Certificate Of Insurance Compliance Software
If your business hires a lot of outside help, in the form of subcontractors, vendors, specialists, commercial tenants, really anyone who interacts with your business in a way that generates risk, then certificate of insurance compliance is a key part of your business. Certificates of insurance, or COIs, are the promise your vendors are making to you that they carry the insurance coverage you require for employment. If you’re not getting them, or worse not tracking them, you could be opening your business to incredible insurance risk.
Certificates of insurance best practices require you to do more than receive a COI. You must verify the coverage. You must verify the details. You must ask for clarification on places where it’s unclear, and you must ensure your business is protected. That’s just certificate of insurance 101. You’re probably already starting to see that this is more complicated than a software to track expiration dates.
Certificate of insurance compliance software, like the expert tools and service that myCOI provides, can save your compliance team literally hours of work every day. It can save you from delayed job starts. It can keep your other employees from standing around, waiting for that critical vendor, while you’re confirming their insurance compliance.
And it can save you from having to pay costly insurance claims when, inevitably, there are accidents.
How To Track Certificates Of Insurance
Tracking certificates of insurance compliance is the work a risk manager or compliance admin does to collect, verify and maintain the certificates of insurance provided to that company by its third parties. Almost anyone a business hires to do work on its behalf can be asked to provide some form of proof of insurance. And on the face of it, that sounds like a pretty easy ask. But certificate tracking isn’t always that easy.
Collect a piece of paper? A standardized form? And store it? Simple.
Except each certificate of insurance has to be checked, first and foremost to ensure that it claims all the necessary coverages, amounts, limits, and exclusions that your company requires of its contractors. Sure, there is general liability insurance mentioned, but does it protect to the same amount that you require?
Also, what assurances do you have that the contractor didn’t let the policy lapse the day after they handed you the COI? Are you verifying with insurance agents that these contractors still hold the policies and protections that their COI claims? Are there exclusions to the contractor’s protection that will mean you’re held responsible for risk that should properly rest with the contractor?
If you have any questions as you’re reviewing, contact the vendor or their insurance broker and have the certificate of insurance explained to you. Certificates of insurance issues and answers can be complicated because insurance is complicated, but being able to ensure compliance with your vendors is well worth the effort.
Certificate Of Insurance Tracking Software
There’s a difference between knowing how to organize certificates of insurance, and how to track certificates of insurance. Organizing usually refers to the methods by which you receive, verify, and store the certificates. Tracking COIs is more complicated: it steps into the world of actually tracking the protection the COI certifies, not just the paper. And that usually requires software.
The competition for the best certificate of insurance tracking software is fierce, and we’d be being dishonest if we didn’t say you need to choose the right solution for your company. Obviously, at myCOI we believe we are the right solution nine times out of ten, but we don’t fit every company, and that’s okay. Certificate tracking online could be a critical part of your business no matter what solution you use, whether that’s a fully managed partner solution, myCOI competitors, or something else. Certificate of insurance compliance is too important not to do.
You’ll need to define what “best” means for your business. Is it the least expensive? That depends on how you measure cost. In pure dollars, a free COI tracking software may work, but is it reliable? Do its developers offer support? Are there regular product updates coming out? If not, check it carefully to make sure it isn’t out of date.
Is “best” the least of your precious person-hours consumed by tracking certificates of insurance? Then a managed solution like myCOI offers may be best. Our team of insurance professionals know what they’re looking at, and they’re experts in making sure your certificates are promising what they say they do, that they meet your business requirements for coverage, and our quarterly verification makes sure the coverage stays in effect.
When Do You Need A Certificate Of Insurance From A Vendor
If you’re a contractor or business asking which vendors need a certificate of insurance, the answer is pretty simple: any vendor that enters your business premises or project site to perform work and takes any actions that may generate any risk at all needs to give you a certificate of insurance. You want each vendor to have a certificate of insurance for delivery to you, in hand, before the work begins.
That sounds pretty vague, we know, but it’s a simple reality. Risk exists all around us, whether we generate it or not, and the last thing you want to do is assume the burden of risk your vendor opened you to because you failed to secure a certificate of insurance.
Now you may ask “what is a certificate of insurance for vendors?” and the answer is, the same thing you provide to other entities that you do work on behalf of. It should show the vendor’s coverage, any limitations or exclusions, and all the usual information.
Knowing how to request a certificate of insurance from a vendor likely comes down to how your business works with vendors. In many cases, COIs with the required coverages are required as part of the vendor application process or were specified in the RFP, or in an agreement or contract. If not, it’s often a requirement before the vendor can begin working.
If you deal with a lot of vendors, you can often save a lot of time by having a sample letter requesting certificate of insurance from vendors on hand.
Certificates Of Insurance For Subcontractors
If you’re a subcontractor, or you hire subcontractors and have to track certificates of insurance you receive from them, you may see a few oddities. Depending on what state you’re working in, certificates of insurance for subcontractors may sometimes lack evidence of workers’ compensation coverage. This is because several states do not require workers’ compensation coverage for what are called sole proprietorships, where the individual worker is the only employee of their one-person company. If you’re unsure whether or not there should be a workers comp policy by statute, consult with your state’s workers compensation board.
Even in states where it is not legally required, however, many companies that hire subcontractors still require the coverage as a necessity for employment. In that case, a workers’ compensation certificate of insurance for subcontractors will show the minimum necessary coverage required by the hiring entity.
What’s fun about these one-person plans is that often they’re what are called ghost policies: they are workers’ compensation plans, but they have exclusions disallowing coverage for the single employee. They allow subcontractors to satisfy the requirement of needing workers’ compensation, but since they are excluded, the coverage only covers a ghost.
One question we get a lot at myCOI is “which vendors need a certificate of insurance?” and the answer to that is “all of them.” Anyone coming on your job site to do work needs to provide you with a COI; otherwise, you’re assuming the risk of any claims they may generate or cause while they’re there.
COI Tracking Spreadsheet
If you’re looking for a simple and manual way to track the certificates of insurance in your business, then using a COI tracking spreadsheet is an option worth considering. Many companies begin by having their staff track insurance policies on Excel spreadsheets. And for smaller companies just starting out, that system works. For basic certificate of insurance tracking spreadsheets are not a bad solution.
Many companies find spreadsheets a good training tool; for a certificate of insurance tracking template Excel has several basic templates that can be customized to what you need, but most companies scale past this very quickly.
The drawbacks of using a certification tracking spreadsheet are that they can be time-consuming to maintain and often require constant updating. What began as a simple project one person could track and easily snowball into a time-intensive process that’s impossible to scale as a company grows. Instead, companies might add more people and more spreadsheets, which leads to paperwork being lost or misplaced, which leads to increased chances for errors in the data.
That is exactly the worry that myCOI erases. Our systems are industry-leading. Our insurance professionals are top-notch. If you’re tracking hundreds of certificates of insurance, we’d love the chance to show you just how much time and effort we can save you.
Insurance Certificate Issuance Software
We get a lot of questions about certificates of insurance issues and answers, and a theme that stands out is around certificate issuance software.
Insurance certificate issuance software is not something non-insurance companies typically have to worry about. The insurance company is responsible for issuing certificates of insurance to the company. If you’re an owner or manager, it’s crucial that you know what your responsibilities are and how those differ from someone in this role at another firm. Whether it comes down to handling employee-related matters or discussing business strategy with clients, a basic understanding of these roles will go a long way when forging relationships within your industry.
Sometimes people mention certificates of issuance, but that’s a different certificate. These testify to the issuance of certificates for things like bar codes or identification numbers. As it sounds, it’s a certificate of issuance meaning it certifies that something was issued.
Instead of wasting time asking “what is certificate of issuance?” focus on tracking your own certificates of insurance. With a COI tracking application, you’ll never need to worry about tedious paperwork again. You can also make sure that your records are always up-to-date thanks to automated updates from vendors.