There are several reason why you should collect certificates of insurance (COI) from your vendors, contractors, subcontractors and or tenants prior to engaging in any work or agreement. Collecting a certificate of insurance is meant to identify a snap shot of your vendor’s insurance policy and to insure the transfer of risk if need be.
What is a certificate of insurance?
- A certificate of insurance is a document that shows who is the insured (customer), who they are insured with (insurance carrier), and what their policy limits are.
- It also identifies the effective date and expiration date of the policy.
- Specific endorsements can also be identified in a COI when requested
Why should I collect a certificate from someone?
- There are many reasons why you should collect a certificate, most importantly you can confirm the company has insurance.
- Secondly you can see if the certificate effective dates and expiration dates are valid.
What else should my certificate say?
- We highly recommend talking with your attorney about what specific verbiage should be included in your contracts and what your certificates should specifically state.
- Many contracts will ask for additional insured endorsements and waivers of subrogation. Primary non-contributory language is also very common.
It is always important to not only collect the certificates of insurance but to be proactive in tracking them so you can stay on top of effective dates, limits, endorsements, etc. This is important whether you’re working with a long term partner or working with a company for the first time.