Looking for Certificate of Insurance Examples?

myCOI brings certificate of insurance compliance management to a whole new level. We protect your company against the risk of underinsured claims, costly litigation and failed audits.

Protect Your Business From Costly Claims

Ask your CFO or Risk Manager just how much claims and lawsuits can cost your business. If you are collecting certificates just to confirm they were received, you have no guarantee that your requirements are being met. myCOI Central is built on a foundation of insurance industry logic to ensure you remain protected with the appropriate coverage.

Automate Your COI Tracking

There’s no more need to worry about stacks of certificates cluttering up your office or hours of frustrating phone calls and emails to chase down certificates. myCOI Central provides your company with a solution to automate your insurance certificate requests, collection, and compliance resolution, while also giving your team a single, centralized repository to view compliance. 

For Agents & Brokers

Win business and boost retention by providing agency branded, industry leading insurance tracking software to your insureds.  Offer software only or add on your own compliance review services.

"As a result of switching providers and partnering with myCOI, myself and our 11 Contract Administrators are spending about 1 hour of our time each week on insurance compliance versus 1 hour each day."
Victoria Pearson
Contract Administrator Manager
Alston Construction

Certificate Of Insurance Example

There are usually two parties most interested in certificate of insurance examples: the business who require them from their subcontractors, vendors, or other third parties, or those third parties themselves, who need to provide them. There’s another interested party, of course: the agents and brokers who issue the certificates, but they don’t usually come to us for questions.

These questions often have quite a range: sometimes it’s “tell me certificates of insurance 101, I just started this role,” and sometimes it’s “can you share with me a good certificate of insurance request form template” since they know our software sends thousands of requests a day.

At myCOI we erase the worry about tracking certificates of insurance. It’s our mission, it’s what we do, and we’ve been doing it for more than a decade. We have the answers you need, so let’s get started.

(And yes, we will mention a sample letter requesting certificate of insurance from vendors, don’t worry.)

Certificate Of Insurance Explained

If you’re a contractor, you need to have a certificate of insurance for business for the insurance policies your business has. There are probably lots of insurance policies you carry at your company. These include:

  • General liability insurance, which covers the potential liability you take on with each project, such as construction projects
  • Commercial auto insurance, which covers your vehicles and drivers during the job
  • Commercial property insurance, which protects any real estate you might have or lease for your business
  • Workers compensation and Employers Liability

When it comes to certificates of insurance 101, you need to make sure you have accurate certificates to represent all of your policies. Don’t just trust a certificate of insurance PDF found online. Know what you’re looking for.  A few critical elements include:

  • The limits of your protection
  • The effective and expiration dates, which define when that  policy is active
  • Your insurers or carriers, which are your insurance companies

You should not be creating your own COIs. Even though you should review your certificates, it is essential to rely on a specialized third party like your insurance agent to produce them. This is one of the services that your policy premiums pay for. That way, you know you have the proper protection for your company the next time you start a project.

And remember that certificate of insurance requirements by state can be very different. Let’s imagine you’re headquartered in Cincinnati, which puts you in working distance of both Indiana and Kentucky. All three of those states could have differing regulatory requirements around insurance and compliance, and it’s your responsibility to be compliant. 

Sample Certificate Of Insurance With Additional Insured

A simple search online will show you plenty of additional insured examples, with enough variety that you can find an example for all types of certificate of insurance endorsements. Additional insured endorsement forms take a common shape: most include a warning right at the top that says “this endorsement changes the policy; please read it carefully.” This is an important distinction because, as we’ve already discussed, you’re amending your prior coverage to additional coverage for the entity named.

Next on an additional insured endorsement example, you may see “Additional Insured – Names Person or Organization.” This may seem like just a field label, but it carries the weight of precedent. It’s not unheard of for a claim to be adjudicated against a putative additional insured because they didn’t take the time to check their additional insured endorsement forms to make sure their name was spelled correctly.

Most additional insured endorsements forms will also have a short section noting that this endorsement modifies the “who is an insured” definition from the original certificate of insurance. It may seem unimportant, but on a certificate of insurance additional insured wording can often be critical.

If this doesn’t make sense, take the time to look up a certificate of insurance additional insured sample that is applicable for your industry and your state. Quite often, just seeing what a sample additional insured endorsement looks like is enough to help it begin to make sense.

Sample ACORD 25

As you are looking at your ACORD certificate of insurance sample, and then double-checking your own actual certificate, it is important to make sure there are no mistakes. If you’re providing this certificate to a hiring entity, they’re going to verify your coverage. If there are discrepancies, that could slow down when you begin work or even delay the project.

Think of it this way: in many states, you’re required to carry a certificate of car insurance sample—well, not a sample, the little card your car insurance agent gives you is the actual certificate—in case you get pulled over, to prove you’re covered in case of an accident. Companies have to do the same check, except the insurance requirements for businesses when dealing with other businesses are far more complex.  

If you’re learning how to read certificates of insurance, a sample ACORD 25 is a good place to start. It is the most common liability certificate of insurance form. ACORD insurance forms are well-trusted in the insurance industry.

On the ACORD 25 sample, there are a few common mistakes people make. One of the most common mistakes is getting policy numbers confused. Your auto, workers’ compensation, and general liability insurance policies may have different policy numbers. Make sure you pair the right policy number with the right type of insurance. 

Furthermore, these policies may have different expiration dates. Do not assume they all have the same effective date and expiration date. If you do, you may end up assigning the wrong dates to the wrong policies. This will render your ACORD 25 form inaccurate. Double-check the policy effective dates and expiration dates before you provide the certificate to anyone. If you have questions about your insurance policies, reach out to your insurance provider for more. 

Certificates Of Insurance Issues And Answers

We know this can be a complicated topic because we get asked about certificate of insurance issues and answers all the time. Insurance is a complicated field with nuances around every corner, and almost every situation has some kind of unique aspect. Understanding coverage, understanding what the certificates of insurance actually say—and what they don’t say—can be, and often is, a full-time job, and it often takes more than glancing at a certificate of insurance template.

There are two parties you want to check within almost any instance of questions around certificates of insurance. First, for questions like which vendors need a certificate of insurance, check with your company’s risk management department, or when that doesn’t exist, your company’s general counsel about what your vendor insurance requirements are. In many cases, these departments or people can give you a certificate of insurance review checklist to help you ensure that the COIs you review have all the necessary coverage. 

The other party will be the agent or broker who issued the certificate of insurance. When you have questions about the coverage, exclusions, or limitations shown on a certificate of insurance you receive, the only safe source of information is the agent or broker itself. Don’t ask the third party who provided you with the certificate; not only does this give them the opportunity to be dishonest, it also sets you up to be taken advantage of out of ignorance or a mistaken belief about coverage. Go to the source. Ask the agent or broker. Certificate of insurance compliance is complicated enough without adding more chances for mistakes.

Request For Certificate Of Insurance Sample Letter

If you’re a contractor or business asking “when do you need a certificate of insurance from a vendor?” The answer is pretty simple: before 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. 

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. You should request certificates of insurance from vendors every time you hire them.

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 minimum insurance requirements for vendors 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 proof of insurance from vendors on hand. Knowing how to request a certificate of insurance from a vendor does little to shield you from the hours of work you have ahead of you verifying all those resultant COIs, though. A request for certificate of insurance sample letter can also be a useful training aid.