Sparks are flying after the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved an amendment last week that would hike the cost of insurance requirements for commercial motor vehicles.
Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia introduced the INVEST Act last Wed., which would increase the current $750,000 liability insurance minimum to $2 million, stating that current requirements were established back in 1980 and haven’t been updated to account for the price of inflation since. He further emphasized that, “This isn’t about trial lawyers or an attack on truckers. It’s about supporting families who have lost loved ones,” leaving them crippled with “medical care costs resulting from catastrophic crashes.” (1)
OOIDA Speaks Out
The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association originally supported the highway bill, which called for “increased funding for highway construction, $250 million for truck parking projects, new restrictions on tolling, limits to excessive detention time and predatory lease-to-own schemes, and further analysis on H-1B visa use within the trucking industry.” (2)
OOIDA later revoked its support from HR2, the INVEST ACT, calling Garcia’s amendment a “poison pill” that would prove detrimental to small carriers who are already being defeated by low industry rates and would be driven out of business by higher insurance requirements. Furthermore, OOIDA argued that the increase in insurance would not affect the safety of trucks on highways and that only 0.06% of accidents that do occur exceed $750,000. (2)
While the INVEST Act was approved last Wed., other mandates such as underride guards (which OOIDA believed would also lead to economic hardships for small carriers), an elimination of funding towards the truck parking shortage, and the DRIVE-Safe Act that would allow 18-year-olds CMV drivers to travel interstate, were denied.
In order for the insurance requirements to increase, the INVEST Act would still need to get approval from the House and Senate.
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