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Congress again floats massive increase to trucking insurance minimums

Bill intro’d, again, to hike trucking insurance minimums

In what has become something of a ritual in Congress, a bill has been introduced that would, if passed and signed into law, increase the minimum liability insurance requirements for interstate motor carriers from $750,000 to $5 million.

Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-Illinois) and Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) introduced the “Fair Compensation for Truck Crash Victims Act” on Dec. 22. Garcia has previously authored the “Improving National Safety by Updating the Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event (INSURANCE) Act.”

Like previous attempts to increase insurance minimums for carriers, the new legislation also ties the minimums to inflation to keep pace “with the rising cost of healthcare and other expenses,” a press release from Garcia said.

The bill would require the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to adjust the liability insurance minimum every five years for inflation relating to medical care.

“For too long, truck crash victims and their families have been burdened by tremendous emotional and financial consequences, facing a mountain of medical debt and shattered lives,” Garcia said. “The Fair Compensation for Truck Crash Victims Act is about justice, responsibility, and protecting our communities. It’s time to ensure that trucking companies have adequate insurance to cover the true cost of their actions and prevent families from being financially destroyed by crashes they had no control over.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Jared Huffman (D-California), John Garamendi (D-California), Adriano Espaillat (D-New York), and Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee).

Previous attempts to increase insurance minimums have stalled before reaching the full House floor for a vote.

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