Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-889 Page: 2 of 5
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Mr. L.L. Bowman III - Page 2 (JM-889)
pursuant to the newly enacted article 6252-19a. That
With reference to your second question as
to the amount of coverage that may be
purchased, H.B. 203 [article 6252-19a] has
provided no guidelines in this area. The
proper amount of coverage has been left to
the sound discretion of the governmental
agencies involved, and in the event of a
court test it is our view that a reasonable
exercise of that discretion would be left
Attorney General Opinion M-501 (1969). Since the issuance
of Attorney General Opinion M-501, there has been no
amendment to article 6252-19a establishing a statutory
minimum or maximum coverage level. Therefore, we conclude
that your department has the responsibility to set the
level of coverage for its employees.
Confusion may have arisen about the applicability of
the Texas Tort Claims Act to article 6252-19a, V.T.C.S.,
based on other language found in Attorney General Opinion
M-501. Following the language quoted above, the opinion
read as follows:
In this connection we would point out that
the Texas Tort Claims Act . . . limits
governmental liability to $100,000.00 per
person and $300,000.00 for any single
incident. It is our view that an individual
policy of insurance under [article 6252-19a]
that did not exceed those limits would meet
the test of reasonableness, provided that in
the exercise of discretion the Highway
Department finds that such is reasonably
We do not believe that the Texas Tort Claims Act controls
the amount of coverage which an agency may obtain under
article 6252-19a. The Texas Tort Claims Act establishes a
limited waiver of sovereign immunity and prescribes the
maximum governmental liability in certain circumstances.
Article 6252-19a, on the other hand, allows certain state
agencies to obtain liability insurance for employees under
certain conditions. The reference to the Tort Claims Act
in the opinion quoted above was merely intended as a guide
or example to assist state agencies in making reasonable
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JM-889, text, 1988; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth273327/m1/2/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.