New Liability Limits - Are You In the Know?

May 28, 2015

Liability Limits

One of the risks that goes along with owning a trucking company is having to make liability payments if one of your drivers injures someone in an accident. This amount is decided on through the legal system and typically goes toward compensating victims for medical care. The minimum liability requirement right now is $750,000. In semi truck driver news, though, that could be changing soon if a bill currently under review by Congress ends up being passed.

The "Safe Haul" Bill

The Safe Haul Bill, which was introduced in 2013, would raise the minimum liability requirement to $4.4 million, a significant increase from the current requirement. Proponents of the bill argue that the minimum requirement of $750,000 was established in the 1980s and does not provide enough financial compensation to cover medical care for injured victims today. They claim that medical care inflation costs make the current requirement inadequate and cause additional hardship for those who have been injured.

The Controversy

The Safe Haul Bill has been a source of debate in the trucking industry. Those who are against the bill argue that there aren't that many claims that go above the $750,000 limit as is. They believe that the current minimum liability requirement provides enough financial compensation for accident victims. Those who support the bill claim that the higher minimum is needed in order to ensure that victims receive enough money to cover the higher cost of medical care. They also hope it will encourage safer driving among truck drivers.

If the bill passes, commercial trucking companies will need to pay more for insurance coverage in order to meet the new minimum liability requirement. Owners of smaller companies should watch closely to see if this legislation passes, since it could cause more financial strain for them.

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