Certificate of insurance Services, or COIs, are commonly used documents in business transactions where one party needs to verify another’s insurance coverage. This happens in many different scenarios across industries, such as when hiring contractors for a construction job or working with any third-party service providers.
Declaration pages are also popular insurance-related documents—but they do not serve the same function. In this blog, we’ll explain the details of insurance policy declaration pages, as well as outline the critical differences between them and COIs.
What Is a COI and How Does It Work?
A COI, certificate of insurance, or COI Certification, is an official insurance document that acts as evidence of someone’s policy and, therefore, coverage. It provides a snapshot view of an insurance policy, summarizing crucial policy information so that a hiring party can validate and verify its existence.
Here are a few facts about the way COIs work:
- COIs were invented and popularized by ACORD, a nonprofit organization aiming to standardize documents and processes across the insurance industry. They’re now the most commonly used way to provide evidence of insurance coverage. Learn more about Certificate Of Liability Insurance ACORD.
- An insurance policy can exist without a COI, but a COI cannot exist without an insurance policy. A COI is essentially a summary of an insurance policy, covering its key details for a party that requests that information.
- You must request a COI in order to receive one. Only an insurance provider (the insurance provider granting coverage) can generate a COI for someone. You cannot issue your own.
For educational purposes only, here are a few examples of certificates of insurance.
What Is a Declaration Page?
A declaration page, or “dec page,” is a physical document that’s provided to a policyholder as part of their entering the insurance policy agreement. It summarizes pertinent coverage details, such as the policyholder’s information, coverage types, coverage limits, deductibles, premium amounts, and policy periods. It’s largely an internal document for a policyholder’s reference.
Here are a few facts about declaration pages:
- Declaration pages are automatically generated along with an insurance policy and are typically included as the policy’s first page. No one has to request a dec page—they receive one along with the coverage for their information and records.
- They can also only be generated by the insurance provider granting coverage, and no one should attempt to create their own.
- Declaration pages are customized for each policyholder and their coverage details for a specific policy.
Finally (again, only for informational purposes), here are a few declaration agreement samples.
What Is the Purpose of a Declaration Page?
The purpose of a declaration page is to help policyholders understand their policies. Insurance is full of complex processes and documents, so it can be helpful to have an explanatory document specific to your insurance policy.
Policyholders can use their declaration page for a policy to gain a better understanding of their coverage, including its policy period (how long they have coverage), covered risks (what, specifically, is insured), deductibles (the amount they must pay before the insurance coverage applies), and premium (total cost of the policy), to name a few.
Is a Declaration Page a Certificate of Insurance?
Many people wonder what is a certificate of insurance? Is a declaration page and a certificate of insurance are the same thing? They are not. Each document serves its own purpose. However, they are both similar in the sense that they are a) important documents related to insurance policies and b) short-form papers that provide a summary of a policyholder’s coverage.
Is a Declaration Page and COI the Same Thing?
To put it bluntly: a declaration page is not the same thing as a certificate of insurance. A declaration page is an internal document for a policyholder’s reference, whereas a certificate of insurance is an external-facing document used to present evidence of insurance coverage to or for third parties.
While a declaration page could also theoretically provide proof of someone’s insurance coverage, using, collecting, and verifying COIs is the standard method for the industry. Additionally, COIs are prepared for the purpose of insurance verification—they give hiring parties exactly the information that they need and don’t include unnecessary details, such as how much a policyholder is paying in monthly premiums.
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