The Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, known in shorthand as ACORD, is a nonprofit organization that issues and archives insurance forms. The forms they’re most known for standardizing are ones we talk about a lot: certificates of insurance, also known as COIs.
Read on as we discuss the importance of ACORD certificates in addition to our Certificates of Insurance 101 blog series.
Is ACORD an Insurance Provider?
Though very influential in the insurance industry, ACORD is not an insurance provider.
Insurance providers, also known as insurance agents, insurance companies, or insurers, provide protective policies to parties in exchange for payment. These companies offer standard policies, such as personal property insurance, to buyers and make needed changes before formalizing an agreement. Once finalized, a policyholder will pay for the policy in monthly installments known as premiums, and insurers will likely not think about the policy much again until a) claims arise, b) the policyholder needs proof of their coverage in the form of a COI, or c) the policy is set to expire.
ACORD, on the other hand, is a nonprofit organization that helps standardize processes and forms for practitioners such as the providers mentioned above globally. While they don’t work with people on COIs individually, ACORD forms have become an industry norm for sharing information about insurance policies, coverage details, and proof of insurance. Using consistent forms has helped maintain accuracy and efficiency throughout various kinds of insurance communications. Additionally, ACORD forms often align with regulatory requirements and industry standards, so they help insurance companies know to provide the correct information as required by regulations.
What Is the ACORD Certificate?
The ACORD certificate, known commonly as a business certificate of insurance or COI, is the go-to document industry-wide for providing and receiving evidence of someone’s coverage. It’s important in numerous verticals to ensure that individuals and businesses have the necessary insurance coverage to protect against potential liabilities and financial losses.
All ACORD certificates of insurance will contain key policy information for the ease of the involved parties. COIs only provide a snapshot of a policy at a certain point in time, however, and will need to continue to be verified throughout a business relationship. Here is a list of information typically included in a standard COI:
- Contact information of the policyholder
- Contact information of the insurance provider
- Contact information of the certificate holder (the party that will be receiving the document)
- Policy type and number
- Policy effective dates and expiration date
- High-level coverage details
- Endorsements or inclusions, such as additional insured provisions
A few of the common ACORD forms include:
- ACORD certificate of liability insurance (ACORD 25)
- ACORD certificate of property insurance (ACORD 24)
- ACORD evidence of property (ACORD 27)
Who Fills out the ACORD Certificate of Insurance?
Only an insurance provider that is extending coverage to someone in the form of a policy can fill out and issue an official certificate of insurance. While there are, for example, ACORD certificate of property insurance fillable forms online, these are not actually “fillable” in the sense that you should try to populate the information in them for a real policy yourself. Remember that it’s a fraudulent activity to attempt to fill out a COI without the help of your insurer, so stick to online form searching for educational purposes only. To learn more about COIs, check out the ACORD website or read more of our blog!
Who Asks for a Certificate of Insurance?
Anyone who wants to confirm the coverage of someone else can ask for a certificate of insurance. This is especially common in business transactions and partnerships where inherent risk is present, such as a construction company confirming the coverage of their hired third-party contractors.
For example, suppose you are a commercial property owner with businesses holding lease agreements with you. In that case, you might ask for an ACORD certificate of property insurance and an ACORD certificate of liability insurance from each. This would ensure that your property and finances are protected and reduce your overall level of risk.
Is the ACORD 25 the Most Common Certificate of Insurance?
The ACORD 25 form, a COI providing evidence of general liability insurance, is one of the most commonly used COIs in the industry. That’s because liability insurance is a regularly purchased policy, and limiting liability exposure by confirming that all parties involved in a project are correctly insured is a smart move for any business.
Manage ACORD Forms with Ease with myCOI
We are a leading COI management software platform backed by a team of experienced industry professionals. If you’re ready to have all of your ACORD asks handled by experts, you’ve come to the right place. Give us a call today to learn about some of the benefits we offer, including quarterly policy verification, a centralized repository to view compliance, and a warranty on our recommended courses of action. Book a complimentary demo today.