What is a Certificate of Insurance?
When dealing with Business Insurance, you may be asked to provide a Certificate of Insurance to a landlord, lender, supplier or other entity at some point. I get these requests and sometimes new business owners ask me what it is and how they can obtain one.
Here's an example of what a Certificate of Insurance (also called a COI) looks like. It's basically proof of insurance. You'll notice it has your information, your agents information, coverage information, policy number, policy dates and policy limits. There will also be a spot for description of operations, which is sometimes used to put special wording. Lastly, you will see Certificate Holder; the entity requesting the information will go in the space provided (name and address).
If someone is asking for a Certificate of Insurance, I think it's always a good idea to ask for a sample COI because it's going to have all the requirements like, coverages, limits, and any special wording if it applies. Sometimes getting special wording added can be challenging, so the last thing you want to do is spend time and money getting a General Liability Insurance policy with $1,000,000 limits then find out the carrier will not put certain wording on the COI. Then it's back to the drawing board in some cases. These Certificates can be emailed, faxed or mailed out depending on your preference.
Getting a Certificate of Insurance once your coverage is in force should not be too complex or time consuming. If you have any questions, or need assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.
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