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The last decade has seen a massive increase in vehicle crashes involving large trucks, as well as significant judgments against the trucking companies that own them.
These rising lawsuits are significantly and negatively impacting the trucking industry and commercial truck insurance. If you own a fleet, then you have likely been troubled by this upward trajectory.
While that might seem problematic, do not despair.
ALLCHOICE has you covered. We will work tirelessly to keep your company protected while maintaining excellent coverage for an affordable price.
What is a Nuclear Lawsuit Verdict?
A “nuclear verdict” is when a jury awards $10 million or more in a court judgment. The verdicts are negatively impacting trucking companies since these verdicts are driving up commercial truck insurance costs for the industry.
Trucking Industry Lawsuit Verdicts Increase
Lawsuits with verdicts more significant than $1 million involving a large truck and dump truck crashes have increased significantly in little more than a decade.
From 2010 to 2018, there was a 1,000% increase in these verdicts, rising from $2.3 million to over $22.3 million.
Why Are Truck Industry Nuclear Verdicts On the Rise?
There are two main reasons “nuclear verdicts” are on an upward trajectory.
First, the rising trend appears to align with the increase of accidents occurring with trucks.
According to the National Safety Council, from 2010 to 2019, there was a 43% increase in fatal crashes involving large trucks and dump trucks.
Congestion on the road is to blame for this increase in crashes. Having more vehicles on the road without an infrastructure to support it has caused increased vehicle collisions, including those with large trucks. Since that does not appear to be decreasing, this trend is likely here to stay.
The second reason that “nuclear verdicts” are on the rise is due to the corporate mistrust by jury members.
Since accidents can be tragic, when jury members hear about them, they sometimes feel that social injustice has occurred. They try to rectify that injustice by awarding a considerable judgment against the truck company involved in the crash.
How Are Nuclear Verdicts Affecting the Trucking Insurance?
The spike in “nuclear verdicts” is negatively impacting the trucking industry across the board. Although large trucks do not cause all crashes, their fleet companies are disproportionately targeted by attorneys since they carry higher insurance coverage. That means insurance premiums have increased dramatically for trucking companies.
According to the American Transportation Research Institute, low-risk fleets see an average annual increase of about 8-10% in their insurance rates. New companies, or “average-to-marginal” risk motor carriers, are experiencing sharper increases at about 35-40%.
Commercial Auto Insurance premium increases are more negatively impacting small companies since they pay out of pocket much more on a per-unit basis than larger fleets. Some companies simply cannot afford the rise in costs.
In addition to an increase in premiums, many insurance companies have become more selective in who they choose to insure.
Although this is the case nationwide, ALLCHOICE values its commercial vehicle insurance clients. We will work to help you find the right coverage for your company for the best possible value.
How To Buy Commercial Vehicle Insurance
If you own a company that requires commercial vehicle insurance, ALLCHOICE has you covered. Even though insurance rates are on the rise, ALLCHOICE will help you find affordable premiums without sacrificing coverage.