Looking for a Certificate Of Insurance Online?

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 Online

Answering the question of how to get certificates of insurance online depends entirely on who you are and what your role is in the certificate of insurance process, because it affects both sourcing and propriety. Small business insurance is quite different from professional services insurance, for instance, and you need to know the difference before you start asking how to get a certificate of insurance for an event.

First, let’s imagine that you’re a contractor, vendor, or other third-party who is being asked to provide a certificate of insurance before you can begin work. In this case, you want to start with your insurance agent or broker’s website. Many providers offer forms that allow you to request the correct certificate without having to make an appointment or make a phone call. 

What you should not do, though, is start wondering how to get insurance certificate online yourself, so you can fill them out without your agent. Don’t do that. Never do that. Let your insurance agent or broker do that. It’s their job, they’re the experts. 

If you’re a certificate holder (the person or entity who receives certificates of insurance) and you need to request updated certificates, you can also start at the agent/agency’s website, if you know which agent to check out. This can happen in some instances when a certificate holder needs a new or updated certificate because of discrepancies or questions.

Lastly, if you’re an insurer looking for form templates, or even sitting at your computer asking “how do I fill out an ACORD certificate of insurance,” check with your senior leadership or check online for resources. ACORD provides helpful instructions for agents and brokers about filling out their forms.

Certificate of Insurance (COI)

The concept of a certificate of insurance (COI) is not a new one. In a very basic form, you probably have a certificate of your auto insurance in your car or your wallet. The form is a bit more complex for business general liability insurance, but the concept is the same: a document issued by an agent or broker saying that the bearer is insured against certain actions to certain levels of protection.

Most agents or brokers will give you a certificate automatically, or offer you a way to request your certificate of insurance online via their website.

Now that we’ve talked about how important certificates of insurance are, let’s look at an example of what one looks like. By far the most common general liability form is the ACORD 25 general liability insurance form, but you should check a certificate of insurance PDF from whatever source your company uses.

All of the fields are clearly labeled, and your agent or broker should provide it to you already filled out, but let’s look at the high points. The Insured box should have your name or your company’s name in it since it’s certifying your insurance. Depending on your coverage, you may see values in the General Liability box, the Automobile Liability box, or the Umbrella/Excess Liability box, and so on.

Certificate Of Insurance For Business

When it comes to needing a certificate of insurance for business purposes, much depends on which business you are in that relationship. Let’s first look at when you’re the requesting business: you’re hiring contractors or vendors and you need to ensure they’re carrying the requisite coverage to shield your company from risk they create, without exclusions or limitations that your business won’t accept.

It almost goes without saying that you’re also on the lookout for fake business insurance certificates or other attempts at fraud. 

In this instance, you probably have either a tool like myCOI to help you with this, or you have a risk management checklist of some sort to check the certificates of insurance against. One common check is to decide whether your company needs to be just the insurance certificate holder vs additional insured; being endorsed as additional insured can extend coverage to your organization in the event of a loss or litigation caused by the third party you hire. 

And if you’re on the other side, the contractor or vendor providing the certificate of insurance, all you really need to do is consult with your broker or other insurer, ensure you meet and can accept all the coverage requirements requested, and get an acceptable certificate of insurance issued by your broker.

How To Request A Certificate Of Insurance From A Vendor

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. Your company’s minimum insurance requirements for vendors will likely give you some guidance.

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 certificate 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.

ACORD Certificate Of Insurance Sample

As you are looking at your ACORD certificate of insurance form 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, an ACORD certificate of insurance sample is a good place to start. It is the most common general liability certificate of insurance form. Knowing how to ACORD insurance certificates is as easy as knowing how to use Google.

On the sample ACORD 25, 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 information.

Finally, be sure you know which form you need to be looking at. The general liability insurance form is quite different from an ACORD certificate of property insurance form.

Certificates Of Insurance Best Practices

At myCOI we erase the worry businesses have about noncompliant certificates of insurance (COIs) because we know our industry-leading technology and unmatched professional insurance staff make us the best choice for any company dealing with hundreds or thousands of certificates. We know, from experience helping hundreds of companies succeed, what certificates of insurance best practices are.

There’s a wide breadth of familiarity with certificates of insurance. New subcontractors, for instance, might be asking us “where do I get a certificate of insurance”, moments before we heard “when do you need a certificate of insurance from a vendor?” from brand-new risk managers or compliance admins. 

The answers, by the way, are from your agent or broker, and before the vendor starts any work.

There’s a lot of complexity in certificate of insurance tracking and management. Knowing where to find certificates online, knowing how to request a certificate of insurance from a vendor, these are just the starting points. You also need to know your company’s requirements around insurance coverage, so you can confirm that the COIs you receive actually claim the coverage you need to see to let the vendor begin work. You need to know what each box of the certificate of insurance form is for, and what the numbers mean. You need to know the difference between a certificate holder and an additional insured, and perhaps dozens more differences depending on your company’s requirements as well as the state and local insurance requirements.

It’s a complicated job, and every COI you accept that is noncompliant can open your business to the potential for significant risk. You don’t want to have to explain why your company is liable for a claim that should rightfully lay with the vendor. Trust us. We hear these horror stories all too often.

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.