Getting A Certificate Of Insurance
As a business, you need a certificate of insurance because it is this document that is going to prove that you are insured. It also shows what your level of insurance is. It is good if you are able to show what it is you cover.
For instance, you may have your standard general liability insurance, but you may also have separate automobile coverage, workers compensation, and a variety of other coverages that you want to prove you have. In the event that someone is injured due to the negligence of your business, this is a document that you must have. And getting it starts with the actual purchase of your insurance.
Requesting the Certificate
When you are dealing with another business or agency, you will need to produce your certificate of insurance. There are many individuals and businesses that won't do business with a company that is not insured. They require this for their own safety. That is why many businesses make it a point to publicly state that they are insured.
For example, your company is hired to do a job for another business. That business will request your insurance certificate and they will verify it. Your company cannot start work until this verification process is complete. As for how the verification takes place, the company needing the verification will take the certificate within their possession and fax it to the insurance company for them to verify. It is done in this way so that fraud can be prevented. Calling on the telephone is actually kind of risky.
In order for you to get this certificate, you need to purchase your insurance coverage. Assuming that you have done that, you will need to tell your insurer that you need a copy of your certificate of insurance so that you can provide it to those who you do business with.
Even though the insurer should be sending you the certificate anyway to prove your coverage, simply confirm with them that you will be receiving it. In many cases, especially when buying online, you can print out a temporary proof of insurance right from your computer. However, many businesses that you may do business with may want the official certificate.
There are times in which you may need the terms of the certificate modified. For instance, you may rent out a facility to a group, but your insurance doesn't have them listed as insured. Being that you rent out a facility, you can list various individuals as being insured.
What you need to do is contact your insurance company, tell them about the group that is going to be renting the facility and state that you need them to be insured. For a small fee, you are able to add the group on to the certificate. This is something that you may need to do each time a new group rents the facility.
As for other businesses, you will list all covered under your insurance policy. If something changes, you will need to have it modified. For instance, you may need to have someone removed and another person added. It may cost you a little, but the cost is very minimal compared to what you would have to pay if an accident were to occur and the appropriate party was not listed.
So make sure that you obtain your certificate of insurance when you acquire your protection so that you can prove you are insured. Not having the certificate can mean losing business and that is not something you can afford. And don't hesitate to confirm that you will be receiving your certificate.