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Minimum Liability Insurance Increasing and Other Expected Changes in 2021

Here at TruckInsuranceQuotes.com, we frequently monitor the industry to bring our clients news that affects them the most. Below we outline some trucking insurance regulations set to take effect in 2021 as well as speculation on changes in the transportation industry under the new president.

Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly proposed new vehicle and engine standards for model years 2021, 2024, and 2027. The purpose of the new regulations is to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions for medium and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.

Under the new legislation, manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty vehicles must develop and implement cost-saving technologies for the model years indicated above. The standards apply to the following types of vehicles:

  • Semi-trucks
  • Buses
  • All sizes of work trucks
  • Vans
  • Large pick-up trucks

The changes in effect this year will save vehicle owners up to $170 billion dollars, reduce carbon emissions by over one billion metric tons, and reduce the consumption of oil by as much as two billion barrels for the lifespan of vehicles manufactured under these standards. With the new president Joe Biden pushing a green agenda, we expect to see more of these types of regulation in the coming years.

Changes in Transportation Leadership

The presidential change in early 2021 means that the people who head the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FMSCA should change as well. Although new leadership has not yet emerged, transportation industry analysts predict that those who take over will be more regulation friendly.

Under President Donald Trump, the DOT stopped the implementation of trucking insurance regulations that would increase liability requirements for owner-operators and other motor carriers. The DOT also backed away from instituting treatment guidelines for sleep apnea and a speed limiter mandate due to Trump’s regulatory freeze and two-for-one executive order.

Although several parties brought a lawsuit against Trump, the orders stood. President Biden has said that he intends to rescind those orders, which would pave the way for the DOT to bring back proposed changes from 2017. One trucking insurance regulation that could come from the change in the presidency is the requirement for truckers to carry more than $750,000 of liability insurance.

Resolution of California’s Independent Contractor Rule

Under Assembly Bill (AB) 5 in the California legislature, truckers and others who work as independent contractors will have a more difficult time retaining that classification. Passed January 1, 2020, California’s new law considers most workers employees unless employers can meet a strict burden of proof to classify them as independent contractors.

Although the legislature later excluded Lyft and Uber drivers from this ruling under Proposition 22, AB-5 has had a dramatic impact on exemptions for long-haul truckers. While this issue remains in legislation, we expect a clearer answer to emerge this year.

Make Sure You Have Enough Insurance Coverage in 2021

With the likelihood that you will need to increase liability coverage soon, we invite you to contact TruckInsuranceQuotes.com to request free quotes from several carriers. We work with trucking insurance companies to find you the best rates and coverage, and you decide from there which one to pick. Please click here to request your quotes or contact us at 678-271-3449.


Final Rule for Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles | Regulations for Emissions from Vehicles and Engines | US EPA

Trucking trends to watch in 2021: Speed limiters, insurance regs, hours and more | Overdrive (overdriveonline.com)

AB 5 – Employment Status (ca.gov)