The Good and the Bad of Certificate of Insurance Sample Forms

February 1, 2021

Liability insurance can save businesses from financial ruin just like it can help individuals. Businesses have the added responsibility to prove their third-party hires (contractors, vendors, etc.) are insured. A negligent party who injures someone else on the job might put their employer in danger of costly litigation.

A certificate of liability insurance form proves that a contractor, vendor, or other third-party hire is appropriately protected against potential risks. A certificate of insurance (COI) can help mitigate any financial damages should a claim occur.

While proof of insurance is a great item for a business to hold, there are a few pitfalls they have to avoid when dealing with COIs. These stumbling blocks can be overcome with research. Knowing the following few items can help eliminate any misunderstandings regarding COIs:

  • What an ACORD form is and how to obtain one.
  • What to consider when learning how to read COIs.
  • What to remember when dealing with COIs.

If you’re not familiar with any of the preceding topics, then you might find yourself struggling to effectively track and oversee your company’s insurance compliance. Just a little training can go a long way in increasing your knowledge.

What is an ACORD Form?

ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, is a non-profit organization that issues and archives standardized insurance forms. It is not an insurance carrier.

ACORD insurance forms are widely used by companies around the country because they are backed by industry guidelines. Authentic documentation can help ensure companies can adequately verify their third-party contractors’ and vendors’ insurance statuses.

An ACORD certificate of liability insurance will usually contain information like the name of the insured party, the name of their insurance carrier, and what kind of policy they have. Searching for an ACORD form sample online can give you a better idea of what to expect.

An ACORD certificate of insurance sample found online is no substitute for the real thing. Downloading an ACORD certificate of insurance PDF from the official ACORD website is more legitimate than getting a random one from the Internet. There are also different forms depending on the type of business so people looking for a specific form should take the time to perform a thorough search.

A certificate of insurance ACORD provides can be downloaded or filled out electronically. ACORD also offers resources to help facilitate the completion of forms.

How to Read a Blank COI

A blank certificate of liability insurance form can be a good starting point to learn more about COIs. However, one certificate of liability insurance form example doesn’t necessarily apply to each type.

For instance, a sample certificate of insurance with additional insured will include a section that will list the people who benefit from the coverage. This can include subcontractors and even the certificate holder.

A certificate of insurance sample PDF that doesn’t have any information present isn’t as important as a completed one. The actual data such as the insured party’s name must be accurately reviewed for errors. Mistakes on COIs can possibly cause problems if a claim is filed.

If you’re learning how to read a blank COI, then you can download a certificate of insurance form sample. You can also read about them from numerous resources. If you don’t have the time or inclination, you can hire a company like myCOI to help you manage the insurance compliance of third parties.

Do I Need a Paper or PDF COI Form?

Whether you use a paper or PDF COI form is up to you and your company’s discretion. A paper form is a physical reassurance that can set people’s minds at ease. It can, however, get lost.

A certificate of liability insurance form PDF can be digitally completed and printed or sent straight to a management system. Forms that are stored electronically are typically safer than ones sitting in file cabinets. Depending on the management system, they can also be easier to access, saving you time with audits and claims.

What To Remember When Dealing With COIs

A certificate of liability insurance form can be easy to understand and even simpler to use. If you remember a few things about them, you can decrease your chances of delays and problems when you’re audited or have a claim filed against you.

  • Watch for outdated forms: It’s critical that  the most recent forms are used. Out-of-date forms may not include specific wording that reflects current standards.
  • Make sure the wrong form is not being used: This includes old forms with irrelevant data and ones that do not apply to your third party’s business.
  • Make sure the appropriate coverage is on the right  form: Showing vehicle liability insurance information on a certificate of property insurance form is not an accurate representation of the coverage details you need. Making sure a suitable form is used can help keep the process error-free.

The positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to certificate of insurance sample forms. They can be beneficial templates that can bolster your company’s insurance compliance procedures.

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