A certificate of insurance proves you have business insurance coverage. A certificate of insurance (COI) is also known as a certificate of liability insurance or proof of insurance. Whatever you prefer to call it, your insurer will provide you with this 1-page summary of your business insurance coverage.
Why Would You Need a Certificate of Insurance?
There are two reasons you may need a certificate of insurance:
- To show potential clients who want to hire you
- To vet potential contractors you want to hire
When Will a Client Request a COI?
If you are a small business owner or contractor, be prepared to show a COI to potential clients who may ask for proof of insurance before agreeing to work with you.
We can't blame them.
Proof of insurance can help assure your potential clients they won't be responsible in the case of an unintended accident, injury, or claim resulting from your work.
In many cases, submitting proof of insurance may be a requirement to even bid for a job.
When Should You Request Proof of Insurance?
As a small business owner or artisan contractor, there are times when you may be on the other side of this coin.
It's always a good idea to request a certificate of insurance from any subcontractors, independent contractors, or small businesses that will perform work for you.
Imagine you hired a subcontractor to help you finish a project but didn't request a COI before they started working for you.
What happens when one of their workers accidentally causes $150,000 worth of property damage?
Any coverage gaps could be left to you to fill. And that may mean paying out of pocket or a claim against your own policy.
Before you contract out any work or hire any subcontractors, be sure to ask them to provide proof of insurance. If you see a coverage gap, you can tell the subcontractor what your insurance requirements are to work with you and ask them to get more coverage (and show you the COI to prove it). You can move on to the next subcontractor's bid if they don't get more coverage.
What Does a Certificate of Insurance Include?
Proof of insurance is typically a single-page document that includes the following information:
- Contact information for the issuing insurance company
- The name of the person/ company covered
- Type of policy
- Coverage limits
- Policy effective dates
- Any additional insureds (other people covered)
How to Request a Certificate of Insurance
Requesting proof of insurance is generally a fairly straightforward task.
At Aegis Insurance Markets, we have an easy online form that allows our clients to request a certificate of insurance quickly and easily. If you need proof of insurance so you can bid on a job, head over to our Certificate Request page. You can submit your certificate request before or after business hours. Fill out the certificate request form, and our team will issue your proof of insurance so you can get to work.