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.
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.
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.
Why Do Clients 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 to See the 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.
What to Look for When Examining 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.
Tracking a Certificate 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.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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 Liability
- Business Owners Policy (BOP)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Commercial Auto
- Commercial Umbrella
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Cyber Liability
- Employers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- General Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability
- Workers Compensation Insurance
Your small business faces many potential disasters including: fire, floods, theft, equipment breakdown, lawsuits from clients or customers and current & former employees. Any many other risks you haven't even thought about.
A small business commercial insurance program should provide protection for both larger and smaller disasters. The obvious things like fire, flood and theft most business owners think about... but what if a hacker infects your computers with a virus - and files containing private customer information like credit card and Social Security numbers are stolen?
Who is going to pay to fix your customers credit rating etc...? Will your insurance pay for the cost? You need to know that.
Your commercial insurance program should cover events that can close down your company, or cause it to lose revenue. Anything less than that is not enough coverage. Commmercial insurance doesn't cover everything, and all policies have exclusions and limits.
You need a written plan that allows you to get your operations back up and running as quick as possible.