MCS-90 is not the insurance in itself but an endorsement. However, motor carriers must have MCS-90 documents attached to the auto liability policies. It provides additional compensation for bodily injuries when a trucking company is unable to comply with its own rules and regulations.

The MCS‐90 endorsement is used to create an obligation for the public to pay judgment that resulted from maintenance, operational negligence, or any other use of motor vehicles. It may happen whether or not the truck is covered or identified according to the insurance policy for which there is an endorsement attached. 

What Is The Need For An MCS-90 Endorsement?

The MCS-90 endorsement need begins in part owing to the Federal Motor Carrier Act of 1980. It states that every motor carrier that takes part in interstate commerce will be required to show proof of financial responsibility that is set by the state which is equal to or greater than the minimum limit of that specific state. 

The motor carrier can show their financial responsibility proof in any of the three ways mentioned below:

  • Option 1: If the motor carrier chooses to obtain insurance through the standard market, the MCS-90 endorsement will come into play.
  • Option 2: If the motor carrier chooses to provide the financial responsibility proof by providing a surety bond.   

NOTE: What is a surety bond?

A surety bond refers to a promise that one party who issued the surety bond will pay on behalf of another party to whom the bond was issued if they fail to pay.

  • Option 3: In this option, the motor carrier may choose to self-insure their company.  Through self-insuring, the motor carrier is stating that they will take financial responsibility for those claims arising out of their negligence. In such a scenario, they will be legally liable to pay.

Which Carriers Are Required In MCS-90 Endorsement Insurance?

Commercial trucks that include

  • Semi-trucks
  • 18-wheelers
  • Tractor- trailers

Must have liability insurance. It is the truck owner who needs to register insurance for public liability with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 

It is mandatory to have an MCS-90 endorsement and include it in the insurance policies when a truck is moving across the state’s borders. It is mentioned under sections 29 and 30 of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 relating to public liability.

Truck accident victims will be reimbursed for the damages after the collision. However, all the policies are not similar and it will depend on the circumstances whether the damages will be reimbursed or not and to what extent. 

With the MCS-90 endorsement, injured victims may get reimbursement in an accident caused due to another’s negligence. The reimbursement will be provided to the victim by the trucking industry according to the MCS-90 endorsement.

Who Is Insured Under The MCS-90 Endorsement?

The MCS-90 endorsement will help to protect the public and shippers only. It will not safeguard the interests of other insurance carriers. If your auto liability policy has an MCS-90 auto endorsement attached, it will guarantee environmental restitution coverage and liability limits are in place.

Environmental Restitution Coverage

Environmental restoration provides restitution for any losses, damage, and in case of destruction of any natural resources. It may occur after an accident if the collision has affected any water body, atmosphere, land, or other commodities transported by the motor carrier. 

The liability limit is less for ordinary trucks as they may not cause damage to the environment. However, if there are cargo spills, the environment may get damaged. In such scenarios, the trucking industry has insurance policies that have a feature of pollution exclusion which is done to protect our environment.  

How Much Coverage Does MCS-90 Endorsement Coverage Require?

To get compensation with MCS-90, you need to prove that the truck is operational in more than one state and the main cause of the accident was the trucking company. Furthermore, you must not be working in the trucking organization as an employee or as an independent contractor. 

Every scenario has different coverage limits with MCS-90 filing. They may amount to:

  • $1 million for trucks transporting hazardous substances
  • $750,000 in non-hazardous transfers
  • $5 million when the truck is transporting certain hazardous substances like explosives, materials toxic by inhalation, or radioactive compounds
  • $5 million when small trucks are transporting hazardous substances

There is a proper investigation done for insurance coverage in which relevant evidence is gathered thereby suggesting the trucking company’s liability. 

How Can a Truck Accident Attorney Guide You?

An experienced truck accident lawyer may guide you if you are involved in commercial truck accidents. They have the expertise required to carry out the truck accident case investigation by collecting evidence. Proving fault in truck accident cases is challenging and if you work with an injury lawyer they can help to protect and fight for your legal rights.