Certificates of insurance (COIs) are official insurance documents that provide proof of someone’s coverage. They’re used in business dealings all across America and beyond—and are a hugely important piece of a business strategy for those trying to mitigate risk and unnecessary litigation.
In this blog, we’ll cover answers to common certificate of insurance services questions and review how to get a certificate of insurance in the USA.
How Do Certificates of Insurance Work in the United States?
As we mentioned, COIs are critical documents in the insurance world and in modern business relations. But who uses them, and how do they actually work? Let’s discuss some frequently asked questions regarding COIs.
Why Would Someone Ask for a Certificate of Insurance?
The main reason that people ask for insurance certificates is that they’d like to verify the insurance coverage of someone they wish to hire, ensuring that it meets their standards and keeps them away from unnecessary coverage claims. A certificate of insurance for vendors is an important protective piece of a business strategy, and you should ask for one from each third-party provider that you work with before their work begins.
You might need to get a certificate of insurance for events, like if you were hosting a tabling fair and wanted to ensure that all booth vendors had an appropriate level of event liability insurance.
Who Requests Certificate of Insurance?
Technically, two kinds of parties request COIs. Here’s how it works: independent vendors and third-party service providers request COIs from their insurers—because their prospective hiring parties request proof of insurance. In other words, you, as the hiring party, will make a COI request to a vendor you want to work with through email or another method, and then they will officially request one from their insurance provider through an appointment or an online portal.
Who Is Issued a Certificate of Insurance?
The policyholder receiving insurance coverage, and wanting to prove it, is the person whose insurer will issue a COI. Typically, upon receipt, they or their insurance agency will share it directly with the requesting (hiring or managing) certificate holder.
Who Is the Person Named on an Insurance Certificate?
Three entities are typically named on an insurance certificate. Firstly, the policyholder is the person named on a COI who receives coverage under a corresponding insurance policy. Additionally, the insurer issuing the policy will be listed, and a certificate holder will also be named.
Who Should Be Listed as Certificate Holder on a Certificate of Insurance in the USA?
The hiring party managing downstream risk and verifying coverage compliance should be listed as the certificate holder on a COI. This means that the person hiring the vendor should request to be named as the certificate holder. They will then receive a copy of the COI and be notified of any changes made to the policy.
How Do I Get a Certificate of Insurance in the USA?
Now that you understand who requests and receives a COI let’s discuss how you can actually get a COI. While there are different certificate of insurance requirements by state and it is important to look into the specific regulations governing all of the territories you conduct business in, the process for getting a certificate of insurance looks about the same anywhere you go in the USA.
First, you’ll request the insurance certificate from the person/business you’re wanting to work with. You should lay out the important details of what you’re looking for from them when you do, such as which type of insurance they should be providing proof of and if there are any additional considerations or endorsements they should add to their policy.
Then, the contractor or vendor you wish to hire will make the official COI request to their insurer. After a bit of processing time, the insurance agency will produce the document, and the contractor will provide you with the completed certificate! If you’re interested in learning more about certificate of insurance for contractors read this article.
Why Do Companies Ask for Certificate of Insurance Services?
Working with and keeping track of coverage for multiple vendors can be a time-consuming and error-prone endeavor. Even in today’s digital age, COI verification and tracking is an unfortunately manual process for many teams. That’s why more and more companies have started turning to certificate of insurance services—like myCOI—that streamline the COI tracking, verification, and management process.
Learn Why myCOI’s COI Services Are the Best in the United States
Our team of industry experts is equipped to handle whatever compliance crisis you might be facing or simply help you avoid common compliance claims in the future. Contact us today if you’d like to work with a best-in-class COI management provider, making your life easier and keeping your business more protected from risk. Contact us today to speak to our industry experts.