Legislation is being proposed in Congress by Representative Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) that would require liability insurance coverage for truck companies to be raised from its current $750,000 minimum. Illinios victims and of semi truck accidents and their families are expected to benefit from this increase
Despite inflation and the escalating costs of medical care over the years, the $750,000 mimimum level of liability insurance has not been increased since it inception in 1980.
In today's dollars it would take $4.4 million to the provide the equivalent of $750,000 insurance coverage in 1980.
Studies show that if all trucking companies maintained only the minimum $750,000 in coverage, then 42% of the their monetary exposure from settlements would have exceeded their minimum coverage. Stated another way, according to The Trucking Alliance, 42% of all claims for tractor trailer injuries and deaths had values that exceeded $750,000.
I can understand trucking companies not being happy with the possibility of having to buy more liability insurance and having their annual premiums increased. I can also understand trial attorneys wanting the additional insurance dollars available for their clients, especially considering the minimum coverage amounts are based on 1980 dollar values.
More interesting will be the insurance industry's position. Publicly, I am sure they will back their insured truck companies and loudly blame the increase on the trial attorneys. Privately, the insurance industry will be jumping for joy at the increased premiums. Have no fear of the insurance companies going broke paying out on accident and injury claims; no doubt they will all make sure that their increased premiums and investments therefrom will make a tidy profit on the piece of future legislation.
To get more information after you or a family member has been hurt in an accident in Illinois,fill out the form on this website and get your FREE "Illinois Guide Book to Auto Accidents and Injuries" and the "Illinois Guide Book to Semi Truck Accidents." Or better yet, for more direct answers call the Giacoletto Law Firm at 618-346-8841 or toll free at 888-346-8841 to speak today with an experienced Madison or St. Clair County accident attorney centrally located in Collinsville.
Sources: "Bill Proposes Massive Boost in Truck Insurance Minimum," by Timothy Cama in Transport Topic, July 29,2013.
"Study Shows Trucking Companies Underinsured", in The Trucking Alliance, June 4, 2013.