Federal Truck Laws
There are federal and state laws which require commercial motor vehicles to carry insurance for various types of losses. These laws also require that certain types of insurance must be purchased at minimum limits. These laws are designed to protect motorists and others with an insurable interest in the event that property damage and/or personal injuries are caused by a large truck accident.
Title 49, Section 387 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations sets forth minimum insurance limits for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. These limits are as follows:
- $750,000 for Bodily Injury and Property Damage for non hazardous general commodities
- $1 million for Bodily Injury and Property Damage for hazardous materials, except explosives
- $5 million Bodily Injury and Property Damage for explosives and hazardous materials transported in specified tanks
Truck Accident Liability
For vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds the following minimum limits apply:
- $300,000 Bodily Injury and Property Damage for general commodities
- $5 million Bodily Injury and Property Damage for any quantity of explosives or poison gas, or radioactive materials
Common carriers must carry minimum liability as listed above plus another $10,000 cargo insurance.
State laws vary on the specific amount of insurance they require trucking companies to carry. Some examples include:
Texas requires that commercial motor vehicles with a gross weight in excess of 26,000 pounds carry a minimum of $500,000 worth of insurance. Foreign motor carriers or foreign private carriers defined by federal law have to carry the $750,000 insurance required by federal law.
Some states require that vehicles with a gross weight over 50,000 pounds provide a combined minimum single coverage limit of $300,000 and $25,000 in property damage.