Uncovering new information on Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance Rates

After numerous phone calls and emails, I have finally been able to find someone who could give me a rough estimate of the premiums which a trucking company might be able to expect if the minimum liability gets increased from $750,000 to $4.2 million. In fact, two people–unbeknownst to each other–referred me to this man, who is the president of an independent insurance agency.

I spoke with him yesterday and explained to him the kind of information that I was looking for and why I was doing so.  I let him know that I have been trying to verify whether there was any truth to the “early estimates” which I have been reading about and that it was important to me to know whether what truckers and Congress were being told was accurate. Specifically, is it accurate that a current premium of $5,000/year could skyrocket to $20,000/year?

He then described to me the graduated system of premium rates–which I had previously heard of through John Lannen: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/06/the-future-of-trucking-who-pays-for-the-costs-of-safer-roads/ John Lannen, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition, has shared background information with us which he has gathered from numerous sources, presentations, and conversations regarding the economics of additional insurance coverage for motor carriers.  It turns out that the first million dollars’ worth of  trucking insurance is the most expensive and each incremental amount is cheaper. . . . ” (For more details, go here: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/06/trucking-minimum-liability-insurance-trucker-wages-a-facebook-conversation/ )”

After speaking with him, I immediately proceeded to email him and document what I had heard him tell me over the phone. I asked him to verify the accuracy of my description. Here is my email to him and his response to me:

Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me and answer my questions about trucking liability.
Please let me know if this is an accurate representation of your rough estimate of the impact of an increase in liability coverage upon trucking premiums:
1st million: $5,000/truck
2nd million: add $1,200
3rd million: add $900
each additional million: would continue to be a smaller increase
So, in this example, a trucker who currently pays $5,000 (and again, I am confused if this means that this $5,000 is for just his liability portion or his whole insurance bill) would pay something a little more than $7,100–like maybe $7,600.
To clarify: That estimate of a trucker’s premium would be for if the liability coverage was $4.2 million.
Would this be an accurate ROUGH estimate?
Marianne
His reply to me:

Marianne:   Thanks for your call and again my sincere regrets for your loss.   Yes, this is a very rough and best guess estimate based on what I see and hear. 

Best wishes in your pursuit. 

I also heard back from a trucker whom I have been in conversation with via email and facebook. Tilden Curl got me in contact with his insurance agent, who responded to the above information with his own estimate:

Hello Marianne and Tilden,

 My condolences, Marianne, for your loss. My heart is heavy for you as Tilden spoke of your story and inquiries to me yesterday. Admittedly my thoughts drifted to you & your daughters while I passed a number of tractor/trailers on the freeway just last night. . . 

Due to so many factors the variance of premiums is enormous. We have seen some at $1,800 all the way up to $9,000 annual.

Historically, since the current minimums were mandated back in early 1980s, a good average would be the $5,000 mark. It does tend to flow up and down with the economy, markets, catastrophic events, and such, but a good average is the $5K.

I can only speculate on what the premiums would be if federal mandate were to be elevated to a $1.5MM, $2MM, $3MM or even $4.2MM limits.

The numbers estimated in the other emails seem pretty low to me. I would think closer to:

1.5MM – $6,200 +/- annual

2MM – $7,000 – $7,500

3MM – $7,800 – $8,400

4.2MM – $8,600 – 9,300

Mark D. Johnson

HUB International Transportation Insurance Services, Inc.

Even if we go with the second estimate, $9,300, this is still only an increase of $4,300 from a current $5,000. Compare this to the “early estimate” of $20,000 or more, which is what is being told to truckers and would increase their premium by $15,000/year.

Thus, the estimates I have been given are at least $11,700/year less than what truckers are apparently being told. Big difference.

Furthermore, I am assuming, that Congress has been told that the rates will skyrocket and go up to $20,000. So the question is:  Did Congress vote upon the THUD Appropriations Bill — to take away funding from FMCSA which would allow them to continue the rulemaking on this vital matter (previously authorized by Congress) — based on INACCURATE information?

Read about that here:

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