Understanding the MCS-90 Endorsement
Interstate trucking is a highly regulated industry. These trucking laws were put in place to protect the public, which must share the roads with tractor-trailers that put them at risk due to their enormous size and weight. One aspect of regulation is mandatory insurance requirements. Usually, when a catastrophic truck accident occurs, the trucking company’s vehicle is covered under its insurance policy. If the truck is not covered under the insurance policy, the mandatory MCS-90 endorsement acts as a safety net. Attorneys at our law firm serving Central Florida and Polk County, including Lakeland, Bartow, Winter Haven, and Haines City, can apply MCS-90 so trucking accident victims can receive the compensation they deserve. We are a dedicated team of personal injury experts with extensive truck accident experience. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, contact our office to schedule a a free consultation.
Under the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, trucking companies must comply with certain financial responsibility requirements by maintaining insurance (or another form of surety) to pay victims in case of an accident resulting from their negligence. The majority chooses to purchase an MCS-90 endorsement as part of their Truckers Coverage Form or Business Auto Policy. The only time the MCS-90 applies is when the insurance policy it is attached to does not provide coverage for a judgment against the trucking company. There are a number of reasons that coverage might not be provided. For example, it could be due to an underwriting mistake, insolvency, or the policy’s terms and how they relate to the crash. Regardless of the reason, the MCS-90 prevents insurance companies from denying claims even if the commercial truck involved in the accident is not listed in the policy. The endorsement provides insurance coverage up to $750,000.
Application of MCS-90
For the MCS-90 to apply, the following circumstances must exist:
- The vehicle is being utilized in interstate commerce, and the accident occurs within the U.S.
- The vehicle is not covered under the responsible party's insurance policy
- There is a final judgment for negligence in operation of the motor vehicle
- No other source of recovery for the injured plaintiff exists from the insured (and possibly from any other party)
- The claimant is a third party who incurred bodily injury or property damage rather than the insured itself (in other words, the MCS-90 does not apply to employee injury or cargo)
When you are an injured party in a truck accident and the insurance company cites a coverage issue as a defense, your attorney should immediately file a lawsuit against the trucking company, the driver, and the owners. This situation is exactly why the MCS-90 was created under federal law.
Effectiveness of the MCS-90
The MCS-90 is a potent tool against insurers who would attempt to use “coverage defenses” to avoid paying judgments to injured parties. The provision states that “no condition, provision, stipulation, or limitation contained in the policy, this endorsement, or any other endorsement thereon, or violation thereof, shall relieve the company from liability or from the payment of any final judgment, within the limits of liability herein described, irrespective of the financial condition, insolvency or bankruptcy of the insured.” This broad language prevents the insurance company from denying claims in all but the rarest of cases.
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We have litigated hundreds of personal injury cases, and will do everything in our power to ensure our clients' just compensation. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a commercial truck and are seeking expert legal advice, schedule a free consultation today.