Coalition Forms to STOP Massive INCREASE in Liability Insurance Minimum for Truckers
Washington D.C. – A diverse coalition of more than 60 trade groups and led by the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association (OOIDA) has formed to once again attempt to stop Congress from massively hiking insurance costs for small business truckers.
Last year, the Democratically-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation that would have increased motor carriers’ liability insurance minimum from $750,000 to $2 million.
A coalition heavily comprised of trucking groups such as OOIDA, National Association of Small Trucking Companies, and almost two dozen State trucking associations blasted the move at the time.
Much to the coalition’s satisfaction, the controversial $1.5 trillion infrastructure spending bill known as the Moving Forward Act (MFA-HR 2) gained little traction in the Republican-controlled Senate, where it died.
However, the Senate is no longer a firewall as Republicans lost majority control in last November’s elections.
Now, many of those same groups have once again joined together in an effort to stop Congressional Democrats from accomplishing what they set out to do last year.
In a new letter sent to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, the coalition argues an increase in the insurance liability minimum 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.”
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Further, the coalition asserted that the real question is whether the Democrats would rather do a political favor for trial lawyers, who are staunch allies and big campaign contributors, or put the interests of small businesses first.
“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 said.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) first reported last month there is growing momentum on Capitol Hill to raise the minimum much higher than $2 million and negotiations this time around would begin at $4 million or more.
In fact, trusted sources on Capitol Hill confirmed to TNN again last week this remains the case.
Notably Absent From The Coalition
Two of trucking’s most powerful groups, the American Trucking Associations and the Truckload Carriers Association, did not sign on to the effort to stop a liability minimum increase.
The politics among members on this issue is tricky and fraught with peril for both groups.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for more exclusive reporting and analysis on this issue in the coming weeks.
Photo courtesy Taylor Barker