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Minimum trucking insurance requirements could be raised

In a number of our posts, we have highlighted the danger that semi-truck pose to motorists on the road. Since trucks are considerably larger than passenger vehicles, the chances of people in passenger cars being injured is quite high. Meanwhile, truckers are commonly not injured in these crashes.

Because of the high degree of liability, commercial truckers are required to carry at least $750,000 in liability insurance. With the rash of trucking accidents being seen over the last few years, it appears that legislators are poised to raise the minimum insurance requirement to $1 million. This has truckers up in arms. 

According to insurer Prime Property & Casualty Insurance, the change is not necessary given that so few accident claims exceed $1 million. The company reports that of the 87,000 trucking accidents reported between January 2006 and March 2012 only 166 claims eclipsed the million dollar mark.

However, personal injury attorneys are not persuaded. They claim that of the 400,000 accidents that occur each year, about 25 percent result in injuries. Of those accidents, 4,000 result in fatalities. When a fatal accident occurs, it invariably exceeds the $750,000 liability limit. Even with people who are critically injured and need lifelong care, the costs of care are likely to exceed the limit as well.

It should be noted that the $750,000 liability requirement was established more than 30 years ago, and the costs of medical care have grown exponentially since then. Because of this, is it likely that the federal government may raise the minimum liability requirement. 

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