Insurance increase would be arbitrary, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says

July 14, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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A 167% increase to minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers would be an unnecessary burden on the nation’s livestock producers, a representative of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said.

Based out of Centennial, Colo., the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is part of a coalition of more than 60 organizations opposed to a measure in the House highway bill that would increase truckers’ minimum liability insurance from $750,000 to $2 million. The NCBA is the nation’s largest and oldest trade association representing the U.S. beef cattle industry. It represents more than 250,000 producers.

“It’s an arbitrary increase,” said Allison Rivera, executive director of government affairs for the NCBA. “It’s a burden on our members with no direct ties to an increase in safety. Livestock haulers are less than 1% of the trucks on the road, and we already maintain a very high level of safety, because we are moving live haul. Our livestock haulers are highly trained and have to be very cognizant of what’s going on in the back of the trailer for their safety, the safety of everyone on the road and the safety of the animals.

“If it had something to do with safety, our members would probably be supportive, but there is no correlation to an increase in safety.”

Economic impact

The Truck Insurance Coalition, which is led by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and includes dozens of organizations in the trucking, agriculture, construction, manufacturing, materials and towing industries, says the increase would negatively affect the overall economy.

“Increasing minimum liability coverage would harm all businesses transporting property, not just long-haul trucking operations,” the Truck Insurance Coalition wrote to lawmakers last month. “As illustrated by the diversity of our coalition, the impact would be felt in many sectors of the economy that have been working to help our nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic … This policy clearly does not belong in legislation that is designed to support economic recovery and encourage growth.”

The coalition cites an FMCSA commissioned report that showed that the current minimum insurance requirement adequately covered more than 99% of the crashes. Rivera said an “arbitrary” increase is not what cattle producers need as they try to keep the nation fed and recover from the economic downturn that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Any time the input costs on my guys are increased – no matter what that input increase looks like – that affects their bottom line, and that pushes people out of business,” Rivera said. “Something like this brings no safety benefit and is just an added cost during a time when small businesses are trying to stay afloat.”

Construction costs

The concern over the minimum insurance increase isn’t limited to truckers or livestock producers. Earlier this week, a representative of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association told Land Line that the proposed insurance hike would cause the cost of road construction projects to increase at every level.

“We see it as impacting the entire infrastructure community,” said Nile Elam, director of government affairs for Alexandria, Va.-based NSSGA. “Construction costs will go up … At the end of the day, taxpayers will lose out because the projects will cost more.

The Truck Insurance Coalition opposed to increased minimum insurance requirement:

  • Agricultural Retailers Association
  • American Beekeeping Federation
  • American Concrete Pavement Association
  • American Concrete Pipe Association
  • American Concrete Pumping Association
  • American Dairy Coalition
  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Forest and Paper Association
  • American Pipeline Contractors Association
  • American Sheep Industry Association
  • Associated Equipment Distributors
  • Colorado Motor Carriers Association
  • Concrete Foundations Association
  • Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
  • Consumer Brands Association
  • Customized Logistics and Delivery Association
  • Distribution Contractors Association
  • Energy Marketers of America
  • Georgia Motor Trucking Association
  • Hawaii Transportation Association
  • Kansas Motor Carriers Association
  • Livestock Marketing Association
  • Maine Motor Transport Association
  • Mid-West Truckers Association
  • Minnesota Trucking Association
  • Missouri Trucking Association
  • Motor Carriers of Montana
  • Motor Transport Association of Connecticut
  • National Aquaculture Association
  • National Asphalt Pavement Association
  • National Association of Small Trucking Cos.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • National Federal of Independent Business
  • National Grain and Feed Association
  • National Precast Concrete Association
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
  • National Stone Sand and Gravel Association
  • National Utility Contractors Association
  • Nevada Trucking Association
  • New Hampshire Motor Transport Association
  • New Jersey Motor Truck Association
  • New Mexico Trucking Association
  • North American Millers’ Association
  • North American Punjabi Trucking Association
  • North American Renderers Association
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
  • Pet Food Institute
  • Port Drivers Association
  • Power and Communication Contractors Association
  • Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
  • Rhode Island Trucking Association Inc.
  • South Carolina Trucking Association
  • South Dakota Trucking Association
  • Southwest Movers Association
  • Tennessee Trucking Association
  • Texas Trucking Association
  • Tilt-Up Concrete Association
  • Towing and Recovery Association of America Inc.
  • Truck Renting and Leasing Association
  • United Dairymen of Arizona United Fresh Produce Association
  • United States Cattlemen’s Association
  • Vermont Truck & Bus Association
  • Western States Trucking Association
  • Wyoming Trucking Association LL
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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.