Insurance and reinsurance companies are concerned about evolving regulations. There are two principal areas of immediate focus — the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010, or CSA 2010, and the demise of the requirement that motor carriers provide evidence of cargo insurance through a filing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
CSA 2010 is a major initiative to promote commercial motor vehicle safety. Through a re-engineering of the former SafeStat program, the FMCSA is assessing individual motor carrier performance in basically seven critical areas impacting carrier safety. Phase 1 has been completed and was designed to “target” inspection to a limited beta test of states, carriers and criteria. Phase 2 expands the program in geographic scope and uses all seven criteria.
From an insurance industry perspective, a positive development is getting the “bad actors,” whether carriers or drivers, off the road for improvement in deficient areas. The insurance and motor carrier industries are watching this issue closely to evaluate whether the criteria used and method of expressing the results will assist motor carriers in improving operations and reducing the frequency and severity of accidents.
Our other big deal is the March 21, 2011, withdrawal of the requirement for cargo insurance in the BMC-32 regarding for-hire motor carriers and freight forwarder liability — excluding household goods carriers and related freight forwarders. This long-standing trucking legal liability insurance policy protection will soon be gone. So in the spirit of less regulation, the FMCSA has directed the shipping industry “to protect itself by insuring that the carriers with whom they do business are adequately insured.”
Shippers need to consider whether their own insurance programs adequately protect them for loss of goods shipped by motor carriers.
The economy certainly is No. 1 on everybody’s list of concerns today, but the critical issues facing the transportation industry also include full implementation of CSA 2010 and evolving government regulation. One appears to be a good thing; the jury is still out on the other.