What You Need To Know About a Certificate Of Insurance

Do you work in a field—such as construction—where there’s a risk for property damage? Then, you need to be familiar with a document called a “certificate of insurance” or COI. It’s a simple piece of paper that could save you or your clients a lot of headache and heartache in the event of a lawsuit.  If this sounds like something you need, then we recommend you talk to one of our agents. First, however, check out this quick primer.


What is a certificate of insurance?


The name is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a document that proves your insurance policy exists and summarizes its contents. Insurance carriers create COIs for three types of commercial insurance: liability, workers’ compensation, and auto liability.


Who needs to see a certificate of insurance?


You should require COI’s from any vendors who perform jobs that might incur lawsuits.


The COIs, as we said, prove that your contractors have insurance, and they also offer quick access to pertinent information. You’ll need them, as well, to make sure your vendors have coverage that meets requirements set by your insurance policies. Your company needs to carefully track these documents so you can fully protect yourself from litigation.


Where do you get a certificate of insurance?


You can ask your vendor to produce a COI before your partnership begins. However, COIs and policy information can be forged. Cover all of your bases and ask the vendor’s insurance carrier for the document, especially if you’ve never worked with the vendor before.


What’s the best way to track multiple certificates of insurance?


Some companies work on multiple projects at once and partner with many contractors. In those cases, it’s advantageous to invest in services or software that will track and verify COIs, so there’s little chance that important documentation will get overlooked.