House committee approves key legislation to stop fed insurance hike

Posted on May 15, 2015

The House Committee on Appropriations on May 13, 2015, approved significant legislation that would prevent for one year the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from spending any money to develop, issue, or implement any regulation that increases the level of minimum financial responsibility for motorcoach companies.

The Appropriations Committee vote tells FMCSA to stop spending money to write a rule or do research; that would raise the federal insurance minimums above the current $5 million figure.

“The passage of this bill is a big win for all motorcoach companies that, in many cases are owned and operated by second and third generation families. ABA and other members of this coalition told Congress there is no credible evidence to support claims by some that higher insurance minimums would make the industry any safer. ABA believes that any proposed increase in the insurance requirements must be done based on reliable scientific research and not on the whims of regulators,” said ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “In addition, raising the insurance minimums would put still another financial burden on these companies, because of the higher cost to buy additional insurance. We salute the entire House Committee on Appropriations for this common sense vote, and we will be watching this closely as it moves through the full House, onto the Senate and the White House.”

While this victory is significant, the legislation must also be approved by the full House of Representatives and the Senate. ABA is encouraging its motorcoach members to reach out to their Members of Congress and U.S. Senators and let them know they support the Transportation/Housing and Urban Development Appropriation Bill, specifically Section 134.

Last year when FMCSA announced it would begin researching a possible increase in the insurance minimums, ABA’s Government Affairs and Policy team started working with organizations to form a coalition to take our industry’s case to Congress. ABA will continue that effort to protect the interests of the entire motorcoach industry, according to a statement.

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