CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE...Wondering about a COI? Read on.
First of all, what is a Certificate of Insurance [COI]?
In the case of your commercial vehicle policy, a COI is a document from your insurance company to show that you have your commercial vehicle insurance. COIs are also available for other types of business insurance. Sometimes you’ll hear it called a certificate of liability insurance or simply, proof of insurance. But its function is different than a personal “insurance card.” With a COI, you can show your business clients the insurance you have in place before they start working with you or anytime during.
NOTE: By its design, each certificate is a snapshot (a brief look or summary) of your current business insurance coverage. It is valid for that day only because it shows the coverage you have on that day. Though you’ll probably keep your policy in force; in reality, you could decide to cancel or modify your business’s insurance coverage at any time.
A certificate of insurance matters because it is a snapshot of your company's current insurance policy (or policies) to show business partners/clients your coverage.
Who can request the COI?
As a point of control for you, the request should always come from you/your business representative (listed by you) to your Agent or Carrier. Each COI is specific to its “certificate holder” who would be your customer, contractor, or vendor. This document helps them verify your business has the coverage for which they’re looking in order to do business with you. It’s always a good idea to provide the requester’s email and/or fax when requesting their certificate so your agent can forward it for you.
Who is the Certificate of Insurance Holder?
The holder is the business or entity with whom you’re working that requests it with your approval. Their name and address will be listed on the COI to show they are the Certificate Holder. Each COI applies only to a single certificate holder; in other words, each certificate of insurance applies solely to its individual holder on that day. The business can also keep one on hand to show itself as a certificate holder, more like a verification of insurance coverage.
Now, how to you get a COI?
You request it of your agent or carrier by providing the name and address of the entity you would like as certificate holder on your policy. A nice marketing idea is to periodically request a certificate of insurance for your steady clients. It helps them keep you in mind, shows good business practices and aids in building trust. You can show the COI in your name to help generate a rapport with prospective clients too. Your insurance agent can usually generate a business's certificate of insurance upon request, or shortly thereafter. Some carriers may charge a nominal fee may apply, but not usually.
Other COI thoughts…
· Sometimes a prospective customers will specifically ask to see a business's certificate of insurance. Many business keep a COI in a highly visible area of the business or on hand for business proposals.
· If your company can't prove it has business insurance, it may suffer competitive disadvantage to one that can. It does not matter if you own a HVAC business, a roadside service company or delivery/courier business.
Need a Commercial Vehicle quote with a certificate of insurance? Contact your agent or call SOLO at 314/522-3600 or 800/207-7656 (SOLO) for a policy quote in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia. You may also go online to our online quote form.
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