Commercial vehicle drivers are required to meet certain financial responsibility requirements in order to lawfully operate on Texas roadways. The minimum coverage requirements vary based on vehicle categories, which differ based on aspects such as the vehicle type, gross weight and number of passengers.
The state of Texas categorizes bus transportation by passenger capacity. Buses that have a passenger capacity of at least 15 and no more than 26, without the driver, must maintain coverage liability coverage of at least $500,000. Buses with a passenger capacity of 26 or more must maintain liability limits of at least $5 million. Foreign buses traveling into the U.S. may have slightly higher financial responsibility requirements. Foreign buses with a passenger capacity of 15 or fewer must maintain liability limits of at least $1.5 million while foreign buses with a passenger capacity of 16 or more must maintain limits of at least $5 million.
While farming vehicles are common in this agricultural state, not all Texas farming vehicles require liability coverage. Texas only requires farming vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 48,000 lbs. or more to maintain continuous liability coverage. The minimum requirement for these vehicles is $500,000.
Commercial Motor Vehicles
All commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 lbs. or more must maintain at least $500,000 in liability, while these foreign commercial vehicles must maintain no less than $750,000 in liability coverage. Transporters of standard hazardous wastes, materials and oils are subject to a $1 million liability requirement. Commercial vehicles that transport hazardous substances in cargo tanks and portable tanks, as well as vehicles transporting liquids in water gallon-style hoppers in excess of 3,500 gallons must maintain liability coverage of at least $5 million.
Texas law requires motor carrier owners to insure their for-hire drivers against personal injuries resulting from accidents that occur while working. Motor carrier owners must provide either workers’ compensation or accidental injury insurance. Accidental injury insurance policies must include medical expense coverage of at least $300,000 and accidental death and dismemberment of, at least, $100,000 with a maximum weekly benefit of no less than $500.
The state of Texas requires some commercial vehicles to register their operations with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Registration is required for all vehicles exceeding 26,000 lbs. Registration is also required for commercial vehicles transporting household goods, buses with a passenger capacity of 15 or more and all vehicles transporting hazardous materials.
Texas insurance companies are required to file their commercial policyholders’ information with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. This electronic notification provides the state with the driver and vehicle information, coverage limits, and policy inception and expiration dates. All cancellations are also reported to the Texas DMV. Drivers are also required to keep proof of vehicle registration and insurance in their cab at all times. Drivers must provide this proof at the time of a violation, accident, and upon the request of a law enforcement officer or court official.
Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.