How Much Insurance Do Truck Drivers Carry?
All interstate truckers are required under federal law to carry a certain minimum amount of insurance. In addition to federal laws, individual states have laws mandating that truckers carry certain insurance coverage.
These insurance requirements have been put in place to protect the victims of truck accidents from truckers or trucking companies that cannot afford to pay the victim compensation out of their own pockets.
Current Federal Minimums
Under Title 49, Section 387 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations, all truckers who have a gross weight of 10,000 pounds or more must meet the following minimum insurance requirements:
- A truck carrying non-hazardous goods must maintain a minimum policy of $750,000 insurance coverage for any damage to property or injury to others.
- Any truck transporting HAZMAT materials or explosives must have a minimum policy of $5,000,000 for bodily injury and property damage.
Trucks that weigh in at under 10,000 pounds must carry at least $300,000 in insurance coverage if transporting non-hazardous goods and $5,000,000 for HAZMAT materials.
Recently, a measure went to the House of Representatives that would have increased the minimum insurance requirements for commercial truckers. A recent report by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that the current minimum of $750,000 is inadequate to meet the costs associated with many accidents, due mainly to rising medical costs.
The limits have not been raised in 30 years. The House narrowly voted to block the measure, but it will likely resurface in the future as trucking regulators and politicians struggle to find the ideal insurance minimum to protect victims and not hinder the trucking industry.
State Minimums and Other Considerations
Most states additionally set their own insurance minimums that often exceed federal standards. Due to the size, weight, and physical dimensions of commercial trucks, any truck accident is likely to result in serious injuries and property damage to those in the smaller passenger motor vehicle. Accordingly, the minimum insurance requirements for trucks far exceed that of automobiles.
It is important to remember that these figures are just the minimums. Many trucking companies will carry higher insurance limits to protect themselves in the event of an accident. Additionally, truck accidents may involve liability on behalf of more than one party. For instance, if a defective truck part contributed to the accident, the product manufacturer will bring a different insurer and insurance policy to the table.
The scope for damages is far higher in truck accidents than many other types of accidents. For this reason, if you are injured in a trucking accident, you should retain the assistance of an experienced truck accident attorney. The payout for truck accidents can be substantial, but you will need strong counsel to assess your damages and battle the insurance company on your behalf.
Zinda Law Group: Experienced Counsel for Your Truck Accident Case
If you were injured in a truck accident case, the truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group are here to help. Our respected law firm offers offices across the nation and has the experience you need to seek the best possible outcome. We understand the devastating nature of any truck accident and will devote our time and resources to seeing that you obtain a full recovery.
Our firm will seek compensation for your medical expenses, long term disability, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact the experienced truck accident attorneys at Zinda Law Group toll free at 800-863-5312 for aggressive, skilled, and dedicated representation. We offer free, confidential consultations to new clients and there are no fees unless we win your case.