On March 21, 2011, FMCSA cargo insurance filings by common carriers and freight forwarders (excluding household goods common carriers and freight forwarders) will no longer be required, and all certificates then on file will become null and void. This change was made months ago, effective next month. This is unfortunate.
The FMCSA should have expanded the rule by requiring all common and contract carriers and freight forwarders to maintain cargo insurance and make filings. The availability of that information on line was a quick and easy way to confirm coverage. Further, the insurance could not be cancelled without giving the FMCSA 30 days notice, and was not cancelled unless and until the insurance company filed a termination notice. Thus, these filings could be relied upon for at least a certain period of time, unlike a Certificate of Insurance issued by an insurance company which only tells you that the insurance was in effect on the date the Certificate was issued. (You cannot rely upon the notice requirement on the Certificate-it gives the Certificate holder no rights!)