The Texas Department of Insurance (Department) reminds all amusement ride owners and operators and their insurers of the insurance requirements pertaining to certain rides under §2151 of the Occupations Code and §5.9004 of the Administrative Code.
Insurance Coverage Requirements
Section 2151.101(3) of the Occupations Code and §5.9004 of the Administrative Code require that persons who operate amusement rides possess a combined single limit or split limit insurance policy currently in effect written by an insurance company authorized to do business in the State of Texas, by a surplus lines insurer authorized under Texas Insurance Code Chapter 981, or have an independently procured policy subject to Texas Insurance Code Chapter 101. The insurance policy must insure the owner or operator against liability for injury to persons arising out of the use of the amusement ride. The language of the statute requires the insurance policy to provide coverage in an amount not less than:
(A) For Class A amusement rides: either $100,000 bodily injury and $50,000 property damage per occurrence with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or a $150,000 per occurrence combined single limit with a $300,000 annual aggregate; or
(B) For Class B amusement rides: either $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 property damage per occurrence; or a $1,500,000 per occurrence combined single limit.
It is the Department's position that the current statute does not allow or permit the required coverage limits to be provided through self insurance retention (SIR) arrangements, as the entity maintaining the SIR would not be an insurer as described above, and such coverage would not be provided through an insurance policy.
Additionally, §5.9004(1)(C) of the Administrative Code states that notice of policy cancellation by either party must be furnished to the Department as soon as possible, but not later than 10 days prior to cancellation.
Failure to comply with the insurance requirements in §2151 or §5.9004 is considered a Class B misdemeanor and may result in adverse action.
Certificates of Insurance
Under §2151.101(2) and (4), the amusement ride operator must file a written certificate of insurance with the Commissioner attesting that the required coverage is in place. A certificate of insurance must clearly and accurately state the insurance coverage provided. Obscuring or misrepresenting the insurance coverage provided under the policy violates §§541.054, 541.061, and 4005.101(b)(5) and (6) of the Insurance Code.
Article 21.47 of the Insurance Code provides that a person commits an offense if the person knowingly files any document required to be made to or filed with the Department that contains false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or entries made with regard to any material fact. An offense under that article is a third degree felony.
Moreover, misrepresentation of the policy on the certificate of insurance may result in action pursuant to §§37.10 and §38.15(a)(7) of the Penal Code. Section 37.10 prohibits tampering with a governmental record, while section 38.15(a)(7) prohibits interference with a person who has the responsibility for assessing, enacting, or enforcing public safety measures.
Given the above, it is essential that certificates of insurance pertaining to amusement rides be accurate and not contain false, fictitious, or fraudulent information or entries.
Please direct questions regarding this bulletin to Richard Baker, Inspections Division, Texas Department of Insurance, 512-322-2259.
Commissioner of Insurance