Motor carrier insurance rates soar after 9-11

Feb. 1, 2002
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its 50 federated state trucking associations have released the results of a survey of 1,000 trucking companies

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and its 50 federated state trucking associations have released the results of a survey of 1,000 trucking companies documenting the severity of the rising cost for primary and “umbrella” insurance.

The survey shows that primary, or general liability, rates increased by 32% for carriers renewing in 2001, with those renewing their policies after September 11 paying an average 37% more. Renewal rates for umbrella insurance in 2001 were pegged at an average 74%, while rate increases after 9-11 rose to 120% — with one hike of more than 1,000%.

William J Canary, president and chief executive officer of ATA, said that while some increases in costs were expected because of 9-11 insurance losses, the jump in the percentages of increases is perplexing because both government statistics and the industry's experience show that trucking companies are driving safer than ever before.

In response to the industry's insurance situation, ATA Chairman David McCorkle of Oklahoma-based McCorkle Truck Lines has appointed an insurance task force to study the issue. The panel, chaired by Fred C Burns Jr of Burns Motor Freight in West Virginia, includes motor carriers of all sizes, representatives of the state trucking associations, and some of ATA's insurance industry partners. Its role is to highlight the trucking industry's insurance cost situation and to seek long- and short-term responses.

For the short term, ATA is developing educational materials for state association members of all sizes. Materials are designed to assist in providing and promoting better safety programs and practices; driver hiring, training, and monitoring systems; safety incentive programs; and loss prevention systems — all of which can lead to lower insurance rates.

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