You already know managing Certificates of Insurance (COI) is a crucial part of protecting your business from unforeseen liability.
The problem is that these COIs keep coming in and organizing and tracking them has become a nightmare. If it’s not your sole responsibility, then there are a ton of other projects and tasks your team needs to focus on.
The minute you get behind on COI management is when a claim comes in and you realize that your COI management process is vulnerable and needs help.
Perhaps now is a good time to consider engaging a COI Management partner to get your compliance program back on track.
Here are some key benefits you can experience by outsourcing COI management to an insurance expert:
When working with a specialized COI Management partner, your outsourced business tasks will be handled by seasoned and skilled professionals whose sole job is to do this type of work. They are trained to maintain the relationships with your contactor or vendor networks, while also being able to explain your organization’s requirements to determine compliance. Working with the company and the insurance agent allows a qualified partner to understand and communicate those requirements to each party and improve compliance levels for your organization.
The team processing the work is also experienced with reading policies, understanding endorsements and exclusions, checking policy types and appropriate limits are in place, and determining if the COI or documentation submitted by the company is actually compliant with your requirements.
Outsourcing can engage a team focused specifically on the COI management task, gaining valuable experience, and developing key relationships with agents which in turn provide a better program for your organization.
Outsourcing not only decreases the need to hire additional employees to complete the tasks, but also eliminates the requirement for purchasing and maintaining the infrastructure, hardware, and software for the completion of those outsourced tasks. This responsibility now lies with your COI partner who can leverage the volumes they process to access better systems for COI management programs.
With an effective COI management system, your partner will have the ability to track expiration dates on policies and will staff according to those fluctuations. There is no longer a need on your end to coordinate staffing to accommodate changes in the volume of COIs to process — that is the COI management partner’s responsibility. You do not need to engage more or fewer resources to manage these loads or invest in the infrastructure or software programs to manage the process.
Understanding how many policies are being tracked, when they will (or did) expire, as well as ensuring easy access to the information from multiple locations are all benchmarks for a quality program. The right partner will provide your organization not only 24/7 access to your COI documents in an easy-to-use portal but will also report on that data.
Many internal processes retain information in cumbersome spreadsheets reliant on formulas and pivot tables — or worse… in hard copy in filing cabinets. When an issue arises, the ability to access information quickly, and confidently is imperative to keeping the process moving. A partner with a centralized process can offer such benefits.
With attention to your specific requirements, your selected partner should also be able to readily provide information on how many policies are on file, whether they are active and whether they meet your compliance needs. Oftentimes a program contains a “one and done” approach where the COI is received but it is not ever reviewed to ensure it contains the proper coverage. A quality COI management program should also proactively manage cancellations and reinstatements. This will reduce your exposure to underinsured or uninsured companies in your network, thereby lowering your business risk.
When outsourcing COI management, your partner can move your organization to proactive management of the process instead of a reactive position.
Do you know what your competitors are doing? Do you know what the most common levels of insurance coverage or types of insurance are? Do you receive advice on how to balance the demands of operations versus reducing risk? The right partner will know the answers.
They can work with you to understand best practices and address changes in requirements and coverage based on the millions of COI and insurance documents they process each year. This advantage is invaluable in determining when and how changes may be required in your program. An insurance agent or advisor will not have the same access to information as a competent partner.
Outsourcing tasks to a qualified partner ensure faster turnaround times and accuracy, as the company taking outsourced projects possesses the efficiency and expertise in completing the tasks since it is their core business. The processing of COIs is no longer considered “another task” on someone’s already busy to-do list and you will see your network compliance rates increase.
When you outsource some of the time-consuming tasks, you get more time to focus on the core operations of your business that will drive business growth and revenue. Managing COI compliance is time-consuming and complex, yet it is critical to reduce your risk and protect your reputation. That is why more and more network managers are outsourcing certificates of insurance management, functions, and processes to experts who can handle them.
The COI expertise required to effectively, and efficiently, read and understand COI’s and documents can be difficult — and is likely not a core competency among your staff.
The importance, however, of getting this right and the impact this has on mitigating risk for your organization should at least open a discussion on what a competent partner can offer.
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 learn more, visit our website.
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