If you’re in the transportation business then you need to adhere to federal and state insurance requirements. The Surface Transportation Board and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are federal agencies that regulate and oversee interstate commerce. The purpose of these agencies is to prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes by enforcing safety regulations, improving information systems, and targeting high-risk drivers.
As I’m sure you know, truck-related crashes are occurring pretty frequently and they’re costing insurance carriers millions a year. This is the reason truck insurance rates have been rising astronomically over the past several decades. So, despite this, adequate insurance coverage is needed to protect your drivers, your business, and the general public.
In this article, we’ll discuss the requirements for state and federal insurance filings. Let’s get started!
What Are Truck Insurance Filings?
Essentially, filings are obtained from your insurance carrier. These certificates are proof that you’ve obtained the minimum required insurance coverage set by your state and the federal government.
Truck Insurance State Filings
If you transport exempt goods then you have to show proof that you’ve purchased the minimum required insurance coverage for that state. So, on top of the federal requirements, you’ll need to submit a state filing for every state you operate in. If you only do business in one state then that’s the only state filing you have to worry about. You’ll also need to submit Form E, Form F, Form H, and Form K which show that you’re adhering to your state’s insurance guidelines.
Currently, only nine states don’t require truck insurance filings:
- New Jersey
Truck Insurance Federal Filings
Do your trucks, drivers, or goods cross state lines? If so, your trucking business will have to comply with federal operating rules and safety standards. This includes getting your vehicle inspected regularly, paying your vehicle registration fees, and submitting the necessary interstate filings.
If it’s unclear what’s considered interstate commerce, refer to our article intrastate vs interstate.
BMC 34 or BMC 83
You must submit this form if you haul hazardous materials, transport passengers, or participate in interstate commerce.
If your vehicle is insured by multiple carriers then you must submit this form. This shows that you’ve purchased the necessary liability coverage.
This insurance covers property damage, bodily injury, and environmental restoration. Depending on the type of business you do you’ll need to submit a BMC-84 or BMC-85 and a BMC-91.
If you work as a freight broker or forwarder, these filings are critical to ensuring the financial security of the goods you transport. A $75,000 surety bond or trust fund agreement is required and can be satisfied with either of these filings.
A BMC-91 filing serves as proof that you have the required liability coverage for transporting people and goods across state lines.
A DOT number is a unique identifier that federal agencies use to monitor and collect company safety information, inspection reports, crash reports, and so on.
Having a DOT number is required if you fall into the following criteria:
- Transport heavy or hazardous materials that require a safety permit to operate (in intrastate trucking)
- Your truck’s GVWR is 10,001 pounds or more
- You transport 8 or more passengers for compensation
- You transport 15 or more passengers not for compensation
- Participate in interstate commerce
Truck insurance filings are important for the protection of your business. It may seem like a lot of work, and it can be challenging figuring out what insurance filings you need to submit. Therefore, it’s best to seek help from a professional who can guide you through the truck insurance process and get you the required forms.