In November, we reported on pending legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 3781—the “Improving National Safety by Updating the Required Amount of Insurance Needed by Commercial Motor Vehicles per Event (INSURANCE) Act of 2019.” H.R. 3781 would have increased the minimum mandatory insurance coverage for interstate trucking companies from $750,000.00 to $4,923,154.00 per event.
An amended version was added to the surface transportation reauthorization bill recently (as offered by H.R. 3781’s original sponsor Rep. Jesus G. “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL)) in the House to increase the minimum insurance coverage to $2,000,000, rather than the $4,923,154.00 originally proposed. The amendment further states that the Bureau of Labor statistics shall adjust the minimum level of insurance “quniquennially” (every five years) for inflation. Originally, the adjustment of the amount was to keep pace with medical-cost inflation, which has traditionally outpaced inflation generally.
This new amendment would still represent a substantial increase in the required coverage per event for interstate motor carriers. However, it does nearly cut in half the increase originally proposed by Representative Garcia and will likely reduce the five-year increases required by the original bill.
This amendment passed the Committee by a vote of 37-27—along party lines.
The amended text of the bill as offered in the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure can be found here. You can follow this and many other pending issues at the website for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.