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What Are the FMCSA Insurance Requirements?

FMCSA insurance requirements are designed to increase safety and reduce liability within the trucking industry. Interstate and intrastate carriers are required to file proof of insurance with the FMCSA, as well as legal representation forms. 

Ensuring FMCSA insurance requirements are critical to safely getting on the road. Let’s dive into what those requirements are and what the process looks like.

What Is the FMCSA?

The FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation. The FMCSA regulates the trucking industry to prevent crashes, injuries, and fatalities. FMCSA license and insurance are requirements all carriers must meet. 

Is there FMCSA Minimum Insurance Requirements?

The FMCSA requires commercial auto liability insurance. According to the FMCSA, they require insurance between $750,000 and $5,000,000, depending on the type of cargo being transported. For non-hazardous materials being transported in vehicles that weigh less than 10,001 lbs. 

BMC-91 or BMC-91X

The FMCSA forms BMC-91 or BMC-91X is a form required of motor carriers and freight forwarders. It pertains to public liability insurance. This type of insurance relates to property damage, environmental restoration and bodily injury. It is required for all carriers transporting people or goods across state lines. 

Minimum for freight ranges from $750,000 to $5,000,000; for passengers it is $5,000,000. For vehicles with a capacity of 15 passengers or fewer, the minimum is $1,500,000.

BMC-34 or BMC-83

The FMCSA forms BMC-34 or BMC-83 are required for household goods motor carriers and household goods freight forwarders. This pertains to cargo insurance. The minimum is $5,000 per vehicle plus $10,000 per occurrence. Of course, higher limits are available and recommended in most cases. 

BMC-84 or BMC-85

The FMCSA forms BMC-84 or BMC-85 pertain to freight forwarders and brokers of freight. Brokers and freight forwarders need proof of insurance of at least $75,000. The BMC-84 is a surety bond of $75,000. In this case, brokers pay a percentage of the $75,000 as a monthly or yearly premium. For the BMC-85, brokers pay the full $75,000 into a trust fund as insurance.

BOC-3

The FMCSA BOC-3 form is filed by process agents on behalf of the carrier. It is required for interstate transportation companies. 

MCS-90

The FMCSA MCS-90 form is a hazmat carrier safety permit. This endorsement must be attached to an auto liability policy to meet federal requirements. This form is required for both interstate and intrastate trucking companies.  

How Do I Show Proof of Insurance to FMCSA?

Proof of insurance is arranged directly with the FMCSA by your insurance company through online filings. To provide FMCSA proof of insurance, request that your insurance company submit the insurance filings online. 

How Do I Update Insurance Information on FMCSA?

You can update insurance information to FMCSA online, by email, fax, or mail. 

  • FMCSA website: To update your USDOT licensing number and insurance, fill out the MCS-150 form. You can submit this via web form here.   
  • Fax: To update insurance information via fax, you can send the signed MCS-150 to (202) 366-3477 or (606) 330-3802.
  • Mail: To update insurance information via mail, you can send the signed form to: 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Office of Registration and Safety Information (MC-RS)
Applications Production Team, 6th Floor
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590

Note that the older versions of the MCS-150, called the MCS-150B and MCS-150C are no longer accepted by the FMCSA.

FMCSA Insurance Requirement Process 

In preparing FMCSA insurance, keep in mind the applications, legal process, and where to file. Here is everything you need to know:

Applications and Legal Process Agent Documents

In addition to filing an application for operating authority, you must have your specific required insurance. Beyond the basic insurance requirements, all carriers must have legal process agent documents on file with the FMCSA. These processing agents are representative of the carrier in case of court hearings or court papers being served. Process agents can be selected from a recommended list on the FMCSA website. 

Submit required forms within 90 days

Applicants and carriers will receive a designated docket number. Once you receive the required docket number, you must file within 90 days. According to the FMCSA, these filings are required within 90 days after the FMCSA has published a public notice of intention to register the applicant. For this, be prepared with your registered agent and insurance company to meet the necessary deadlines. 

Know Where to File

In order to meet the 90-day deadline, be prepared and create a filer account within the FMCSA. Normally only insurance companies or insurers can create insurance filer account requests. Insurance companies should file forms BMC-91, 91X, 34, and 84. Financial institutions should file form BMC-85. To request a filer account, email  mc-ecc.comments@dot.gov or fill out an online request via web form

You can also mail the request to: 

Office of Registration and Safety Information (MC-RS)

1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W63-105

Washington, DC 20590

Coverage

When preparing FMCSA filings, ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage, not only to meet FMCSA minimums but to protect your company from liability. While $750,000 is the FMCSA minimum, carefully consider meeting all requirements for your freight and vehicles. 

Minimums

For many companies, the protection of valuable assets makes having a higher insurance premium essential. Having only the minimum is not always the best move because you want enough coverage to have yourself and your equipment properly protected. Your insurance company can help you assess the equipment value and freight value for your company to ensure adequate coverage. 

Special Coverage

In addition to standard coverage, carriers must acquire special coverage for special freight including household goods, hazardous materials, temperature-sensitive, high-value freight, and other protected freight. 

FMCSA Insurance for your protection

FMCSA insurance requirements are designed to keep you and your company safe on the road. The policies of the FMCSA target the trucking industry to improve safety and reduce liability, making the roads and national transport networks safe for everyone. 

While it can take some time to ensure that all forms are in place, a legal process agent and your insurance company can help with much of the filing. With online filing forms, most of the paperwork can be filed instantly, ensuring company FMCSA compliance and company safety.

FAQ

Is FMCSA required?

FMCSA registration is required for carriers transporting people or goods as a part of interstate commerce. Carriers must also have a USDOT number.

Do I need insurance to get an MC number?

Yes, you need insurance to get an MC number.

How do I show proof of insurance to FMCSA?

To show proof of insurance to FMCSA, your insurance company should file it online. You can contact your insurance company to confirm that they have filed the required insurance information.

One-Stop-Shop With TAP

TAP & Cornerstone Insurance, is a one-stop-shop with access to multiple insurance markets to provide the best pricing and service available in the trucking industry. To receive a free quote, click the button below!

One-Stop-Shop With TAP

TAP & Cornerstone Insurance, is a one-stop-shop with access to multiple insurance markets to provide the best pricing and service available in the trucking industry. To receive a free quote, click the button below!