Certificates of Insurance: A Primer

Posted by Katy Reagan on January 19, 2021

A certificate of insurance is a document that verifies you have insurance coverage, and condenses all the key information about your program (policy numbers, effective dates, names of the insured, types and limits of your coverage, etc.) into an industry standard form. Think of the small card your auto insurer sends you, which you keep in your car’s glove compartment. Only this is for your business.

Just as a policeman would ask to see your proof of insurance when he pulls you over for speeding, a potential vendor or strategic partner might request your certificate of insurance before deciding to do business with you.

What You’ll Need

When sending your agent a certificate request, be sure to include exact company name and address, any and all requirements the certificate holder has provided to you, including coverage limits and endorsements. If there is a contract in place, always forward that with the request to your agent, who will be able to review the contract and confirm the insurance requirements within the contract to your full policy.

Your agent may come back with clarifying questions for you to confirm with the requestor or will advise you to inform them that particular sections of the contract are not covered under your policy.

Some contracts/insurance requirements are not always tailored to your specific job, project or business with the requestor. Those items that do not have coverage under your policy may not be a requirement for the specific needs of your project. If additional coverage is required on your policy, this would need to be discussed further with your agent and your carrier.

Be sure to provide specific items that should be referenced on the certificate. Pertinent information may include:

  • Project name

  • Project number

  • Job number

  • Loan number

  • Auto VIN

The details matter when it comes to Certificates of Insurance. The information provided to your agent can make the difference in ensuring the most accurate reflection of your insurance program. 

We’re always ready to help guide you through these and other insurance and risk-mitigation issues, and help you craft just the right coverage for your organization. Just give me a call today, at (216) 350 5050.

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About the author Katy Reagan

Katy Reagan is part of the Commercial Property and Casualty team at Cleveland-based Armada Risk Partners, an all-risk insurance brokerage. She is a Customer Service Representative focusing on assisting client’s service needs, issuing certificates of insurance, processing policies and endorsements, and reviewing contracts, to name a few. Katy joined the insurance industry in 2019 after 20 years in the legal and court reporting field.