Insights on Federal and State Insurance Filings

Carrier Risk Solutions, Inc. (2)


I originally wrote this in response to a question that was posed on LinkedIn:


Of all of the times I’ve seen filings discussed, one of the best explanations of State and Federal filings can be found on Progressive’s website:


Progressive Insurance-Filings


Progressive Insurance writes a fair amount of owner-operators and coverage on smaller fleets. Their article on the topic is pretty straightforward and easy to understand.


Here are some good “Best Practices” to start to help the filings process go as smoothly as possible:


Be sure to request the filings from your underwriter as soon as you bind coverage.


Any delay can cause your client to potentially be prohibited from operating (or being loaded by a shipper) unless they can prove that the filing is in place. That’s especially true for Federal filings. Each insurance carrier has a dedicated filings department that handles these requests. The problems begin if the underwriter sits on the binding request or if they just don’t realize that a filing needs to be made. Frankly, if they don’t realize that a filing needs to be made, you probably shouldn’t be doing business with that insurance carrier or underwriter.


When in doubt, the FMCSA website has a portion on their website where you can see a motor carrier’s filings history. Typically, a contact person at each insurance company is listed on each filing.


You can develop a short list of the contacts pretty quickly by taking a look at 5 or 6 good sized motor carriers.


Please don’t let anyone try to convince you that a motor truck cargo Federal filing still needs to be made for anyone but a household goods carrier. That hasn’t been the case since 2011.


Additionally, each motor carrier is required to have an “Agent of Process” Filing, or as it is officially known as a “BOC-3 Filing”. This filing is completed by the AOP and proves that the motor carrier has an actual place where they can be served official documents (like lawsuits). A good explanation of that can be found here: BOC 3 Wiki Page. And, of course here: FMCSA Agents of Process Info


I promise that you will have multiple instances in your truck insurance career where the motor carrier fails to comply with this requirement and they aren’t able to get loaded. They they call you in a fairly enraged state believing full well that you somehow didn’t get their filings made.


Calmly explain about the BOC-3 issue, after you check the carrier’s current filing status here: There are tons of these BOC companies out there but All American Agents of Process does most of the business (probably because of their position in the yellow pages listings from years past). Plus, I hear that they are very good at what they do to boot…Their info can be found here: All American Agents of Process


I would suggest getting a little single page sheet together for each client explaining the filings to them in an attempt to be proactive. Keep it simple and from the US DOT’s site in order to be helpful but to also avoid potential E and O issues.