Virginia Certificate of Insurance Policy Information
Virginia 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 Virginia certificate of insurance gives clients this assurance.
A Virginia certificate insurance provides verification of your business insurance coverage. Get a fast quote and your COI now.
What Is A Virginia Certificate of Insurance?
An Virginia 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 Virginia 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 VA Certificate of Insurance?
As a business owner, you should seek a Virginia 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 VA 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 VA Certificate of Insurance
The first thing to remember when looking at a Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia certificate of insurance to ensure that it protects you from personal liability when working with contractors and subcontractors.
Virginia Economic Data & Small Business Insurance Information
If you're planning on starting a business, a lot of planning and factors need to be taken into consideration. Of course, having a great business model and offering valuable products and services are all keys to your success; however, there's something else that you need to take into consideration: where you're going to set up shop.
In order to reap the success that you hope for, you need to choose a location that offers favorable conditions for your specific business. If you operation isn't located in a location that can benefit from what you plan on offering, you aren't going to achieve the success that you desire.
For entrepreneurs who are thinking about Virginia as a location for their headquarters or a branch of their company, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic trends in the commonwealth. It's also essential that you have a keen understanding in regard to the type of insurance coverage you'll need to carry to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees.
Business Economic Trends In Virginia
In regard to job growth, VA exceeds the rate of national job growth. As of February 2021, unemployment rates were at a historic low in The Volunteer State, with a rate of 3.2% throughout the state; 0.1% lower than the last historic low of 3.3% in October of 2018. That's lower than the national unemployment rate, which was reported to be 3.8% in February of 2019. Economists are forecasting continued job growth throughout the state into 2021.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen a dramatic upswing in economic growth in recent years. As of late 2021, the unemployment rate had fallen to a record low of just 2.9 percent; a significant difference compared to the national unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent. In a one-year period, nearly 65,000 jobs were added. In 2019, the unemployment rate and economic growth of the state continues to be positive, and it expected to remain in the green well into 2021 and the future.
In regard to areas that offer the most favorable conditions for business owners, there are several. Metropolitan areas, including northern (Arlington, Fairfax, etc...), central (Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, etc...), and southern (Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, etc...) all afford great opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, virtually any location in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be considered favorable for business owners.
Industries that offer great promise in Virginia include:
- Education and training
- Information technology
- Travel and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations & Limits In VA
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in Virginia. Just like any other state in the country, there are regulations in place regarding commercial insurance. Business owners are required to carry certain types of coverage to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
Small businesses with 2 or more employees are required by VA state law to have workers comp insurance coverage.
If you use certain types of motor vehicles for business-related purposes, you'll also need to invest in commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your drivers, as well as other drivers on the road.
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 Umbrella
- Comprehensive General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Cyber Liability
- Employers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- Event Cancellation
- Fiduciary Liability
- General Liability
- Home Based Business
- Independent Contractor
- Liability Insurance Certificate
- Liability Insurance
- Ocean Marine
- Professional Liability
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Workers Compensation Insurance Laws
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.
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Also find Virginia insurance agents & brokers and learn about Virginia small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including VA business insurance costs. Call us (703) 747-9779.