How Important Is a Certificate of Insurance For Contractors?

August 3, 2023
How Important Is a Certificate of Insurance For Contractors

There are many things that contractors have to deal with in their line of work, from safety concerns on the job to labor shortages during peak seasons to managing their own insurance coverage and regulatory compliance. 

In the modern legal landscape, contractors need to know about certificates of insurance services (COIs), which are official documents that help prove that someone has adequate liability insurance coverage from a valid insurance company.

Read on to learn more about what contractors and the people who hire them need to know about COIs.

How Important Is a Certificate of Insurance for Contractors?

The lack of a COI can be a barrier to overcome when getting picked for a job. The individuals and businesses wanting to hire contractors know that the risk of bodily injury or property damage on a job is fairly high, and thus will prefer to work with a third party who has an appropriate liability policy rather than someone who could bring them costly claims due to insufficient coverage.

In some states, it’s even a regulatory requirement that contractors provide proof of their insurance (especially general liability) before obtaining their professional license. It’s also especially common for clients in the construction industry to require COIs from contractors before they start work because as soon as someone steps onto the job, they could be a part of accidents that lead to claims. 

Why Would A Contractor Request a Certificate of Insurance?

Contractors request COIs for several reasons. They want to meet their client’s requirements, especially if insurance is the thing potentially preventing them from getting picked for a job. They want to ensure compliance with legal obligations or other regulatory conditions. 

why do companies request certificates of insurance

They will definitely want to mitigate financial risk for themselves, making it so an insurer backs them if a claim ever leads to them needing rehabilitation, legal fees, or anything else in that vein. Thus, smart contractors request COIs from their insurance agency before starting a new project.

Why Do Companies Request Certificates of Insurance?

As a business owner or person in charge of hiring third-party employees, it becomes your responsibility to take care of your workers and ensure they are appropriately covered. Anything that happens to them that results in damage to themselves, property, or other people, falls to you to take care of—or suffer the fallout of potential impending lawsuits. 

Why Is the Issuance of a Certificate Important For The Contractor?

Issuing a certificate of insurance for contractors is crucial for all the reasons we’ve explained above and more. A COI serves as tangible proof that they have the necessary insurance policy in place, providing evidence and peace of mind to the clients, project owners, general contractors, and other stakeholders affected by them and their work. It’s a win-win for contractors, as COIs protect them financially and help boost their professional image and credibility. 

Can I Issue My Own Certificate of Insurance?

It’s highly unethical to produce your own insurance certificates. Firstly, certificates should only come from the insurance agency that is providing the policy because only they can truly prove that there is coverage in place. Secondly, you could get in serious trouble for providing a fraudulent certificate, and the business hiring you could get in serious trouble, too. 

Should I Ask For a Certificate of Insurance as a Contractor?

As a contractor, you should absolutely ask for a COI, especially when you want to bid for a new job. As a project owner or employee in charge of hiring third-party vendors such as contractors, you should also get used to the practice of asking for COIs, typically done through a certificate of insurance request email. This will help you ensure that they have the necessary coverage in place to handle potential risks and that your business will not be held financially responsible instead. 

should i ask for a certificate of insurance

What Is the Purpose of a COI for Contractors and Subcontractors?

The purpose of an insurance certificate is to act as evidence of someone’s insurance coverage, including that it covers the right person, for the right policy, for the right amount of time, and meets all other requirements as set out by the requesting (hiring) party for a particular job. 

Here are some major benefits that COIs provide:

  • Fewer claims.
  • Increased chance of maintaining compliance.
  • Decreased chance of risk (or at least, financial risk stemming from physical, on-the-job risk)
  • Peace of mind when it comes to hiring new clients.
  • Peace of mind when it comes to jobs getting done.

How myCOI Can Help

We hope that by now, we have illustrated just how important COIs are for contractors and those that work with them. If you’re still a little lost, we completely understand, and our team of industry experts is on-call, waiting to help you meet your compliance goals and reduce the number of claims coming your way. Whenever you’re ready, give us a call to learn more about how we can help you reach your business goals. 

Previous Page Next Page
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Search by Category

Construction Risk Management
C​ontractors General Liability Insurance
What Is An ACORD 28?
Can You Spot a Fraudulent COI? It’s Harder Than You Think.
ACORD 27 Form
You Must Verify Insurance Compliance More Than Once a Year
Contractor Proof of Insurance: Why It’s Important To Get It
Commercial Insurance Certificate: Everything You Need To Know
Subcontractor Insurance Requirements & Types of Insurance Needed