Certificates of Insurance (COIs)
A certificate of insurance (COI) is often referred to as “proof of coverage” and that’s exactly what a COI is for your business. It proves to potential business partners and customers that your business is properly covered with the right insurance and that it is safe for them to do business with you.
Who Needs a Certificate of Liability Insurance?
The answer to this question depends on what role your company is playing in cooperation with another company. For example, if you are a construction company that is hiring a subcontractor to work on a project with, then you are going to have to request a proof of insurance from them.
However, if you are in the role of a subcontractor or some other type of business partner, then the company that is hiring you and requesting your cooperation will ask to see proof of insurance from you.
Requesting a certificate of insurance doesn’t have anything to do with trust. It’s all about minimizing risk and making sure that you are covered if something happens to go wrong. Even if you trust the company you are collaborating with and you have worked with them many times, you should still make sure to ask for a COI every time you sign a new contract or agreement with them. This allows you to avoid a scenario in which you are taking unnecessary risks for the the work that your partner company has been hired to perform.
Certificate of Insurance Costs
It actually costs nothing to obtain a certificate of insurance, because this is a complementary service offered by the company that you sold you your business insurance. If your broker is charging you a fee for providing a COI, it’s time to change your broker.
However, if the job in question requires additional coverage which your policy does not meet, then you might have to pay an additional premium to cover those costs. Other than that, your broker should never charge you a fee for providing you a certificate of insurance, no matter how many you need.
How To Obtain a Certificate of Insurance
If you need to request proof of insurance from your insurer, these are the usual steps you’ll need to go through:
- First, ask your client that is requesting the COI what the minimums and limits of the coverage should be. Get your client’s name, address and tax identification number as well in the case that you have to increase your premium.
- Call your broker, explain to them what the minimum coverage amount is and that you need proof of insurance. If your policy already meets the requirements, then the broker will contact your carrier to secure the COI. If you need to purchase a rider to increase coverage for the project, your broker will give you the details and the paperwork you will need to fill out and submit.
- Once you’re all set, your broker will create the COI and send a printed certificate of insurance to you, after which you will have to send it to your client in order to complete your transaction and sign your contract to start your collaboration.
While the process is fairly easy to understand, it must be noted that actually obtaining the COI from your broker could take a few days or even weeks, depending on how easy it is to get a hold of your broker and how quickly he or she is able to complete all the necessary paperwork and provide you with your COI.
Embroker’s Certificate of Insurance (COI) Solution
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to depend on your broker and wait days to receive your proof of insurance? Embroker allow you to do just that. We enable you to quickly create and request your own COIs right from the platform, potentially saving you days, if not weeks, of unnecessary back-and-forth.
That’s literally all you have to do. In many instances, the COI will automatically be available under “Certificate History” and you can see a preview of what it will look like right away.
Our team then puts together the COI and sends both you and your client an industry-standard PDF (ACORD 25) that you will be able to download, print, and store in your Embroker account.
Most COIs can be sent instantly through Embroker and even the most complex COIs will be completed and sent within 24 hours.
On top of that, Embroker also enables your clients to request certificates on their own through our website. We prepare the COI based on your needs – listing coverages, additional insured, special requirements and wording, etc. – and let your clients and partners request the COI independently.
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of obtaining certificates of insurance, you may be wondering where to go from here. If you need more help or information, you can reach out to our team of expert brokers. If you prefer to get started by transferring your policies to Embroker and securing COIs quickly and digitally, create your Embroker account today.
Embroker is the easiest and quickest way to intelligently manage your business’s entire insurance program. We’re here to help!