How Do I Generate a Certificate of Insurance?

May 22, 2023

If you’re unsure about the process of generating a certificate of insurance in order to verify your insurance coverage or want to learn more about how third parties that you work with go about generating certificates, you’ve come to the right place.

A certificate of insurance, more commonly referred to as a COI, is a document that explains and validates the terms and conditions of an insurance policy. It can be used as evidence of coverage in the case that you need to make or dispute a claim, protecting you against potential financial losses due to things like property damage or bodily injuries. In some industries, such as construction, where injuries and claims are highly possible, not having a COI can even be a blocker to beginning work. 

In this blog, we will explain the steps involved in generating a certificate of insurance and how to go about requesting one from a vendor or third party you want to work with. 

How Do I Generate a Certificate of Insurance?

As someone looking to generate a certificate of insurance, you’re probably either an insurance agent or a policyholder looking to provide proof of your insurance coverage to a third party. Regardless of the reason you need to obtain a certificate, generating one is a fairly straightforward process. 

Follow along in this step-by-step guide to generating a certificate of insurance, or skip ahead if you’re instead wanting to know how to get a COI that someone else generates for themselves to provide as proof of coverage in order to work with your business. 

Contact Your Insurance Provider

The first step in generating a certificate of insurance is to contact your insurance provider (the one who issued the policy to you) via phone, email, or their online portal. You will need to provide some standard information, including the policy number, the name of the insured, and the effective coverage dates of the policy.

Identify the Certificate Holder

Next, you’ll identify the certificate holder or the person who is requesting proof of insurance. This will typically be your client, a vendor, or another third party you’re working with or for. The certificate holder’s name and contact information will also be printed onto the certificate.

Determine the Coverage Requirements

Before generating the certificate, it’s important to determine the coverage requirements. These can vary depending on factors such as the type of policy and the specific needs of the certificate holder. For instance, a workers’ compensation policy could require proof of coverage for specific employees, or a general liability policy could mandate specific coverage limits.

Generate the Certificate of Insurance

Once you’ve provided all of the necessary information, it’s time to generate the certificate. This can either be done by your insurance provider or initiated through their online portal. The COI will include all of the information needed to prove that you’re insured.

Provide the Certificate of Insurance to the Certificate Holder

Getting the COI is almost the end of this process, but not quite. The final step of certificate of insurance generation is to provide the document to the certificate holder. To do this, you can submit the COI through email, physical mail, or whichever method the certificate holder prefers. From there, once they validate the information and verify that it meets their needs, you should be compliant and ready to start doing business with them. 

How Do You Ask For a COI

To ask for a COI from a third party that you’re hiring, you must do simply that: ask!

Obtaining a COI from a third party should not be too difficult a task on your end, as they’ll be the ones taking the steps above. To ask for a COI, you can generally send the party you’re wanting to work with a certificate of insurance request letter or email or even ask them in person if you’d like. 

Here’s some information that you, as the hiring party, will need to provide to a third party before asking them for a COI:

  • The type of insurance coverage you want the third party to have. For example, since general liability insurance policies cover claims involving bodily injuries and property damage, they’re a commonly required policy for contractors.
  • Your name and address. These will be printed onto the certificate of insurance document, naming you as the “certificate holder” for this particular business interaction. 

If the third party already has the proper coverage in place, their agent should be able to issue the COI to them, and they can provide it to you in a timely manner. The agent may also just send the COI directly to you as the certificate holder.

If their coverage doesn’t meet your requirements, they can either purchase the extra coverage that you’re asking for or turn down the job, leaving you to find a service provider who meets your needs while mitigating risk for your business. 

COIs Becoming Hard to Handle? Let Us Help!

Need help managing the many certificates of insurance necessary for protecting your business? Don’t spend more time, money, or energy on it than you have to. Let our team of experts guide you through the process and equip you with the best COI-tracking software on the market. Reach out to us today.

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