TRALA Highlights Renting and Leasing Concerns with FMCSA Minimum Insurance Rulemaking

TRALA on October 28 again cited concerns with the pending mandate that is expected to increase the minimum insurance required for motor carriers and potentially broaden the program to apply it to private carriers for the first time. TRALA made its comments at a meeting of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC), as the committee met to discuss, among other things, "final deliberations" on financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers. FMCSA is set to publish an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for the upcoming rule that is expected to increase the amount of Minimum Financial Responsibility (MFR) coverage that for-hire motor carriers must have. The rulemaking could also subject entities that have not been subject to this mandate - such as private motor carriers - to the new insurance requirement.
TRALA is concerned that the FMCSA rulemaking could require its members to obtain new insurance policies (simply because they are registered as private motor carriers) to comply with the new federal limit even though renting and leasing company employees are seldom the operators of their own vehicles. Operators of commercially leased and rented trucks are contractually required to provide insurance coverage as part of their motor carrier safety responsibilities. TRALA is proactively pushing to avoid a situation in which both TRALA members and their customers would be required to purchase costly insurance policies for the same vehicles.
TRALA discussed this concern with both senior FMCSA officials and MCSAC committee members during the MCSAC meeting October 28. FMCSA officials stated they could not commit to any particular course of action to address the situation TRALA described. However, the pending release of the ANPRM will provide the first opportunity for TRALA to submit formal comments on the insurance rule. TRALA has been discussing current industry insurance practices with its membership in order to gather as much background information as possible in order to help FMCSA understand that renting and leasing companies already have more than enough insurance coverage to protect their trucks and the public.
 A senior FMCSA official at the meeting stated that the pending ANPRM would not specify a desired level for the MFR increase. This first step in the rulemaking process is designed to allow the agency to gather as much information from the public as possible before moving forward and publishing a desired level for the new insurance mandate.
For questions, please contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at or by calling (703) 299-9120.