Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 21. Regulation of Property Carriers
6/17/2021

Article 2. Insurance Requirements.

§ 46.2-2141. Application of article.

Unless otherwise stated, this article shall apply to all motor carriers as defined under this chapter.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2142. Bonds or insurance to be kept in force; amounts.

Each motor carrier shall keep in force at all times insurance, a bond or bonds, in an amount required by this article.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2143. Surety bonds, insurance, letter of credit or securities required prior to issuance of registration.

No certificate of fitness, permit, registration card, or license plate shall be issued by the Department to any motor carrier or for any vehicle operated by or on behalf of a motor carrier until the motor carrier certifies to the Department that the vehicle is covered by one or more of the following, in the amount or amounts set forth in § 46.2-2143.1:

1. An insurance policy or bond;

2. A certificate of insurance in lieu of the insurance policy or bond, certifying that such policy or bond covers the liability of such motor carrier in accordance with the provisions of this article, is issued by an authorized insurer, or in the case of bonds, is in an amount approved by the Department. The bonds may be issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States of America, or any municipality in the Commonwealth. Such bonds shall be deposited with the State Treasurer and the surety shall not be reduced except in accordance with an order of the Department;

3. An unconditional letter of credit, issued by a bank doing business in Virginia, for an amount approved by the Department. The letter of credit shall be in effect so long as the motor carrier operates motor vehicles in the Commonwealth; or

4. In the case of a lessor who acts as a registrant for purposes of consolidating lessees' vehicle registration applications, a statement that the registrant has, before leasing a vehicle, obtained from the lessee an insurance policy, bond, or certificate of insurance in lieu of the insurance policy or bond and can make available said proof of insurance coverage upon demand.

Vehicles belonging to carriers who have filed proof of financial responsibility in accordance with the unified carrier registration system authorized by 49 U.S.C. § 14504a are deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of this article for insurance purposes. The Department is further authorized to register any qualified carrier under the unified carrier registration system as well as to collect and disperse the fees for registration under that system.

2001, c. 596; 2006, c. 208; 2011, cc. 881, 889; 2012, c. 638; 2017, cc. 790, 815.

§ 46.2-2143.1. Insurance requirement for motor carriers.

A. All motor carriers shall keep in force at all times insurance, a bond, or bonds in an amount required by this section. However, motor carriers exempt under subdivision 6 of § 46.2-2101 shall only be required to keep in force insurance, a bond, or bonds in the amount required by this section that provide primary coverage (i) when the motor carrier or person acting on behalf of the motor carrier is available to transport property for compensation and (ii) from the time the motor carrier or a person acting for or on behalf of the motor carrier accepts the request to transport property and the vehicle is en route to pick up the property until the time the property has been removed from the vehicle and delivered to its final destination.

B. The minimum public liability financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers operating in intrastate commerce shall be based on the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle as follows: for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 10,000 pounds, the minimum requirement is $750,000; for vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 7,500 pounds but not in excess of 10,000 pounds, the minimum requirement is $300,000; for passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, and vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,500 pounds or less, the minimum requirement for clause (i) of subsection A is $25,000 per person, $50,000 per incident for death and bodily injury and $20,000 for property damage and for clause (ii) of subsection A is $100,000 per person and $300,000 per incident for death and bodily injury and at least $50,000 for property damage. The minimum insurance for motor carriers operating in interstate commerce shall equal the minimum required by federal law, rule, or regulation.

C. Notwithstanding subsection B, the minimum public financial responsibility requirements for household goods carriers required to obtain a certificate of fitness pursuant to this chapter shall be $750,000.

D. The minimum cargo insurance required for motor carriers operating in intrastate commerce shall be $50,000. Motor carriers not engaged in the transportation of household goods and those solely operating passenger cars, motorcycles, autocycles, and vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,500 pounds or less shall not be required to file any cargo insurance, bond, or bonds for cargo liability.

2012, c. 638; 2017, cc. 790, 815.

§ 46.2-2143.2. Special insurance provisions for certain carriers.

A. The provisions of this section shall apply only to motor carriers exempt under subdivision 6 of § 46.2-2101 and insurance policies maintained by such carriers pursuant to this article.

B. Insurance coverage for motor carriers shall be primary, and the requirements of § 46.2-2143.1 may be satisfied by any of the following:

1. Insurance maintained by the motor carrier;

2. Insurance maintained by another person on behalf of the motor carrier; or

3. Any combination of subdivisions 1 and 2.

C. A motor carrier may meet its obligation under subsection B of § 46.2-2143.1 through a policy obtained by a person other than the carrier under subdivision B 2 or 3 only if the motor carrier verifies that the policy is maintained by such other person.

D. Insurers providing coverage under subsection B of § 46.2-2143.1 shall have the exclusive duty to defend any liability claim, including any claim against a motor carrier or person acting for or on behalf of the motor carrier, arising from an accident occurring within the time period specified in subsection A of § 46.2-2143.1. Insurers of the personal automobile insurance policy of neither a person acting for or on behalf of the motor carrier nor the vehicle's owner shall have the duty to defend or indemnify the activities of a person acting for or on behalf of a motor carrier in connection with the motor carrier unless such policy expressly provides otherwise for the period of time to which subsection A of § 46.2-2143.1 is applicable or the policy contains an amendment or endorsement to provide that coverage.

E. Coverage under a motor carrier's insurance policy shall not be dependent on a personal automobile policy's first denying a claim, nor shall a personal automobile insurance policy be required to first deny a claim.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a personal automobile insurance policy to provide primary or excess coverage. The personal automobile insurance policy of neither a person acting for or on behalf of the motor carrier nor the vehicle's owner shall provide coverage for activities in connection with the motor carrier to such person acting for or on behalf of the motor carrier, the vehicle owner, or any third party unless such policy expressly provides otherwise for the period of time to which subsection A of § 46.2-2143.1 is applicable or the policy contains an amendment or endorsement to provide that coverage.

G. In every instance where motor carrier insurance maintained by a person other than the motor carrier to fulfill the insurance obligations of subsection B of § 46.2-2143.1 has lapsed or ceased to exist, the motor carrier shall provide the coverage required by that subsection beginning with the first dollar of a claim.

H. This section shall not limit the liability of a motor carrier arising out of an accident involving a person acting for or on behalf of the carrier in any action for damages against a motor carrier for an amount above the required insurance coverage.

I. Any person, or an attorney acting on his behalf, who suffers a loss in an automobile accident with a reasonable belief that the accident involves a vehicle operated by a person acting for or on behalf of a motor carrier and who provides the motor carrier with the date, approximate time, and location of the accident, the name of the vehicle operator, if available, and the accident report, if available, may request in writing from the motor carrier information relating to the insurance coverage and the company providing the coverage. The motor carrier shall respond electronically or in writing within 30 days. The motor carrier's response shall contain the following information: (i) whether, at the approximate time of the accident, the vehicle was being operated for or on behalf of the motor carrier; (ii) the name of the insurance carrier providing primary coverage; and (iii) the identity and last known address of the vehicle operator.

J. Any insurance required by subsection B of § 46.2-2143.1 may be placed with an insurer that has been admitted in Virginia or with an insurer providing surplus lines insurance as defined in § 38.2-4805.2.

K. Any insurance policy required by subsection B of § 46.2-2143.1 shall satisfy the financial responsibility requirement for a motor vehicle under § 46.2-706 during the period such vehicle is being operated for or on behalf of a motor carrier.

L. If a vehicle operated by a person acting for or on behalf of a motor carrier is insured under a personal automobile insurance policy that does not exclude coverage, then such policy shall provide primary coverage and an insurance policy maintained by the motor carrier under § 46.2-2143.1 shall provide excess coverage up to at least the limits required by § 46.2-2143.1.

M. In a claims coverage investigation, a motor carrier and its insurer shall cooperate with insurers involved in the claims coverage investigation to facilitate the exchange of information, including the date and time of any accident involving a vehicle operated for or on behalf of the motor carrier and the precise times that the vehicle was being operated for or on behalf of the motor carrier.

2017, cc. 790, 815.

§ 46.2-2144. Policies or surety bonds to be filed with the Department and securities with State Treasurer.

A. Each motor carrier shall keep on file with the Department proof of an insurance policy or bond in accordance with this article. Record of the policy or bond shall remain in the files of the Department six months after the certificate of fitness, registration card, license plate, or permit is canceled for any cause. If federal, state, or municipal bonds are deposited with the State Treasurer in lieu of an insurance policy, the bonds shall remain deposited until six months after the registration card, license plate, certificate, or permit is canceled for any cause unless otherwise ordered by the Department.

B. The Department may, without holding a hearing, suspend a permit or certificate of fitness if the permittee or certificate holder fails to comply with the requirements of this section.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889; 2017, cc. 790, 815.

§ 46.2-2145. Condition or obligation of security.

The insurance, bond or other security provided for in § 46.2-2144 shall obligate the insurer or surety to pay any final judgment for (i) damages sustained by the shippers or consignees for injury to any passenger or passengers or for loss or damage to property entrusted to such motor carrier when a cargo policy is required and (ii) any and all injuries to persons and loss of or damage to property resulting from the negligent operation of any motor vehicle.

2001, c. 596.

§ 46.2-2146. Effect of unfair claims settlement practices on self-insured motor carriers.

The provisions of subdivisions 4, 6, 11 and 12 of subsection A of § 38.2-510 shall apply to each holder of a certificate of fitness or permit issued by and under the authority of the Department who, in lieu of filing an insurance policy, has deposited with the State Treasurer state, federal or municipal bonds or has filed an unconditional letter of credit issued by a bank. The failure of any such holder of a certificate or permit to comply with the provisions of § 38.2-510 shall be the cause for revocation or suspension of the certificate or permit.

2001, c. 596; 2011, cc. 881, 889.