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What is a Certificate of Insurance?

November 7, 2012

This week’s topic is very short:  What is a Certificate of Insurance?  In a word, a certificate is “Proof”….proof of insurance. 

Frequently we are asked to print Certificates of Insurance for our clients.  Usually this occurs because a third party – someone other than our client – has asked for proof of insurance.  For example, a landlord may require that a business owner supply an updated Certificate of Insurance annually; a general contractor may be asked to supply their client with a Certificate of Insurance; or, a vendor may be asked to present a Certificate of Insurance to a customer.

According to IIABA’s Executive Summary published in 2007 regarding certificates, a Certificate of Insurance is a document issued by a carrier showing evidence of insurance to someone other than the insured.  While the process for requesting a certificate may seem straightforward to the client, most agencies must submit a request for a Certificate of Insurance from the carrier.  Because this process may add additional time from the moment the request is submitted to receipt of a valid certificate, it is important to communicate the following information to your insurance agent when requesting a certificate:

  • Why a Certificate of Insurance is required

  • To whom the certificate will be issued (including address)

In summary, when your clients, customers, contractors, etc. ask for a valid Certificate of Insurance, simply contact your agent or your insurance carrier.  Obtaining proof of insurance should be a simple process if you come equipped with the right information.

As always, thank you for reading.  To stay up to date on insurance information relevant to business owners, just subscribe to the Avanti Reader via RSS or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter (@AvantiInsurance) to receive automatic notification of future posts.

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