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Mass. Truck Insurance Requirements

Commercial truck insurance covers tractor trailers, cargo vans, trucks, and more. Generally, if a vehicle has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of over 26,000 pounds, that vehicle could be covered under commercial truck insurance. It may also cover trucks and tractor trailers over 33,000 pounds that operate in multiple states and conduct interstate commerce. Although not as common, any vehicle with a company logo may be eligible for truck insurance.

In Massachusetts, commercial trucking insurance has a risk pool determined by garaging zip codes. These are guaranteed coverage even if a company has been declined by another market.

Red truck in the highway
Average Costs of Truck Insurance in Mass.

Like every truck or fleet, each insurance premium will be unique. Factors that affect insurance costs include driving history, location, fleet size, type of usage and type of trucks being insured. According to Commercial Truck Insurance HQ, the average yearly cost for one truck is $13,792 and most premiums range from $11,037 to $15,071 annually.


Additional Coverages and Who Should Consider Them

Commercial truck insurance may not be sufficient in some situations. Here are a few additional coverages to consider:

Primary/General Liability – Protect your company against third-party claims of property damage, bodily injury, or advertising injuries/reputational harm. Oftentimes, trucks can cause more damage and prove significantly more expensive to repair, following a collision.

Physical Damage Physical damage is a general term for vehicle insurance coverages. It includes collision insurance, which covers collisions, overturns, and rolls; and comprehensive insurance, which covers other scenarios, like if your vehicle is stolen or hit while parked. (Source: Progressive and The Hartford)

Motor Truck Cargo Cargo is at risk during the loading process, in transit, in storage, and throughout the final distribution stage. Truck operators need cargo insurance to hedge against damage and destruction of goods along the way.

Motor Truck Liability – Motor truck liability covers incidents that happen outside of a truck. A few examples: A client slips on ice outside the business office, products were delivered to the wrong place, a driver gets into a physical altercation at a truck stop.

Non-Trucking Liability – This covers your vehicle when you’re not under dispatch, i.e., using a truck for personal use. This will also cover a situation where you’ve leased a vehicle, but your lease hasn’t started yet. 

Trailer Interchange – Insurance that covers physical damage to a trailer, regardless of if it’s owned or rented. This coverage only covers the trailer, not the cargo being transported.

Medical Payments – Medical payments coverage is also known as medical or MedPay. It offers payment for anyone riding in a truck that was in an accident and can cover long-term suffering if needed.

Uninsured Motorist – This covers your truck or trucks if a vehicle without insurance hits or damages it.

Workers Compensation – Massachusetts workers comp ensures that all workers are protected if they are injured at work or contract a job-related illness. It’s a required business insurance in MA. For truckers, this can cover accident-related injuries, injuries from loading or unloading cargo, and falls when entering or exiting the truck.

Trucking Umbrella Policy – Covers any gaps in between policies or when liability insurance limits are too low. Umbrella insurance is especially important for the trucking industry because truck accidents can cause an immense amount of damage and injuries.

Federal Filings

There are a variety of filings that various businesses that depend on trucks may need. Here are a few common fillings.

  • MCS-90 – The MCS-90 is a mandatory form for any commercial trucking business. It is a federal proof of insurance, submitted by your insurance carrier to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Generally, this form is for carriers conducting interstate commerce.
  • BMC-91X – A BMC-91X is a proof of insurance for commercial buses carrying or transporting people across state lines.
  • Form H – Form H is a state filing that is not required in all states. It proves that you have sufficient cargo liability insurance and is submitted to the transportation department of your business’ state. It’s not required in Massachusetts.

Note: C&S can help companies navigate the process of preparing for a federal filing.

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Types of Truck Insurance

There are a variety of add-on insurances that fall under truck insurance. Some companies may bundle multiple types of insurances listed below.

  • Refrigerated or Reefer Trucking – This covers refrigerated goods that are damaged in transit if a refrigeration system breaks or the truck breaks down. This coverage includes accidents that involve refrigerated trucks. This is usually an add-on to existing truck insurance.
  • Flatbed Trucking – Flatbed trucking insurance covers any flatbed truck. Flatbeds often carry heavy or oversized loads, which can cause serious accidents, so insurance is vital.
  • Log Trucking – This coverage applies to trucks that carry lumber. Hauling heavy logs creates a higher risk of the truck tipping or having a serious accident, which is why this may cost more than other types of truck insurance.
  • Livestock Hauling – Livestock hauling insurance includes coverage for escaped livestock, deaths or injuries, deck collapse, and accidents involving livestock trucks.
  • New Venture – This covers companies looking to get started or expand into the transportation business or startup businesses that will use trucks.
  • Hazmat Hauling – This covers trucks carrying hazardous materials, including flammables, poisons, explosives, paints, fertilizers, adhesives, etc. Coverage is mandatory when carrying such materials, and failure to comply can result in major fines or jail time. Insurance prices may differ depending on what types of materials are being carried.
    • Class 1 – Explosives
    • Class 2 – Gases
    • Class 3 – Flammable Liquids
    • Class 4 – Flammable Solids
    • Class 5 – Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides
    • Class 6 – Toxic and Infectious Substances
    • Class 7 – Radioactive Materials
    • Class 8 – Corrosive Substances
    • Class 9 – Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods
      Source: DOT Hazard Classification System
  • Hot Shot Trucking – “Hot shotting” is expediting a cargo transport, usually to a single customer or location. For example, if a construction site needs last-minute materials, they may hire a hot shot. This covers damage to a driver, their materials, and their vehicle. It also covers third-party liability claims.
  • Less Than Truckload – Less than truckload (LTL) insurance covers every piece of freight in a shipment when the truck/trailer is not full. It will also cover a truck carrying cargo for multiple companies.
  • Auto Hauling – Auto hauling covers trucks that transport automobiles. This insurance covers clearance (height) accidents, damage to the cars, and theft.
  • Intermodal Trucking – Covers trucks that drive hauling containers that will be transported with two or more forms of transportation, like rail cars, a cargo ship or airplane. (Source: Commercial Truck Insurance HQ)
  • General Freight – General freight insurance is coverage for 3rd-party carriers carrying large loads (such as an Amazon or Walmart hauler). It’s also a vital coverage for specialized carriers, bulk chemical shippers and gas haulers or oil dealers.
  • Final Mile Delivery – This covers “final mile” deliveries, an industry term that describes the last leg of a delivery, from a warehouse or distribution center to a customer. This insurance has seen monumental growth in the past few years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Massachusetts Cities that C&S Covers

C&S covers every city in Massachusetts and is licensed in all 48 states.

Why C&S?

C&S Insurance has exclusive access to markets and programs that other insurance brokers don’t have. We have agents who possess a combined 20 years of experience in the commercial transportation insurance business. We’re a local company invested in our community. We take the time to get to know each of our clients and always work hard to secure the best possible coverage and rates.

We provide complete coverage for your commercial truck insurance needs so you can keep your mind on your business knowing you’re covered. You can speak with an agent about your coverage at any of the following locations:

massachusetts insurance agency
RMV Services

For our commercial clients with large fleets, we’re able to execute RMV errands on your behalf. Our ability to complete many commercial plate transactions in-house is another plus point for busy owners and their teams. While we can’t handle all RMV transactions, here a just a few that we can: new plate issuance, license plate transfers, MA plate renewals and returns.