Minnesota's trucking firms have been hit hard with insurance rate increases according to results of ajoint survey conducted by the Minnesota Trucking Assn. (MTA) and the American Trucking Associations (ATA).

The survey shows that primary, or general liability, rates increased by 32% for carriers renewing in 2001, with those renewing their policies after the September 11 terrorist attacks paying an average 37% more. Renewal rates for umbrella insurance in 2001 were pegged at an average 74%, while rate increases after the terrorist attacks climbed to 120%, with one hike of over 1,000%.

"We knew the insurance situation was tough, but we did not expect the results to be this bad. It's tough for truckers to keep their heads up when you add these increased costs to a sluggish economy and shippers who want to pay less to move their freight," said MTA president John Hausladen. "Ours is an industry where 80 % of trucking companies have 20 or fewer trucks, where profit margins are slim and where undue costs at one end threaten the entire business."