Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

February 10, 2021

Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help blasting operators obtain a Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket bond

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: Between $200 to $900 per year based on the contractor’s credit
  • Bond Amount: $20,000
  • Who Needs It: All individuals and business entities applying for an explosive user’s certification in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for personal and property damage resulting from any blasting operations
  • Who Regulates Blasting Operators in Massachusetts: The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety

Background

Massachusetts Statute 13.04 requires blasting operators (contractors) in the state to obtain a certification from the Department of Public Safety. The Massachusetts legislature enacted certification laws and regulations to ensure that contractors engage in ethical business practices. In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the certification law, contractors must purchase and maintain a $20,000 blasting operations blanket surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What is the Purpose of the Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond?

Massachusetts requires blasting operators to purchase the Blasting Operations Blanket Bond as part of the application process to obtain an explosive user’s certification. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the blaster fails to safely detonate all explosives. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the blasting operator damages the person or property of another individual or entity.

 Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond Form

Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “contractor” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

Is a Credit Check Required for the Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond?

Surety companies will run a credit check on the owners of the contracting company to determine eligibility and pricing for the Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond. Contractors with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Contractors with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the contractor’s credit.

How Much Does the Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond Cost?

The Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Surety Bond can cost anywhere between $200 to $1,000 per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on a number of factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. We also offer easy interest-free financing for premiums over $500. The chart below offers a quick reference for the approximate bond cost on the $20,000 bond requirement.

Credit Score Bond Cost (1 year)
625+ $200
600 – 624 $500
575 – 599 $600
500 – 574 $1,000

*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.

How Does Massachusetts Define “Blasting Operator”?

To paraphrase Massachusetts Statute 13.03, a blasting operator is contractor blows up or breaks apart structures through the use of explosives

How Do Blasting Operators Apply for Certification in Massachusetts?

Contractors in Massachusetts must navigate several steps to secure their explosive user’s certificate. Below are the general guidelines, but contractors should refer to the application form for details on the process.

Certification Period – The Massachusetts explosive user’s certification will remain active for as long as the contractor’s surety bond and liability insurance are in effect

Step 1 – Obtain a Federal Explosive License

Massachusetts requires contractors seeking to obtain a blasting license to first acquire a Federal Explosive License from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Contractors whose work is limited to research and development and are exempt from this requirement must submit an exemption form with their license application. All blasting operators must submit an ATF notice of clearance listing all responsible persons and employee possessors with their application.

Step 2 – Purchase Insurance

All blasting operators must purchase and maintain liability insurance with minimum limits of $1 million per occurrence, and $1 million aggregate.

Step 3 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Contractors must purchase and maintain a $20,000 Blasting Operations Blanket surety bond

Step 4 – Complete the Application

All Massachusetts explosive user’s regulatory certification applications should be mailed to the following address:

Department of Fire Services
P.O. Box 1025
Stow, MA 01775

Completed applications will include the following items;

    • Copy of your current ATF license/permit or exemption letter
    • Copy of your ATF notice of clearance listing responsible persons and employee possessors
    • Certificate of insurance
    • Surety bond

Step 5 – Obtain a Blasting License

Contractor companies must have at least one member of their organization possess an active Blasting License. The application process for obtaining a blasting license is pretty complex, and contractors should refer to the application form for details on the process.

 5a – Pass the Exam

 After submitting their completed applications, contractors will be registered for the next available exam date. Study materials can be found here.

 5.b – Pay Fee

Contractors must pay a $60 license fee prior to receiving their blasting license

Do Blasting Operators Need to Renew Their Certification?

The Massachusetts explosive user’s certification will remain active for as long as the contractor’s surety bond and liability insurance are in effect. However, the blasting license is valid for two years from the date of issuance and must be renewed before the expiration date. To renew the blasting license, contractors should mail their renewal application, including the $40 renewal fee, to the following address:

Department of Fire Services
P.O. Box 1025
Stow, MA 01775

What Are the Insurance Requirements for the Massachusetts Explosive User’s Certification?

The State of Massachusetts requires blasting operators to obtain liability insurance with minimum limits of $1 million per occurrence, and $1 million aggregate. Contractors must purchase and maintain a $20,000 blasting operations blanket surety bond.

How Do Massachusetts Blasting Operators File Their Bond?

Contractors should mail the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to the following address:

Department of Fire Services
P.O. Box 1025
Stow, MA 01775

The blasting operation blanket surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the contractor. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • Legal name and address of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name and state of operations
  • Bond amount
  • Date the bond is approved
  • Date the bond is signed

What Can Contractors Do to Avoid Claims Against the Massachusetts Blasting Operations Blanket Bond?

To avoid claims on the blasting operations blanket bond, contractors must ensure not to damage the person or property of any individual or business entity when conducting blasting operations.

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Blasting Operators in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts requires blasting operators to obtain liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Massachusetts Blasting Operator Customers?

Massachusetts conveniently provides a public database to search for active blasting operators in the state. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

2021-12-28T15:22:26-05:00