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A certificate of insurance or COI is your key to doing business. This piece of paper gives you the power to win contracts, complete transactions and get paid.

By definition, a certificate of insurance verifies the existence of an insurance policy and summarizes the key aspects and conditions of the policy. That is the book definition in the industry but doesn’t really convey all that your certificate of insurance can do.

Like the definition states, it verifies the insurance your company has in place. The COI lists important information about your business, the insurance carriers and the coverages it represents. Like your auto ID card, it represents the active policies you have purchased and that currently protect your business. The type of information you will find on your certificate of insurance can consist of your business name and address or the policyholder information. It will have the contact info, name and NAIC number of the insurance carriers you purchased the insurance from. It will state the effective period, coverage type and limits of insurance that cover your business.

This is incredibly important for any company trying to do business. Certificates are usually requested by opposite parties in an agreement, contract, or transaction. This confirms to them or fulfills a contract requirement to make sure that your business has the proper insurance in place. An employer, vendor or contractor may require specific types of insurance to work for them. Your COI will show them what your current coverage portfolio consists of.

The main thing your certificate of insurance is going to do for you is get you paid. You can’t receive your compensation or even start a project without sending your COI to the party requesting it. Having your certificate available at a moment’s notice can mean the difference to win a job or losing one, getting paid or not. If you are in an industry that requires you to bid on available work then you are familiar with the certificate of insurance and how important it is to obtaining work.

Your certificate of insurance is sometimes the only document you have pertaining to your insurance details and coverages. Use your certificate to get info on your policy quickly. It tells you the insurance carrier of the policy in case you need to look them up and contact them. The COI provides a summary of your insurance policies and what they cover. This gives you one convenient place to see your insurance policy information when you need it.

The certificate of insurance is a convent, powerful and depending on your broker very easy to obtain. Though it provides the policy information it does not confirm that the information on the certificate is correct or active. So if you are on the receiving end of a contract requiring insurance coverage you may still need to contact the insurance carrier to provide proof that a business has insurance.

If you would like more information on certificates of insurance or need one please contact us any time by phone 888-242-4675, email, or chat with us on our website.