Every January, the insurance compliance world goes through a massive shakeup because so many annual insurance policies renew on January 1st. That means a pile of work for insurance agents, who issue the policies; for insurance buyers, who pay for the policies; and for insurance compliance specialists, who have to make sure the new policies are still in compliance with the contracts those insurance buyers have signed.
Each year, everyone in the know does their best to get ready for the rush, but every year, the sheer amount of policies in flux does its best to overwhelm all of us.
It’s painful. It’s tedious. It’s absolutely necessary.
But for the best insurance compliance, it’s not enough.
COIs Are Not Written in Stone
Certificates of insurance, as documents, stipulate the terms of issued insurance policies on the date the certificate was issued. Simple or complex, associated with endorsements or waivers or not, they are the shorthand used by insurers to say “Yes, my client carries the coverage and warranties noted here.”
Did you catch the key phrase in that summation?
On the date the certificate was issued.
Despite what your contract might say, there’s nothing stopping any of your subcontractors, tenants, or other third parties from calling their agents and amending their coverage the day after they deliver your certificate of insurance.
Here’s an oversimplified example: you require your third parties to carry $3 million in coverage. Your hired party buys $3 million, sends you the COI, and then next week calls their agent and lowers their coverage to $1 million.
If a claim happens, you—not your third party—will be carrying that missing $2 million.
How often does this happen? We couldn’t say.
But can it happen? Absolutely.
And we both know insurance is the business of what might happen.
Quarterly Policy Verification
When you purchase myCOI’s Quarterly Policy Verification, we check with your subcontractor’s agent four times a year to make sure the COI you first received is still valid with your contractual requirements. Not once a year when the policy renews.
Quarterly Policy Verification is myCOI’s commitment to trust but verify.
You need to know more than once a year that the coverage your third parties have promised you is still in force. It’s not only underhanded activities that trigger changes in coverage. Sometimes your vendors will change agents, and things slip through the cracks.
Insurance is still a very human industry, with lots of places for the very simplest of human errors to have huge implications.
You need to know, as soon as possible, and certainly more often than once a year, that the contractors on your jobs, or the tenants in your buildings, or the vendors you bring on-site are protecting you from the risk they generate.
Relationships over Claims
Business is about trust. You need to trust not only in the quality of your third-parties’ work, but in their insurance coverage, in the same way that they need to trust you’re providing them with a safe workspace and payment when the job is done. It gets harder and harder, if not every month then certainly every year, to find good partners to work with, and once you find them, those relationships need to be protected.
Quarterly Policy Verification is just one of the ways myCOI helps protect your relationships with your third parties, even as we’re helping you protect yourself from unnecessary risk and damaging claims.
If you’ve just gotten through a tough renewal period, take a deep breath. That’s an unambiguous win. But don’t forget there’s a new game tomorrow, and the day after. You can’t do business without risk being present.
But risk can—and should—be managed.
Quarterly Policy Verification is just one of the ways myCOI helps you protect yourself from risk. One of our experts can help you decide if myCOI is the right fit for you and your company with just a single conversation.