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MCS-90 Endorsement: Purpose, Application, and Avoiding Strategic Missteps When Coverage Defenses Are Present

Four Primary Approaches to Determining Applicability; Avoiding Ethical Snares; Exposing Subrogation's Siren-Song

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Recorded event now available

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This CLE webinar will discuss the purpose and application of MCS-90 endorsements and the four primary approaches courts take to determine when the MCS-90 endorsement applies. The panel will also examine how and why the endorsement provides settlement leverage for plaintiffs.


Federal motor carriers must prove they have the financial ability to cover damage to the public, and one avenue is the MCS-90 endorsement added to the trucking liability policy. The MCS-90 is not a true insurance policy, because if the insurance company pays a claim, it can theoretically recoup its losses against the policyholder through subrogation. Failure to understand the practical ramifications of this arrangement can be costly.

Before Prime Ins. Co. v. Wright, 57 F. 4th 597 (7th Cir. 2023), there were three different approaches to determining when the MCS-90 endorsement applied. Now there arguably are four, plus the approaches of state supreme courts. Insurers that issued policies with the MCS-90 endorsements face more uncertainty than ever about if and when their financial responsibility is triggered depending on the location of a motor vehicle collision.

The rules for when coverage exists, and when insurers should invoke coverage defenses, are all different under the MCS-90. Experienced plaintiffs' counsel can leverage missteps of the uninformed to increase claim value and put insurers on the road to bad faith allegations and even punitive damages.

Listen as our premiere panel discusses what counsel representing trucking companies or plaintiffs need to know about when the MCS-90 is applicable, and thus, when financial obligations must be met or may be accessed.



  1. Brief review of MCS-90 history
  2. What is covered and how it applies
    1. Statutory requirements for minimum limits of insurance
    2. Limitations on the applicability of the endorsement
    3. Different approaches to application
  3. Defending MCS-90 Claims
    1. Strategic considerations when coverage defenses exist
  4. Pursuing MCS-90
    1. Personal injury
    2. Subrogation
  5. Reimbursement under MCS-90
  6. Interesting caselaw and recent developments
    1. What is interstate commerce?
    2. What is needed to seek reimbursement?


The panel will review these issues:

  • Should the MCS-90 be considered a surety bond?
  • How does cancellation impact the MCS-90 endorsement appended to a commercial auto policy?
  • Does the MCS-90 trump noncooperation and notice clauses?
  • Do the rules about time-limited demands apply to MCS-90 endorsements?


Boepple, Rick
Rick Gene Boepple, Jr.


Mr. Boepple is a litigation associate in Akerman’s Houston office, with a civil litigation practice focusing on...  |  Read More

Botta, Frank
Frank C. Botta

Partner and Chair of the Litigation and Transportation Practice Groups
The Lynch Law Group

Mr. Botta is a Partner and Chair of the Litigation and Transportation Practice Groups at The Lynch Law Group. He also...  |  Read More

Kirsch, Ashton
Ashton T. Kirsch

Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer

Mr. Kirsch is an insurance litigation attorney and shareholder with the law firm of Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer,...  |  Read More

Singleton, David
David A. Singleton

Blackburn Romey

Mr. Singleton is an attorney in Fort Wayne, Indiana with Blackburn Romey. He graduated with highest honors from Indiana...  |  Read More

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