
The FMCSA went on to explain that to “adequately assess the sufficiency of the financial responsibility requirements,” the agency would need access to “more detailed information from the insurance industry, including anonymized claims data. To date, efforts to obtain this information under existing legal authorities and through requests for voluntary disclosure have been unsuccessful.”
If an appropriate minimum insurance requirement isn’t set, carriers may be forced to pay the difference on a hefty settlement bill. Additionally, the rise of nuclear verdicts puts fleets at further risk of bankruptcy.
Championing a safety-first culture undoubtedly makes the biggest impact on fleets’ ability to keep their doors open.
Increased safety means fewer crashes. Fewer crashes mean reduced settlements. Reduced settlements mean less involvement from insurance companies. Less involvement from insurance companies means fleets can better protect their bottom lines.
TVC Pro-Driver can help fleet members develop a safety-first mindset through our partnerships with Bluewire and EROAD. Bluewire uses data analysis to strategically defend fleets’ reputations and guard against runaway verdicts. EROAD offers tracking systems to maximize fleet safety, performance and compliance.
Not yet a TVC Pro-Driver member? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (405) 645-6161 to learn more.