Understanding what a Certificate of Insurance (COI) is and how to read them is vital when working with any contractor network to deliver products or services to your customers.
Companies who wish to partner with an independent contractor for their services will typically outline certain insurance requirements in their contract, such as requiring a policyholder to list them as an additional insured to their policy, to lower their risk in the event of a negligent incident committed by the independent contractor resulting in a claim being made against the contracted company’s, (or the policyholder’s), general liability policy.
In this blog, we’ll first cover what a COI is, and then break down what you should know about a COI additional insured endorsement.
A certificate of insurance (COI) is a document from an insurer, or insurance agent, that provides information about commercial insurance coverage. You may also hear it referred to as proof of insurance or certificate of liability.
The certificate includes the following information:
Active insurance coverage can protect your organization and shift risk to the contractor company and their insurance carrier. But to do this, your organization’s name should be listed one the COI Additional Insured Endorsement. By extending the coverage to your organization, you add an extra layer of protection if a claim arises.
Most companies require their contractors to name themselves as an additional insured endorsement on their Commercial General Liability Policy (CGL).
However, to verify this, the organization may only collect the COI, confirm the amounts, and look to see the ‘additional insured’ box is checked. In many cases, this practice is not good enough to guarantee coverage.
While onboarding a new service contractor, follow these simple steps to ensure your contract doesn’t unintentionally invalidate your coverage.
Always be sure you have a written agreement with your contractor that requires you to be an additional insured on the CGL policy.
Next, make sure the agreement is under the company’s official name. Double check that the name on the agreement matches the one on the contractor’s W9. If these are not the same, the policy may not be valid, or upheld.
Authorize the agreement with an official, authorized signature. Agreements can be invalidated because the individual who signed was not an authorized signer of the company.
If the contractor is a sole proprietor, they must sign themselves. If your organization is signing with another corporation or business entity, you will be able to check the Secretary of State website for a list of officers who are able to sign the agreement.
If there are any other parties that you require to be listed as an additional insured on the certificate, make a direct contract with them.
If you follow these steps, your company can rest easy knowing that you are not the one that must pay a claim when a contractor makes a mistake or causes unforeseen damage.
PlusOne Solutions specializes in helping organizations with large networks of independent contractors mitigate risks through:
For more information on how best to manage your contractor insurance requirements or to learn more about our insurance management services, contact us today.
Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel concerning their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.
PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments.To receive these updates directly in your email inbox, sign up for the newsletter. Questions or comments? We want to hear from you.
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