Home / Uncategorized / BLOWN ENGINES AND THE MCS-90


Sooner or later many of you end up with a truck you can’t run and can’t, or don’t want to sell.  You explain to your agent the engine is blown, the registration has expired and it wouldn’t pass inspection without a lot of work.  Your agent is sympathetic and promises to try to get the insurance company to take it off your policy.  However, the company won’t delete coverage because of the MCS-90.  Understandably, you want to know why a piece of paper is forcing you to insure a truck that can’t even move?

Why the MCS-90 exists*

The MCS-90 is a nasty endorsement the FMCSA requires all motor carriers with filings to have on their commercial auto liability policies.  I don’t use the word “nasty” lightly.  You must remember the FMCSA exists to protect the public.  You also have to understand that not all truckers are as responsible as you.  For a very small minority, only tough government regulations can ensure that the driving public is safe from their negligence.  And since no one can know for sure just who these rogue truckers are, everybody is treated the same. 

Hypothetically speaking…

Let’s imagine you move to a different insurance company and don’t tell them about your sidelined truck.  You see nothing wrong with this since you have no intention of putting it on the road anytime soon, if ever.  But things change.  You need another truck and restoring this old one looks like a reasonable alternative to buying new, or even used.  So in a couple of months its back on the road.  You think you’ve got 30 days to advise your agent about what you consider a “new” truck.  To be fair, you may have enough in it by now that it is virtually new, but it still has the same serial number listed on the new registration.  And it still isn’t scheduled on your policy.  Then, within a week your driver taps an SUV in the rear in a construction zone.  Your driver is cited for following too close.  You promptly report the accident which is soon settled with the SUV’s owner who, fortunately, was not injured.  Unfortunately, it costs nearly $10,000 to repair the SUV thanks to an airbag that deployed. 

The MCS-90 gets “nasty.” 

Your truck not being scheduled doesn’t let your new insurance company off the hook.  They have to pay the claim to protect the public regardless if there was coverage or not.  It doesn’t matter that you would have insured it had you known you didn’t have 30 days to tell your agent.  The owner of that SUV had to be covered and that’s why the MCS-90 is on your policy.  Had it not been on your policy, your insurance company could have denied the claim leaving you to pay for the damages.  Which leads me to the “nasty” part:  the MCS-90 gives your insurance company the right to seek reimbursement from you for what they paid to fix the SUV.  

How to avoid the “nastiness”

At Eastern Atlantic, we have a solution.  If you own a truck that is out of service permanently, or for as far into the future as anyone can guess, contact the DMV in your state and find out what you have to do to return the registration plate assigned to that truck.  Return the plate with the required form and send a copy of that form to your agent.  We will consider this proof the truck cannot easily be put back into service and we’ll remove it from your policy.  Remember, if you have filings, the MCS-90 is on your policy and any truck you operate that isn’t on your policy can cost you more than you bargained for. 


If you have more questions, please contact your agent.  It’s a good idea to review your coverage every year.  Interested in an Eastern Atlantic quote?  Click FIND AN AGENT to get started.

*(This is not a complete explanation of the MCS-90 endorsement.  Read you policy carefully, or contact your agent for more information.)

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