Stephen Hasner | Truck Accidents | February 11, 2021
If you’ve never heard of MCS-90 before, you’re not alone. Generally speaking, the people who know about MCS-90 tend to be the ones that work in the commercial trucking industry.
If you have been injured in a collision with a commercial truck, you will probably learn a lot more about MCS-90. MCS-90 is a type of insurance endorsement that can make a huge difference in the outcome of your personal injury claim.
In the following post, we will explain what MCS-90 is and how it works. We will discuss the types of accidents that are covered under MCS-90 and explore its minimum coverage limits.
MCS-90 is an insurance coverage option for commercial vehicles. This type of feature is known as an “endorsement.” An insurance endorsement is a type of coverage that can be added to a standard insurance policy for an additional cost. Almost every commercial trucking company that is involved in interstate commerce will have an MCS-90 endorsement.
The MCS-90 endorsement is designed to cover potential damages against members of the public. When a trucking company is responsible for causing damage, MCS-90 endorsements guarantee a certain amount of financial recovery for the victim. If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial motor vehicle, the MCS-90 coverage may be the best way to secure compensation.
These endorsements make sure that you can get compensation even if the trucking company is unable to pay for your damages directly. It also covers your damages in the event that the trucking company’s standard policy does not apply to your accident.
An Example of MCS-90 Applications
Suppose that you are driving down I-75. A freight truck swerves across your lane of traffic. You try your best to avoid a crash, but you are unable to prevent the collision.
You are injured in the accident and are forced to spend months in the hospital to deal with a traumatic brain injury. The costs of your medical care, lost wages from missed work, and vehicle repairs are massive. You incur over $100,000 in damages, without including your pain and emotional suffering.
Usually, you would be compensated for the damages by the insurance provider of the trucking company. But suppose that the driver was experiencing a fit of road rage at the time of the crash. Road rage is considered to be an “exclusion” in many standard commercial insurance policies.
Since the insurance company would reject your claim, you might attempt to file a lawsuit to secure compensation. Perhaps you’d learn that the truck driver is a low-wage worker and can’t cover the excessive costs that you sustained. Additionally, the trucking company is virtually insolvent. At this point, you may feel hopeless.
A situation like this is exactly what the MCS-90 was designed to prevent.
The MCS-90 Endorsement
Commercial trucking companies that operate across state lines in interstate commerce are required to prove that they can cover any damages that their trucks cause to the public. This regulation was put in place to protect public interests by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Under this endorsement, companies are liable for damages even if their insurance policy does not cover them. MCS-90 endorsements are designed to help motor carriers to meet this regulation.
Under policy add-ons, the insurance provider agrees to cover any claims made by a member of the public against the trucking company. MCS-90 claims do not have to fall within the parameters of the motor carrier’s standard policies.
It might seem strange that insurance companies would be willing to offer this type of an endorsement. There are two reasons that insurance providers offer MCS-90s, which include:
Regular Payments from the Motor Carrier
Just like any insurance policy, the provider makes money from the regular payments that their clients make. In this case, the trucking company makes regular payments to keep the MCS-90 coverage in place.
Claim for Reimbursement
If the insurance provider ever has to pay out for an MCS-90 claim, they have the option to seek reimbursement from the trucking company afterward.
It might seem like MCS-90 endorsements are too good to be true, especially if you are an accident victim. But there are a number of important qualifications to be aware of when you plan to seek financial recovery through an MCS-90 claim.
Conditions for MCS-90 to Apply
The MCS-90 endorsement is only relevant in certain types of commercial trucking accidents. As we noted above, in order for MCS-90 to be relevant, the motor carrier must be involved in interstate business.
If you have been injured by a commercial truck that was only doing business inside of Georgia, you cannot seek compensation through MCS-90. Trucking companies that only do business in a single state usually don’t carry these endorsements.
In order for the MCS-90 coverage to be relevant in your accident, the following must be true:
- The trucking company’s standard insurance policy does not cover the resulting damage from the accident.
- The trucking company is found to be legally at fault for causing the collision.
- You are unable to secure compensation through other avenues. These include the company’s standard policy, the truck driver’s insurance coverage, or your own provider.
- You do not work for the trucking company in question.
MCS-90 endorsements are only designed to cover members of the public. They do not apply to trucking employees or contractors.
If your accident meets these qualifications, you can seek financial recovery through an MCS-90 claim.
The federal regulations for MCS-90 endorsements require certain liability minimums to be met. These vary depending on the cargo that the truck was carrying at the time of the accident.
Liability minimums include:
- $750,000 for trucks carrying non-hazardous material or other cargo
- $5,000,000 for trucks carrying certain hazardous materials
- $1,000,000 for trucks carrying oil, certain types of waste, and other toxic substances
- $5,000,000 for smaller trucks that are carrying certain dangerous substances
If you have been injured by a commercial truck, understanding MCS-90 may help you to recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact an accomplished personal injury attorney to determine the best way to secure financial recovery in your case.