A certificate of insurance (COI) confirms that an insured party possesses valid coverage. This proof reduces a company’s risk when they hire contractors or vendors. No company wants to be held liable in the event their contractors injure themselves or those around them. Needing third parties to be adequately covered is essential. A certificate of insurance for business should be an additional requirement.
Business owners and people responsible for their company’s certificates of insurance should have some level of understanding of what the most common forms are used for and what kind of information they should contain.
A certificate of insurance sample can be beneficial for training and actual use. You can find example COIs online and most are free. However, quality comes at a price. Anyone can upload a certificate of insurance PDF of dubious quality just as anyone can download them for suspicious reasons.
The Importance of a Certificate Of Insurance Sample
A certificate of insurance sample can help people comprehend all that’s involved with COIs. Looking at a certificate of insurance for small business or even a certificate of insurance additional insured included, can be a constructive method to gain knowledge. Knowing your way around basic COIs can help if you’re new to the concept or if you need a refresher.
Insurance agents and brokers can use templates in their day-to-day duties. Using the most recent samples can help them accurately fill out forms for new policyholders.
How to Find an Example COI Online
Finding a certificate of insurance online is relatively easy. A simple search engine query can bring you a long list of websites that offer almost every type of COI. However, you might be better off getting them from a trustworthy source.
ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, is a non-profit organization that issues and stores standardized insurance forms. Their forms are used by companies across the United States because they follow industry guidelines.
You can also try contacting insurance companies for samples. Again, if you contact known companies, you’ll probably get higher-quality documents that can help you learn more about the particulars of COIs.
How Do You Know If the Example You Found Online is a Good One?
A certificate of insurance sample worth studying should include the:
- effective date and expiration date
- insurance company’s National Association of Insurance Commissioner (NAIC) number.
- insured’s name.
- limits of the insurance protection.
- name of the insurance company.
- policy number.
- type of insurance protection.
Industry-specific instances might also show additional information. For example, having coverage on commercial real estate might entail different types of insurance. A general sample certificate of liability insurance can give you an idea about what each type contains.
Another indicator that the example you found online is a good one is the source where you got it. Obtaining sample COIs from ACORD can nearly guarantee you’re getting reliable copies. The standard ACORD 25, the general liability insurance certificate used across the country, is a great model to look at when you’re becoming familiar with COIs.
You can most likely download free ACORD 25 fillable forms from any website, but going straight to ACORD can ensure you’re getting an authentic document.
The Dark Side of Example COIs
You’re not the only one who knows how to get a certificate of liability insurance sample online. Some people can’t afford insurance so they will forge records that show they are covered when they’re not. If you hire them under false pretenses and they harm a person or any property, then their fraud becomes your problem when your company is held liable.
A counterfeit business insurance certificate can cost your company money. Weeding out these shams can significantly prevent your company from sinking under the weight of pricey damages.
- looking for the name of the insurance company on the top right of the certificate.
- contacting your insurance agent to confirm policy information is accurate
- examining the policy’s effective and expiration dates and description of operations section. This information should be aligned properly and typed in the same font as the rest of the document.
- checking for omitted information such as signatures and endorsements.
A handwritten, poorly photocopied certificate that’s missing details is a tell-tale sign that the COI in question isn’t official. Frequently confirming COIs can be the most practical way to stop uninsured third parties from potentially ruining your company’s reputation and finances.
Example COIs can help train people in insurance compliance and also help some individuals commit fraud. In the right hands, they can be powerful tools that can do more good than not.