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What Is
BMC 91:
Learning The Basics

bmc 91 public liability insurance form

Trucking companies operating in the United States are required to comply with certain insurance filings and requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). One such requirement is the BMC 91 filing, which serves as proof of financial responsibility and liability insurance coverage for interstate truckers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the basics of BMC 91, including its purpose, the filing process, its significance for trucking companies, and the differences between BMC 91 and other insurance filings.

What Is BMC 91?

choosing the right bmc 91 insurance coverage

The BMC 91 filing also requires the insurance company to provide the Federal Government with a 35 day notice before cancelling a truck insurance policy. 

This also means that if you have a federal filing or BMC 91 you must give your insurance company a 35 day notice before cancelling the policy.

Understanding the BMC 91 Form

To fulfill the BMC 91 filing requirement, trucking companies must have their insurance companies complete the BMC 91 form accurately. The form collects essential information about the motor carrier, including their name, address, USDOT number, and insurance details. It also requires information about the insurance provider, policy number, and effective coverage dates.

The BMC 91 form acts as a declaration from the trucking company, affirming that they have obtained the necessary liability insurance coverage to meet FMCSA requirements. Accuracy and attention to detail are crucial when completing the form to ensure compliance with federal regulations. If there is a mismatch between the insurance policy name and address and the FMCSA the BMC 91 filing will be rejected

Hand of man signing BMC91

The BMC 91 Filing Process

The process of filing BMC 91 involves several steps that trucking companies must follow to ensure the accurate submission of required information. Here is a step-by-step overview of the BMC 91 filing process:

bmc 91 public liability insurance for trucks

1. Obtain Appropriate Insurance Coverage

Trucking companies need to secure liability insurance coverage that meets the FMCSA requirements for bodily injury, property damage, and environmental restoration. This policy must have an MCS 90 endorsement on the policy. The MCS 90 is attached to the insurance policy.

2. Gather Required Information

Motor carriers must collect all relevant information needed to complete the BMC 91 form. This includes company details, insurance provider information, and policy details. It is vital that at this stage that the company information on your insurance policy and the FMCSA website match.

3. Complete the BMC 91 Form

Using the gathered information, trucking companies must request the BMC 91 form be filed by their insurance company, ensuring that all fields are filled out correctly and legibly.

4. Submit the Form to the Appropriate Authorities

Once the BMC 91 form is completed, trucking companies need to submit it to the designated authorities, such as the FMCSA or the state transportation department, depending on the specific requirements.

5. Maintain Proof of Filing

It is crucial for trucking companies to retain a copy of the filed BMC 91 form as proof of compliance with the insurance filing requirement. This is especially important for new authorities who have not completed their “New Authority Entrance Audit” because the FMCSA will ask for a copy. 

By following these steps, trucking companies can ensure that they meet the BMC 91 filing requirement and demonstrate their commitment to financial responsibility and compliance with federal regulations.

The Significance of BMC 91 for Trucking Companies

The BMC 91 filing holds significant importance for trucking companies, as it serves as proof of financial responsibility and liability insurance coverage. By filing BMC 91, trucking companies demonstrate that they have obtained the necessary insurance coverage to protect against bodily injury, property damage, and environmental restoration liabilities.

The filing requirement also helps protect the interests of the public by ensuring that trucking companies have adequate insurance coverage to compensate for any damages or injuries caused by their operations. It creates a level playing field within the trucking industry by ensuring that all carriers meet the same insurance requirements.

What is often overlooked is that the BMC 91 filing is not insurance, but it only comes into play when the insurance company is denying coverage. The BMC 91 is electronic proof that your insurance policy has an MCS 90 endorsement. 

So what does the MCS 90 endorsement do?

The MCS 90 endorsement says that the insurance company promises to pay all claims, even if they are denying coverage under your policy. 

However, if the insurance company denies coverage and pays a claim under the MCS-90 endorsement they have the right to come after the insured for the amount paid. 

Most freight brokers, motor carriers, and even insurance agents do not understand that the MCS-90 and BMC 91 are not insurance, they only come into play when your insurance policy REFUSES to cover a claim. In which case they will pay the claim if forced to by a court and then come after the motor carrier/trucker for whatever it was forced to pay.

The Cost of BMC-91 Filing

The cost associated with BMC-91 filing itself is only a few hundred dollars. 

While the cost of the filing is very cheap, the implications for an insurance company providing a filing is significant because they can be forced to pay claims which are not covered by the insurance policy. 

Insurance companies will often do a deep investigation into all vehicles you own, operate, have previously used, and are registered to you or your address. 

If an insurance company does not trust that you will be honest about your drivers, vehicles, ability to make payments or other important information they will refuse to quote or insure a trucker. 

bmc 91 filing cost

The real cost associated with the BMC-91 filing is not the filing itself, but the increased risk associated with being forced to pay claims even if there is no coverage and being forced to give the government a 35 day notice before cancelling a policy. 

Insurance premiums are influenced by factors such as the motor carrier’s safety record, the type of cargo being transported, the number and types of vehicles in the fleet, and the coverage limits required. Insurance providers assess these factors to determine the level of risk associated with the motor carrier’s operations, which, in turn, affects the premium cost.

Trucking companies can take several steps to potentially reduce their BMC 91 insurance costs. Implementing safety measures, maintaining a good safety record, and investing in driver training programs can help demonstrate the commitment to safety and reduce the risk profile of the motor carrier. Additionally, seeking quotes from multiple insurance carriers and working with specialized trucking insurance providers can help obtain competitive rates for BMC 91 insurance coverage.

Differences Between BMC 91 and Other Insurance Filings

Understanding the differences between BMC 91 and other insurance filings, such as the MCS 90, is crucial for trucking companies. While both filings are required by the FMCSA, they are essentially the same thing.

The BMC 91 filing is a digital proof that the truck insurance policy has the MCS 90 endorsement. On the other hand, the MCS 90 is an endorsement added to the insurance policy that guarantees payment for any judgments against the carrier for bodily injury or property damage caused by the carrier’s negligence or failure to maintain the vehicle.

In summary, the BMC 91 filing is a crucial requirement for trucking companies engaged in interstate transportation of property. By understanding the basics of BMC 91, including the BMC 91 form, the filing process, and its significance, trucking companies can ensure compliance with federal regulations, demonstrate financial responsibility, and protect their operations and the public. Just remember that the trucker has two additional risks due to the BMC 91 filing: 1) 35 day notice before you can cancel your insurance policy 2) The insurance company can come after the trucker if they deny coverage but are forced to pay a claim.

Get the Right BMC 91 Insurance Coverage Today

truck insured

Securing the appropriate BMC 91 insurance coverage is a crucial step for trucking companies operating in the United States. At Commercial Trucking Insurance, we understand the complexities involved in meeting insurance filing requirements and ensuring compliance with federal regulations.

Whether you’re a small trucking company or a large fleet operator, we offer tailored insurance solutions to meet your specific needs and budget. Our experts will work closely with you to assess your requirements, understand your operations, and analyze the factors that influence your insurance premiums.

Contact us today to get your truck insurance quote and ensure that your trucking company is adequately protected.