This is a great article to read for anyone that operates their own truck fleets.
Especially true for those in the recycling business that operate several different types of rolling stock – including rolloff trucks, luggers, semis, etc.
To summarize the article from The Wall Street Journal:
Unwilling to bear the risk of large settlements and verdicts, Zurich Insurance Group AG and American International Group Inc. dropped coverage of most for-hire fleets earlier this year. Both insurers still cover trucks operated directly by retailers and manufacturers, brokers say. They had been two of the biggest underwriters for the business. Other insurers hiked premiums anywhere from 10% to 30%.
AIG stopped covering trucking fleets via its Lexington Insurance Co. unit as part of a wider effort to improve profits in its commercial insurance division, the company said in a statement. Other AIG units continue to cover truckers, the statement said.
Federal law requires trucking companies to cover drivers up to $750,000 per accident. Many self-insure up to around $1 million, then buy tiers of outside insurance to cover additional costs.
The cost of that extra coverage is putting fresh pressure on the trucking industry, which already is mired in its worst slump since the recession. The average U.S. trucking company spent about 9.2 cents per mile on premiums in 2015, a figure that is up 44% in two years and doesn’t include this year’s hikes, according to the American Transportation Research Institute, an industry group. The figure is dwarfed by the 40 cents per mile spent on fuel and 50 cents per mile paid out to drivers. But diesel prices have fallen and salaries have edged up slightly, making the jump in premiums stand out.
Large accident settlements and verdicts became more common starting around 2011, although settlement amounts tend to be private and aren’t easily tracked. Aon counts at least six cases topping $20 million this year, the most since 2012. Part of the reason is a tactical shift among plaintiffs’ attorneys.
If you are a subscriber to The Wall Street Journal, you can read the full article here: