Think on Your Fleet - What the Safe Haul Act could mean to your commercial fleets
Think on your Fleet:
Within the trucking industry specifically, there are many concerned companies keeping an eye on a bill -H.R.2730 - SAFE HAUL Act of 2013 that was quietly introduced into the House of Representatives last July and is currently in committee.
The purpose of this bill is to increase the insurance requirements for motor carriers and private motor carriers carrying property. The minimum auto liability insurance limits, which have been at $750,000 since 1980, would increase to $4.422 million.
The stated purpose for this increase is due to the increasing costs of medical care following a crash, and the bill would tie future limit increases to healthcare inflation. In reality, a number of large companies already protect their assets well beyond not only the current $750,000, but even this new proposed level.
However, many smaller carriers or private businesses with their own fleet, fear it is not economically feasible for them to carry such limits and still remain competitive in the marketplace, and hence are not happy with this proposed bill.
So how would those supporting the bill describe the benefits to having these higher limits? The first is fairly straightforward. By increasing the limits of insurance, a motor carrier is less likely to have assets seized to pay for damages. While that is a rare occurrence, it does happen and typically means the end of operations for that carrier. It is much easier to sleep at night knowing your company is protected.
Higher limits are also quickly becoming a requirement for many shippers. There is no worse feeling than having to decline a contract simply because you do not have the proper insurance in place.
Given the potential legal requirements on the horizon and some larger customers demanding higher limits as part of their contractual requirements, now might be the time to speak with a professional risk management consultant to evaluate your options in this ever changing landscape.