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| 1 minute read

Georgia Senate Passes Bill That Would End Direct Action Suits Against Truck Insurers

Senate Bill 426 would bar a plaintiff injured by a motor carrier from suing the motor carrier’s insurer directly unless (1) the plaintiff cannot serve the driver or trucking company or (2) the trucking company defendant is bankrupt.  The Bill was recently adopted by the Georgia Senate and it is now under review by the Georgia House of Representatives.  Progress of the Bill can be tracked using The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Legislative Navigator - SB 426.

Georgia is among a small minority of states that still allow a plaintiff to seek damages directly from an insurance carrier. Supporters of the Bill argue that limiting direct action lawsuits will lower insurance rates for truckers, allowing smaller trucking companies to compete in Georgia. 

A similar bill (Senate Bill 191) seeking to end direct action lawsuits in Georgia failed to pass last year after strong opposition from the plaintiffs’ bar. However, this time around, some members of the plaintiffs’ bar—most notably the Bill’s sponsor Senator Tillery—support the legislation. Senator Tillery has characterized Bill 426 as a compromise between competing interests and believes it will help stabilize insurance rates in Georgia. 

While it remains to be seen if the Georgia House will adopt Senate Bill 426 and send it to the Governor’s desk by the March 28, 2024 deadline, insurers that provide coverage for motor carriers should be aware of the potential changes to state law. 

If you would like to speak to an attorney about this Bill or other insurance matters, please contact Seslee Smith, Ryan Burke, or Nathan Miles.


insurance & reinsurance, litigation, insurance & reinsurance dispute resolution, insurance corporate & regulatory, insurance