Certificate of Insurance Policy Information
Certificate of Insurance (COI). There are inherent risks involved anytime a contractor works on a client's property. Life is full of risks, and contract work is particularly risky. Contractors may become injured on the job or damage property belonging to the client. When individuals and companies hire contractors to work for them, they want to be assured that any injuries or damage does not end up costing them.
They also want to be assured that they don't have to pay for substandard work. A certificate of insurance gives clients this assurance.
A certificate insurance provides verification of your business insurance coverage. Get a fast quote and your COI now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked certificate of insurance questions:
- How Much Does A Certificate of Insurance Cost?
- What Is A Certificate of Insurance?
- Why Do Customers Want To See Your Certificate?
- Who Should Ask For A Certificate of Insurance?
- What Do I Need To Know About A Certificate of Insurance?
- How Do You Track Certificates of Insurance?
How Much Does A Certificate of Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard Certificate of Insurance for small businesses is $0. The COIs are typically provided free of charge from insurance companies and brokers.
What Is A Certificate of Insurance?
An certificate of insurance is a document that's standard in the contracting business. It provides evidence that the contractor has insurance coverage and includes the type of coverage and the limits of the policy. It also lists the dates that the policy is in effect.
Why Do Customers Want To See Your Certificate?
The certificate of insurance is important because your company can be held liable if you work with a subcontractor who causes property damage or other damage when working on behalf of your company. Even when you have a contract with the subcontractor spelling out the terms of the contractor, and that contract states that coverage is mandatory, if the coverage actually doesn't exist, then it does your business no good; you're still liable for damage. Proof of coverage from subcontractors is therefore vital.
Who Should Ask For A Certificate of Insurance?
As a business owner, you should seek a certificate of insurance from every subcontractor that you hire. Even among subcontractors that you know and trust, it remains vital that you get this proof of insurance prior to allowing the contractor to conduct business and provide services on your behalf. Each time you hire a subcontractor, even one you've worked with in the past, you should obtain a new certificate of insurance. This can prevent a situation where you absorb risk unwittingly when subcontractors do not have their own insurance in force.
Property owners should also ask for this certificate prior to allowing contractors to work on their properties when hiring contractors, landscapers and others. The reason for this is that:
- It prevents you from taking on risks involved in hiring a company only to find out that the company or its subcontractors have improper insurance or none at all. This protects you from scenarios such as claims that arise if a neighbor's lawn, shrubs, or trees become damaged.
- It ensures that you are not the responsible party if a contractor is injured while working on property you own.
- It provides coverage if the contractor's work is shoddy or incomplete.
Around one out of every 25 claims resulting from errors and omissions involve a certificate of insurance. Around 36 percent of these cases involve contractors who failed to properly identify or add all parties who needed to be insured prior to commencing work. About 21 percent of the cases involve situation where the certificate's holder misrepresented the business' coverage or even claimed to have coverage that is nonexistent.
What Do I Need To Know About A Certificate of Insurance?
The first thing to remember when looking at a certificate of insurance is to remember that it is that the certificate may not be valid. Forged or false certificates are not unheard of, and the contractor may have allowed the insurance to lapse after purchasing a policy. Best practice dictates requesting the certificate of insurance from the contractor's insurance company in lieu of taking the contractor at his word and assuming the validity of the certificate.
When reviewing a certificate of insurance, look at:
- The name on the certificate. It should match the name of the person or the company that you ire.
- The coverage dates. Make sure the policy is not set to expire prior to the anticipated completion date for the job. If the certificate expires during a job, request a new one.
- The limits on the policy and coverage type. The certificate should provide proof of general liability that protects against damage and worker's comp insurance that pays out if the person is injured while working. The limits of the policy should be sufficient to protect you from personal liability in the event of a major event.
In addition, you should ask to be named as an additional insured during the span of the project. By having another entity add your business as an additional insured that sub contractor is protecting you against their potential negligence.
How Do You Track Certificates of Insurance?
An insurance tracking firm can help you verify coverage throughout the job. These companies also provide notification of expiring certificates so that you don't have to keep track of the insurance and ensure it's in force. An insurance agent is also a good liaison in determining the validity of insurance and reviewing the certificate of insurance to ensure that it protects you from personal liability when working with contractors and subcontractors.
Certificate Of Insurance - The Bottom Line
Most businesses require a certificate of insurance to get a business license or a job. A certificate of insurance is a document used to provide proof of specific insurance coverage.
Additional Resources For Small Business Insurance
Protect your company and employees with the right commercial insurance policies. Read informative articles on small business insurance coverages - and how they can help shield your company from legal liabilities.
- Small Business
- Business General Liability
- Business Interruption
- Business Liability
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Crime
- Commercial Package Policy
- Commercial Property
- Commercial Umbrella
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Cyber Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- Event Cancellation
- Fiduciary Liability
- General Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Ocean Marine
- Professional Liability
- Specialty Directors And Officers Liability
- Specialty Errors And Omissions
- Specialty Excess
Businesses need commercial insurance to protect their assets, employees, and customers. It helps to cover the costs of potential accidents, lawsuits, and other unforeseen events that can result in financial loss.
For example, if a customer slips and falls on a wet floor in a store, the business could be held liable for their injuries. Commercial insurance can help cover the costs of medical bills and legal fees associated with the incident.
Additionally, businesses often have valuable equipment and inventory that need to be protected from theft or damage. Commercial insurance can provide coverage for these items in the event of a disaster, such as a fire or natural disaster.
Furthermore, businesses often have employees that can be injured on the job. Workers compensation insurance can provide coverage for medical bills and lost wages for injured employees.
Overall, commercial insurance is a necessary tool for businesses to protect their assets, employees, and customers. Without it, businesses could face significant financial loss in the event of an unexpected occurrence.