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Federal Minimum Standard for Commercial Liability Insurance Policies

Insurance requirements for commercial vehicles varies depending on the weight of the vehicle, the type of cargo being hauled, or the amount of passengers being transported.

If an 18-wheeler carries 10,001 pounds or more of non-hazardous materials on US interstates, the minimum level of insurance is $750,000. This is just a baseline, and many carriers choose to insure for higher than this, given how extensive and costly injury claims can be.

Trucks weighing less 10,000 pounds but carry radioactive materials must carry $5,000,000 worth of liability insurance. Again, this is due to the extremely high risk of injury should an accident occur. 18-wheelers weighing over 10,001 pounds, carrying hazardous materials require the same amount of insurance. Lastly, private or for-hire commercial trucks weighing 10,001 pounds or more require at least $1,000,000 in insurance.

Commercial Passenger Vehicles (Vans, Buses, Etc)

Passenger vehicles require different insurance coverage, depending on the number of passengers transported. Vehicles carrying 16 passengers or more are required to carry $5,000,000 of insurance. Most will insure for higher than this amount, as a bus carrying 50 people can easily reach that amount in personal injury damages quickly. Vehicles carrying 15 or fewer passengers are required to have $1,500,000 worth of insurance.

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