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Officials review details before borders open

Transportation officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States, as well as insurance and trucking representatives from those nations, met recently to review final safety, implementation, and insurance concerns before Texas and California borders open under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in mid-July.

The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) attended a special session devoted to insurance issues affecting cross-border trucking chaired by Texas Insurance Commissioner José Montemayor, who also leads the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) NAFTA Subgroup.

David M Golden, NAII director of commercial lines, said NAII believes that the Department of Transportation's rules have “crossed the finish line” in addressing insurers' safety concerns regarding NAFTA.

The Tri-national Insurance Working Group led by Commissioner Montemayor also discussed important insurance underwriting concerns.

Golden said auto insurance for motor carriers currently is written by both standard and surplus lines insurance companies. State insurance regulators have successfully convinced federal transportation and safety officials to adopt the position that both types of insurers can provide this coverage for Mexican motor carriers that choose to serve US markets.

The three-day Land Transportation Conference also included a review of the new database created by the Mexican Transportation Agency that will track Mexican drivers' hours of service, valid drivers licensing, and safety records and other factors now required of American truck drivers.

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