OOIDA-led coalition rallies to fight minimum insurance hike

February 1, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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About 60 organizations, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, have formed a coalition to fight any attempt to increase the minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers.

The OOIDA-led coalition made up of numerous state and regional trucking associations, agricultural associations and various industry groups sent a letter on Feb. 1 to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to discourage an increase.

Last year, the House voted in favor of an amendment that would have increased motor carriers’ insurance requirements by 167%. Ultimately, the bill stalled in the Senate, but the coalition wants to prevent a similar measure from making it into the next highway bill.

“Our organizations strongly discourage you from including any increase in the existing minimum liability coverage for motor carriers,” the coalition letter stated. “An increase in insurance requirements is wholly unnecessary, would do nothing to improve highway safety and would have a severe negative impact on truckers, farmers, and manufacturers by significantly increasing their operational costs.”

OOIDA has contended that an increase, such as from $750,000 to $2 million, would put many small trucking companies out of business and hinder safety by taking some of the most skilled and experienced truck drivers off the road.

The coalition said the negative effects wouldn’t fall only to truckers.

“Increasing minimum liability coverage would affect all businesses transporting property, not just long-haul trucking companies,” the coalition said. “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, including trucking, agriculture and the materials industries.

“Raising insurance rates for countless businesses engaged in trucking in the midst of the current economic disruption caused by the virus would undoubtedly lead to the loss of even more American jobs. This policy clearly does not belong in legislation that is designed to support economic recovery and encourage growth.”

The coalition also argues that the need to increase the minimum doesn’t exist. Most trucking companies carry $1 million in coverage, and a report from Volpe National Transportations Center determined that the current minimum insurance level adequately covers damages in all but 0.6% of crashes.

“What studies haven’t shown is any improvement to safety associated with increasing insurance requirements,” the coalition said. “There is no reputable research indicating an increase of any amount would help reduce crash rates. Proposals to raise minimum liability coverage are nothing more than an opportunity for their most ardent supporters – trial lawyers – to receive higher payouts from settlements at the expense of American businesses.”

The coalition against raising insurance minimums:

  • 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.
  • 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 Asphalt Pavement Association
  • National Association of Small Trucking Companies.
  • National Aquaculture Association.
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
  • 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.
  • NFIB.
  • North American Millers’ Association.
  • North American Renderers Association.
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
  • Pet Food Institute.
  • Power and Communication Contractors Association.
  • Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.
  • Rhode Island Trucking Association.
  • Southwest Movers Association.
  • South Carolina Trucking Association.
  • South Dakota Trucking Association.
  • Tennessee Trucking Association.
  • Texas Trucking Association.
  • Tilt-Up Concrete Association.
  • Towing and Recovery Association of America.
  • 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

Click here to join or renew your membership in OOIDA.

Mark Schremmer

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.