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The minimum insurance requirements for trucks

Every motorist in Pennsylvania has to carry a certain amount of car insurance in order to be able to drive his or her vehicle legally in this state. These amounts, however, are not that high when one considers the way in which medical expenses and other costs pile up after an accident. The end result is that, in a car accident, an injured person may not get full compensation for his or her losses.

Perhaps because government authorities recognize that truck accidents are, relatively speaking, more likely to result in serious injuries than typical car accidents, truckers and trucking companies have to have additional insurance available in the event of an accident. In all but the most severe of accidents, these limits will cover an injured person's losses if the truck driver's or trucking company's negligence caused the accident.

Specifically, for truckers who travel in an out of Pennsylvania in what is called interstate commerce, the minimum limit of insurance is, with some exceptions, $750,000. Generally speaking, without at least $750,000 liability insurance, a trucking business will not be able to get the certification it needs in order to operate its interstate delivery business legally. If a trucker chooses to try to operate anyway, serious consequences may result. Trucks that are hauling what the federal government deems hazardous materials will have to have even higher liability limits.

Incidentally, vehicles that transport paying customers on an interstate basis are subject to higher limits. Smaller vehicles will have to have a minimum limit of $1.5 million, while full-sized buses require a limit of $5 million.

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