As if small trucking owner-operators didn’t already have enough going on, now it seems the already high truck insurance costs could be getting even higher with lawmakers passing the amendment to the INVEST Act raising the minimum insurance requirement for truckers from $750,000 to $2,000,000 on Wednesday.
The measure, which was passed by a House Committee by a vote of 37-27 on June 17th was introduced by Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia and Pennsylvania Rep. Matthew Cartwright. Garcia posted a message on Twitter saying that this amendment “isn’t about trial lawyers or an attack on truckers” however many truckers are feeling the complete opposite.
While Garcia is saying it is not about “trial lawyers,” the amendments other co-sponsor has direct ties to a law firm specializing in truck lawsuits and massive verdicts. In-fact his wife is a partner. Cartwright’s wife, Marion Munley was the first woman Chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group and owns the Munley Law Group with her family.
Munley is also an active member of the American Association of Justice, which donated $17,000 to Garcia’s campaign from 2018-2020 according to opensecrets.org. Cartwright has received $52,400 in individual contributions from Munley Law during this period and a whopping $1,879,003 in contributions from lawyers and lawfirms between 2016-2020 according to OpenSecrets.
While this amendment still has to pass the House and Senate, should it pass, small carriers will effectively be put out of business. With insurance premiums already too high for some carriers to sustain, more than doubling those costs seals their fate.