On July 18, 2013 U.S. Representative Matthew Cartwright introduced the Safe and Fair Environment on Highways achieved through Underwriting Levels Act of 2013, i.e. the “SAFE HAUL ACT OF 2013”. This bill was introduced to require increased minimum insurance requirements for commercial motor carriers. The minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers was originally established in 1980 by Congress at $750,000. The minimum has not been raised in more than 30 years, and, in present dollars, Representative Cartwright has calculated that it takes more than $4 Million to provide for the equivalent of $750,000 under the original law when it comes to medical care calculations.
As Representative Cartwright stated, “this legislation is essential to protecting our nation’s highways and insuring that victims receive the proper amount of compensation for their losses”. Representative Cartwright has argued that the $750,000 minimum fails to perform the basic functions that were intended i.e. to promote safe operations by holding insurers for motor carriers financially responsible given the insurer’s need to inspect trucking operations of motor carriers prior to underwriting and issuing insurance policies for the benefit of the public. Representative Cartwright has indicated his intention through his proposed bill to increase the required insurance minimum for commercial motor carriers from $750,000 to $4,422,000. According to govtrack.us, a site that tracks bills through Congressional committees and through their journey in the House, it is given a prognosis of a 7% chance of passing committee and a 2% chance of being enacted. It is the House Transportation Infrastructure Committee that is considering this bill.