5 Things to Do to Verify Your COI is Valid

July 28, 2022

Not every subcontractor can afford insurance coverage.

Not every subcontractor will be honest.

A certificate of insurance template in the wrong hands can make your company vulnerable to claims and damages. A false COI usually means an absence of coverage.

While a certificate of liability insurance form example can help you do your job, it can also be used to circumvent your insurance requirements. Your company should only accept valid COIs to confirm subcontractors are actively covered.

When We Say Valid, We Mean…

The insurance details listed on a COI are important. Verifying them is a crucial step in COI management. However, what good are the details if the COI is not even the correct form? Or a real one?

Wrong and fraudulent forms are worthless to your company. To subcontractors hiding their lack of insurance, they are tools that help them remain employed.

COI forms are easy to find online. Anyone can download them from any website, even the official ACORD site. ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, provides standardized insurance forms that are used by companies across the United States. The ACORD 25, the liability insurance certificate, is widely used by insurance professionals.

ACORD forms are the standard forms for the insurance industry. Because of their reputation, subcontractors who want to deceive the companies that hired them can seek the forms out and fill them in with believable yet false information. They do not even have to obtain the forms from ACORD. Many websites claim to offer them. It only takes a few moments to download an ACORD certificate of insurance PDF. Those few moments could cost your company a lot of money if an injured party files a claim and it’s discovered your deceptive subcontractor’s coverage does not exist.

valid COI should be an ACORD certificate of liability insurance form and it should come from the subcontractor’s insurance agent or broker.

PDFs are a Blessing and a Curse

A certificate of insurance sample PDF can be an effective learning tool and visual aid. However, the document’s accessibility can prove to be a curse for the same people tasked with collecting and checking COIs.

Editing a certificate of insurance PDF is just as easy as downloading one. Free online editors allow users to modify and fill in any certificate of liability insurance form PDF. Plus, anyone could print a fillable ACORD certificate of insurance and complete it by hand.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to verify your COIs are valid.

Accept ACORD 25 forms

Many honest insurance agencies use the ACORD 25 form. You can check the bottom left-hand corner of the form for the words “ACORD 25.”

Confirm the insurance company is legitimate

The subcontractor’s insurance company’s name should be on the top right of the COI. You can search online for the name or contact your insurance agent to affirm the company exists.

Watch for handwriting, mismatching fonts, and formatting discrepancies

A document that appears typed and printed can seem credible. You can examine the policy’s effective and expiration dates and description of operations section. That information should be properly aligned and typed in the same font as the rest of the form.

Look for missing details

People can download a blank certificate of insurance ACORD form and fill it in any way they want. If they’re in a hurry or don’t know what to add, they might leave out items like the coverage type or the carrier’s address. Missing information can be a huge red flag.

Assess whether the form appears photocopied

If a COI looks too dark or faded, then it might not be authentic. People can use old forms with a few new details added to forge a COI. Photocopying a couple of forms together can result in different shades of paper.

Use a Blank Form to Your Benefit

If you use a blank certificate of liability insurance form like the ACORD 25 as a basis for your visual reviews of COIs, then you can probably spot shady forms much easier. If the boxes are wrong, you’ll have a certificate of insurance template on-hand to either confirm or refute your suspicions.

Just remember: You and your subcontractors can download a certificate of insurance template free online.

Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to worry about subcontractors falsifying their COIs? How easy would your job be if you didn’t have to scour over every COI and compare them with a certificate of insurance form sample?

Certificate of insurance online tracking can protect your business from dishonest subcontractors. Adopting automated COI tracking like myCOI resolves all of the suspicions and weeds out fake forms. Built on a foundation of insurance logic, myCOI knows when uploaded COIs are legitimate and valid. With smart technology at your disposal, the only thing you have to do to verify your COIs are valid is to scan them.

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