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Arnold & Itkin LLP Truck Accident Blog2012JanuaryInsurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks

Insurance Requirements for Commercial Trucks

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates nearly all aspects of commercial trucking. From alcohol testing to hours of service requirements to insurance and liability, the FMCSA vividly explains each law so that truck driver negligence and employer negligence related accidents can be prevented. In 49 CFR §§ 355 et seq., the minimum requirements for truck insurance is explained.

The following is a brief overview of the minimum amount of insurance each truck driver must carry:

  • Small freight vehicles under 10,000 GVWR must carry $300,000 in insurance.
  • Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying non-hazardous property must carry $750,000 in insurance.
  • Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying hazardous substances (defined in 49 CFR 171.8) must carry $5,000,000 in insurance.
  • Commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more GVWR carrying oil listed in 49 CFR 172.101 must carry $1,000,000 in insurance.
  • Commercial vehicles weighing under 10,001 GVWR carrying Class A or B explosives, poison gas, or radioactive materials must carry $5,000,000 in insurance.

These rules are set in place with the safety of the community in mind. When a person is involved in an accident caused by a negligent, drunk, or tired truck driver, they will seek compensable damages through the truck driver's insurance company. If a truck driver fails to carry the legal minimum amount of insurance, they may be left paying for the individual's injuries out of their own pocket.

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