School Bus Requirements for Auto Insurance

School bus insurance requirements vary according to state but are generally much stricter than regular vehicle coverage. Even a converted bus may still be counted as a commercial vehicle depending on the number of seats.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Requirements for insurance coverage of school buses vary according to state
  • Generally, the requirements for school buses are stricter than for other vehicles
  • There are several helpful resources when searching for school bus coverage

The auto insurance requirements for school buses vary from state to state, but they are generally much stricter than the auto insurance requirements for passenger vehicles.

Most states require that school bus insurance policies include extensive liability coverage for the driver, the passengers, and the school district.

Even if you purchase a converted school bus for personal use, you will still be responsible for additional insurance coverage due to the vehicle’s size and classification.

Enter your ZIP code into the box on this page to compare car insurance rates now!

Differences Between Auto Insurance for School Buses and Regular Vehicles


School buses are classified differently from regular vehicles for two reasons.

  • Buses are categorized as a passenger transportation vehicle rather than a personal use vehicle
  • The number of passengers a school bus can hold requires a commercial driver’s license, not just a standard operator’s license

Even a converted school bus is classified as a commercial vehicle if it has seats for more than 14 passengers.

Therefore, the owner is responsible for commercial vehicle insurance, even if the bus is no longer being used for transporting students.

These policies are typically more expensive than traditional auto insurance policies.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Why are the requirements for school bus auto insurance so strict?

Auto insurance for a school bus is required to cover a lot of liability. In most cases, the insurance policy must protect the driver, passengers, school department, and school district from liability in the event of an accident.

School buses are designed to transport up to 40 students at a time. Because so many people could be injured if a school bus is involved in an accident, the potential cost of the accident is much higher. As a result, increased coverage for liability is needed.

The cost of the insurance policy is largely determined by the dollar amount of liability coverage required.

Each state has varying regulations outlining the amount of liability coverage required for school bus car insurance.

Beyond the state regulations, there may be specific coverage guidelines outlined by the school district or even by a professional group that organizes the bus drivers and owners.

Where can I find state-specific information about the requirements for school bus insurance?


There are both national and regional groups specifically geared towards helping owners and operators of school buses.

These groups gather news and information and can provide valuable insight about the business of student transportation, including insurance requirements.

Some of the most prominent national associations include:

These associations are a great starting place for overall guidance and information, but remember that you will need state- and region-specific information as well to make an informed decision about your policy needs.

Contact a local school district or transportation company to find the group operating in your area.

Contacting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is also a smart first step. This office can give you the state’s guidelines for school bus insurance including minimum liability coverage if available.

Finally, be sure to also speak directly with a representative from the school district in which the bus will be operating.

Remember that the district may have specific requirements that are different from or even stricter than the state requirements.

To get started on finding the most competitive car insurance rates for school buses, enter your ZIP code into the box below now!

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption