Ensuring proper compliance and safety measures are in place and practiced will help keep you out of the courtroom. However, the panel shared opinions on the level of coverage each believes is sufficient.
Jerry: Today’s requirement is $750,000 which hasn’t changed over four decades. Some regulators are suggesting limits should increase, but by extremely high numbers. Today, $750K doesn’t go as far as it did four decades ago (increase in cost of vehicles, healthcare, etc.), so this likely isn’t enough. As most carriers provide policies in $1 million increments, Jerry believes $2 million is a reasonable amount of coverage. HUB Drive Excess Liability Shield can help transportation companies secure excess coverage faster and more easily than before.
Rob: The average jury verdict in the U.S. is $3.1 million. The median jury verdict is $1.75 million. When ATRA looked at cases, they noted that 83% of verdicts fell in range of $0 - $5 million. Therefore, Rob recommends $5 million as it covers 83% of verdicts, leaving only a 16% exposure above that.
John: If a transportation company is only buying $1 million in coverage, they best listen carefully to Chris’s presentation and have a highly responsive claims organization on the job, as it will reduce the likelihood of litigation. If you hold only $1 million in coverage, set aside some money for a rainy day because there may be that that one bad case you need to settle. However, John recommends securing $2 million in coverage.
Chris: It’s important to acknowledge the outlier fleet that transports hazardous materials. These fleets are required to carry a $5 million limit (depending on the type of hazmat material, its classification and its division). However, after today’s discussion, Chris is convinced that $2 million is the lower limit to consider.