MCS90-91X – Protection Might Not Be What Some People Think

by | Sep 14, 2016 | Risky Business Expedite Truck Insurance Advice

Posted By Shelly Benisch “Risky Business” Blog Expediters Online Sep 14th 2016

Today I thought I’d share some information from Guest Blogger Tommy Ruke, “The King Pin Leading Expert in Truck Insurance”.  Tommy is essentially the father of truck insurance. He has educated the majority of truck insurance specialists in the country for their (CIC) Certified Insurance Counselor designations through The National Alliance or (TRS) Transportation Risk Specialist designations through (MCIEF) the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation.  Tommy also serves as professional advisor to law firms requiring expert testimony regarding truck insurance claims (and has some great stories).  This is Tommy’s current Blog and White Paper passages written to professional truck insurance agents:

Rob Moseley of Smith Moore Leatherwood and I were doing a program the other day and some of the participants were brokers.  In deciding which motor carrier they would arrange to haul a load on their customer’s behalf, they said that they “relied” on the federal 91X filing and the MCS90 that must be attached to the policy issued to the motor carrier who was issued the filing.

Their thought is, “After all, it pays even if no coverage” (which is absolutely wrong for protection of the broker and shipper).  Shortly thereafter, an agent called and said one of their insureds could not haul a load for a broker because the broker required $1,000,000 and the Licensing & Insurance web page only reflected $750,000.

The broker that relies on the 91X filing and MCS90 attached to the policy with the motor carrier they arranged to haul the load to provide them and their customer’s protection and do not understand how these federal mandated financial responsibility requirements react to a claim.

Hopefully, readers of this blog understand the proof of financial responsibility only protects the damaged public if the insured’s insurance policy does not pay the claim and leave the motor carrier subject to subrogation.

The proof of financial responsibility does not provide coverage to anyone including the motor carrier who is the insured or any other additional insured.

The broker or shipper should rely on the COI sent to them by the motor carrier’s agent.

They do need to be aware that there are some agents that might not properly reflect coverage and sometimes send a COI they make-up, so the broker should take steps to verify the information on the COI.

The bottom line is the COI sent by the agent is better proof of protection to the broker or shipper than relying on the federal website’s reflection of the 91X filing.

You all should know that the auto liability policies that are issued to the motor carrier address the customer’s required coverage.  The policy is primary, the customer is an additional insured, the insurance carrier cannot seek contribution and the insured is allowed to waive subrogation as long as done before the accident.  Without any endorsements, these provisions are within the standard ISO Auto Liability policy.

The broker needs to make sure the auto picking up the load is a covered auto in policy so a schedule of covered autos should be reflected on the COI if “Any Auto” is not provided.

When there IS coverage in the policy of the motor carrier that hauled the load, its insurance carrier would address the suit and provide defense to the broker of the load and the customer.

When there is NO coverage and the MCS90/91X comes into the case, the claim is handled a different way.  Once coverage is properly denied, which is in most cases because the motor carrier used an auto that was not a covered auto on the policy, the MCS90-91X does NOT obligate the insurance carrier to provide ANY defense and is only triggered when there is a judgement aginst the motor carrier who is named on the MCS90-91X.  This is when the insurance carrier would have to pay the judgement.

The problem is that the MCS90/91X would not provide defense for the broker of the load or their customer.  They could have to provide their own defense.  If the case goes to judgment, the judgement would be against all entities named in the suit.  But the MCS90/91X would ONLY obligate the insurance company to address the judgement against the motor carrier and not any others.

Depending on how the case was handled, the broker that arranged the haul and customer would have to defend themselves and in all likelihood pay part if not all of the judgment – Depends on how the judgement was allocated.  BOTTOM LINE – The MCS90/91X only protects the public that the motor carrier damaged.  There is no obligation for defense, nor does any other judgement get paid EXCEPT the judgement against the motor carrier — To be clear, not any other entity, driver, broker, arranger or customer.

Shelly here…Tommy and Attorney Rob Mosely were recent speakers at the T.E.A.N.A. conference and addressed some of these issues at that venue.  Some of this stuff can be tough to follow…if anyone out there has questions please feel free to contact me at 330.864.1511 or

Shelly Benisch,  CIC, TRS

Commercial Insurance Solutions (CIS)

Click here for ExpeditersOnline and more on this subject.




  • review rating 5  The best Sprinter coverage provider

    thumb Kobiljon Mirzokomalov

Get Your Quote Now!


Business Name



How Can CIS Help You?

CIS Progressive Insurance Logo

CIS/Progressive support for Truckers affected by Coronavirus

This just in from Progressive... We’re ready to help "We understand that a number of our shared...
New Owner Op Trucker #1 Question

2020 Owner Operator Truck Insurance #1 Question & Solution

In 2019 the number one Commercial Auto Insurance question asked by new Owner Operators and Motor...
Expediter driving through woods

Independent Contractor FedEx Custom Critical or FedEx Ground?

Joe came to us 12 years ago as a “One Truck Independent Contractor” leasing on as an Owner...
Independent Contractor Free Agent Owner Operator Trucker

Why are so many Owner Ops getting their own DOT Motor Carrier Authority in 2019?

A couple of weeks ago Shelly Benisch and John Mueller were playing hooky from work at a cute...

Follow Lone Ranger Trucker for Fun and Success as an Independent Owner Operator

Henry Albert: Lone Ranger is definitely the Trucker to watch and follow for Fun and Success as an...
Cute Expediter at a crossroads

Expediter Owner Operator Insurance – the “other reason” you didn’t get that last load

Owner Operator, are you asking yourself “Why didn’t I get that load?” You were in the right place...
high roof sprinter

Chatter from earlier post, Why Cargo Vans and Sprinters carry $1 Million Liability?

There was quite a bit of chatter after I posted this explanation about Cargo Van and Sprinter...
Owner Operators seek own USDOT authority

Cargo van hauling: Operating with authority, and the ‘multicarrier’ model by Todd Dills with Overdrive

Todd Dills with Overdrive on some of the pros and cons of Independent Owner Operators of cargo van s and sprinters obtaining their own USDOT authority

Example image truck hitting car and liability

4 keys to Owner Operator Truck Insurance

Quick cheat sheet for Owner Operator Truck Insurance
Click on each block for more

Motor Carrier Insurance Foundation Logo

Best Transportation Risk Specialist Near You

Are you an Owner Operator or Trucking Company looking for true professional transportation...
TRS Transportation Risk Specialist

Best Transportation Risk Specialist Near You

Are you an Owner Operator or Trucking Company looking for true professional transportation...
4 Owner Operators insurance mistakes

Risky Business – 4 Insurance Mistakes Owner-Operators Should Avoid

Sean M. Lyden posted this E.O. interview with "Risky Business" Shelly Benisch (CIS) advising...
Courier vs Expediter

Are you a Courier or an Expediter?

The number of people dabbling in Amazon Last Mile Delivery has thrown a bit of a wrench in the...
Cargo Image Red Truck

Understanding Owner Operator Motor Truck Cargo Insurance – and Who’s Carmack?

“Hmmmm…so if something goes wrong, who IS responsible for all that stuff I’m hauling in the back...
Owner Op Truck General Liability

Understanding Owner Operator Truck General Liability

So Picture This:  You’ve advertised for a driver (using a logo your creative nephew designed) and...
Example image truck hitting car and liability

Understanding Owner Operator Commercial Auto Liability Insurance

Has anyone ever said to you, “You’re liable to get sued!”  Everyone has heard it, but what does...
Collision vs Comp

Understanding Owner Operator Phys Dam Insurance

Owner Operator, do you ever drive along and wonder "Exactly What IS Phys Dam?" “Phys Dam” is short...
All types of units in Expedited Freight

FedEx Independent Contractors have new insurance options

I’ve written before on choices Owner Operator Independent Contractors have in purchasing...
Uber Freight Trade Show

Uber Freight Cheat Sheet for Trucking Owner Ops

Lots of questions out there on Uber Freight, so here's a quick cheat sheet for everyone updated...
Two Giants Disrupting Logistics

Amazon & Uber Rethinking Logistics

CIS shares an interesting and creative take on Amazon & Uber Logistics courtesy of...
TRS Transportation Risk Specialist

MCIEF Conference educates Transportation Risk Specialists with Experts in the Trucking Industry

Truck Industry Leaders shared thoughts and information with key Transportation Insurance Companies...
CIS Mohawks are winners

CIS proudly sponsors the Mohawks!

Introducing the Mohawks! CIS Truck Insurance is proud to sponsor our first (adorable) baseball...
Owner Ops or ICs for Walmart

Owner Operator update on Wal-mart, Amazon, Google, and Uber

Wal-Mart has partnered with Google Express to challenge Amazon for voice ordered purchases....

ATA Share the Road Video helps non professional drivers see what truckers can’t see

This award winning video from ATA should be required viewing for all new drivers.  Send his to...

Vision of more Owner Operator Health Insurance Options through States

Given the current ineptitude of our Senate and Congress, Obamacare is apparently destined to limp...

Best Owner Operator Casino Night Yet!

Wow, what a great time! Over 350 Owner Operators, Motor Carriers and Vendors joined us for CIS...

Overdrive’s review of CIS Owner Operator Insurance Workshop at the Expo

It was great to field so many intelligent questions from Owner Operators attending our CIS...

Truck Insurance is Too Important to be Confusing Workshop

Shelly Benisch, TRS, CIC with Commercial Insurance Solutions (CIS) will hold a free truck...

CIS Casino Night at Expo 2017

I say enough work…it’s time to PLAY!  Let’s blast off a new season and celebrate our...

Amazon Freight and Uber Freight for Owner Operators and small Motor Carriers

Two stories broke this week that should be of interest to Owner Operators and small Motor...

Interesting Transportation Court Cases compliments of CAB

Transportation Court Cases: CARGO The District Court in Maryland concluded that a plaintiff’s...

More Big League News from CIS!

Perhaps this is just the start of what the Trump Bump looks like; The freedom of more choices and...

Big League News from CIS!

CIS and Acuity Insurance have partnered to provide new insurance solutions for our community....

The Great Multi Tasking Lie

So the story on the Oscar Best-Picture screwup is that the guy who was in charge of distributing...

Trump Bump means Big Bucks for Truckers

Who can really trust a poll for exact numbers anymore, but suffice to say that most of us in...

At Elaine Chao Hearing, Smiles and Laughter in an Otherwise Tense Washington

The confirmation hearing for transportation secretary struck a friendly tone, but hinted at...

CDC says Flu Season could be Severe

Yes, if you're like me when you saw this headline you probably said, "When DON'T they say the Flu...

Send to anyone who is still Texting or Checking Messages while Driving

Posted by Cliff J. on November 2, 2016 in Acuity's Trucker Focus The FMCSA restricts the use of...

Best way to learn about being a Motor Carrier or Broker

  Here's a great gift idea for the professional Motor Carrier or Broker ready to kick off the...

Interesting Truck Insurance Court Cases and more…courtesy of CAB

Read the 4 quick summaries here so you're in the loop of what's going on, or grab a beverage and...

Happy Turkey Bird Day!

Turkey Unfriended on Facebook...awwwe!

The Most Misunderstood Coverage in Owner Operator Truck Insurance – NTL

Here’s a quick overview of NTL, and heads up on a denied claim where a personal auto policy was...

Why an Independent Contractor Owner Operator should have his own Truck Insurance Policy

Why the "Company Plan" isn't always the best choice for an Independent Contractor's Liability and...

Candid Caffees on Starting out as Independent Contractors of Expedited Freight

Bob and Linda Caffee of Team Run Smart share candid advice on "How to start out as an Owner...

How to recover Lost Revenue when someone else hits you

A recent Expediters Online thread asking for suggestions for how to gain ‘Lost Revenue’ after a...

CIS Friday Fun!

For a quick chuckle of why we shouldn't judge too quickly......

Zombie Dispatch for Owner Operators Courtesy of Omnitracs

I thought this was quite clever!  If you're parked somewhere waiting for your next load, this...
%d bloggers like this: