Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs. Topic 20-02. Liability Insurance Issues for Transit Lawyers: A Primer

Many public transit agencies lack in-house staff with risk management and insurance expertise. It frequently falls to the agency's attorney to review, analyze, and provide advice on the type of insurance required by the agency’s contractors. Research is needed to aid public transportation attorneys in responding to legal issues involving risk management and insurance liability. The objective of this project is to produce a primer on insurance issues for transit agencies that may operate bus, rail, paratransit, and other types of transit service. The primer will include best practices regarding the types of insurance that a public transit agency should purchase to ensure it is properly protected, including how to determine the appropriate policy limits, and the appropriate qualifications or ratings for insurance companies. The primer will address issues related to: (1) The types of insurance to be required of the contractors. This will include insurance that will be required for construction projects (contracts with design professionals and general contractors), P3 projects, purchase of goods and other services, and contracts for private operators. Also, the types of insurance may include liability insurance, which may consist of general commercial liability insurance, vehicular liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation and builder’s risk insurance. (2) Appropriate language to include in procurement documents and agreements with contractors regarding the policy limits, insurance company ratings, and self-insurance limits. (3) The types of insurance for agencies that operate interstate service. (4) What should be required in terms of certificates of insurance, including what kind of protection the public transit agency should expect to receive through certificates of insurance and what risks of liability the public transit agency may still have to accept. (5) What a public transit agency may reasonably request in terms of indemnification from its contractors. The primer should provide sample indemnification language for use by public transit agency attorneys for different types of contractors, including general contractors, consultants and other professionals. Also, sample indemnification language related to what the public transit agency should require in terms of insurance and indemnification from subcontractors should be included. (6) The types of insurance appropriate for smaller projects when the public transit agency wants to encourage participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises who may not be able to obtain insurance with larger policy limits.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $75000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-05, Topic 20-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Start Date: 20211101
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01745605
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-05, Topic 20-02
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2020 7:00PM