Certificate of Insurance (COI)

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  • Post last modified:December 6, 2023
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A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document issued by an insurance company or broker to provide evidence that an individual or organization has insurance coverage. This certificate is typically requested by one party (the certificate holder) from another party (the policyholder) to verify the existence and details of an insurance policy. The COI serves as proof of insurance coverage and provides key information about the policy.

Key elements typically found in a Certificate of Insurance include:

1. **Insured’s Information:** The certificate usually includes details about the party or parties covered by the insurance policy, including the name and address of the policyholder.

2. **Insurance Company Information:** Information about the insurance company providing coverage, including the name, address, and contact details of the insurance carrier.

3. **Policy Number:** The unique identifier assigned to the insurance policy, which is essential for referencing and tracking the policy.

4. **Policy Effective Dates:** The period during which the insurance coverage is in force. This includes the policy’s start and end dates.

5. **Type of Insurance Coverage:** A description of the type of insurance coverage provided by the policy, such as general liability, property, auto, workers’ compensation, or others.

6. **Policy Limits:** The maximum amount of coverage provided by the insurance policy, specifying the limits for different types of losses or liabilities.

7. **Additional Insured:** If applicable, the certificate may indicate whether there are additional insured parties, beyond the primary policyholder, who are covered by the policy.

8. **Cancellation Provisions:** Information about the conditions under which the insurance policy may be canceled or modified, including any notice periods.

Certificates of Insurance are commonly used in various business transactions and contracts, particularly in industries where liability concerns are significant. For example, contractors may provide a COI to demonstrate that they have liability insurance before starting a construction project. Similarly, vendors or service providers may be required to provide a COI to show proof of insurance coverage to their clients.

It’s important to note that a Certificate of Insurance is not the actual insurance policy. It is a summary document designed to provide a quick overview of the key aspects of the insurance coverage. Parties relying on a COI for information should verify its accuracy and may request to be named as an additional insured on the policy for added protection.