It’s really not all that difficult to create fraudulent certificates. Does your compliance team know what to look for? Here are a few tips and how the myCOI team can help prevent costly litigation.
Have you ever attempted to Google “Certificate of Insurance Templates”? The results might surprise you as there are many templates available via a quick online search. While most of your vendors will be honest and obtain a real certificate of insurance (COI) via an insurance agent, it’s possible that some will attempt to download and complete a templated version to save costs and avoid the insurance hassle.
In this post, we’ll explore just how easy it is for your vendors and subcontractors to cheat the system and ultimately put your organization in jeopardy with fraudulent certificates. While it’s (hopefully) not something you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis, it’s critical for your compliance team to know what to look for so a fraudulent COI doesn’t slip through the cracks.
2 Clicks to Fraudulent Certificates
As you can see by the Google search above, it only takes 2 clicks to find a host of certificate templates that can be downloaded, completed, and returned to your organization for compliance verification. And unfortunately, these fraudulent certificates can be downright hard to spot if your team doesn’t know what to look for.
Does it surprise you that fraudulent certificates are a common occurrence? No matter how honest or upstanding an individual may be, if he or she is placed in the wrong circumstances, it’s possible that they could pass through a fraudulent certificate. And if your admin doesn’t know the difference and deems the vendor as compliant, then the risk is yours.
Know What to Look For When Verifying Vendors
Do you or your compliance admin know what to look for when reviewing your vendor’s and subcontractor’s certificates to determine whether they’re fraudulent certificates? With just a few steps, it’s possible to determine whether the certificate is valid or not—and doing so may just save your organization from a tough (and expensive) legal battle. SIMA.org recently published an article entitled, “How to Spot Fake Certificates of Insurance”, which explains several common signs of a fraudulent COI, including:
Acord 25 : The most trustworthy insurance agencies utilize the Acord 25 form. Check the bottom left-hand corner of the COI to ensure that the certificate says “Acord 25.”
Legitimate companies: Look at the insurance company on the top right of the certificate. Contact your insurance agent to make sure the company is legitimate. You can also visit www.ambest.com to look up the insurance company in question, and then use the “ratings and analysis” section to verify that the insurance company listed on the certificate actually exists.
Handwriting/mismatching fonts: Examine the policy’s effective and expiration dates and description of operations section. Make sure that information is aligned properly and typed in the same font as the rest of the document.
Lack of response: Call the insurance company listed on the form to verify the certificate’s accuracy.
Don’t Let Fraudulent Certificates Fall Through The Cracks
Equipped with the right knowledge and tools, your compliance team can be well prepared to know what to look for when going about their insurance tracking duties.
myCOI is a cloud-based software solution and exists for one reason: to help you handle the everyday tasks of managing certificates of insurance and protecting your company against underinsured claims, costly litigation and failed audits. The software and certificate tracking services are combined into an easy-to-use solution developed and supported by a team of insurance professionals and is built on a foundation of insurance industry logic to automate the COI communication process and ensure you remain protected.