If you’re a handyman or general contractor and if you’re practicing proper risk management, chances are you understand what a certificate of insurance is. It is an insurance form that informs clients and third parties about the types of insurance your company holds, the additional insured that are included in those policies, and whether your company is compliant or non-compliant with State and local laws. Certificate holders carry a certain level of responsibility in making sure they continue premium payments and ensuring they work with their clients to provide a greater understanding of their scope of coverage.
If you work with larger companies or corporations, you might be more inclined to wonder exactly how your clients practice certificate of insurance management. Here’s a look into their side of the process.
How COI Management Has Changed Over the Years
COI tracking used to be much more complicated when multiple vendors were involved. Not only do large clients require insurance certificates from their general contractors, but they also require these documents from food and material vendors, renters, and more. Insurance tracking in the past were handled by employed risk managers, third-party administrators, and even outsourced management systems which streamlined certificates of insurance. As a result, it became relatively harder and more time-consuming for individuals within the company to access these records.
With the advent of insurance tracking services and software solutions, however, it became much easier for human resources departments to provide self service access to insurance certificate tracking. Digital transformation and tracking software have both played a vital role in changing the way your clients keep track of your insurance certificates. This in turn has revolutionized the way insurance professionals handle their coverage and proof of coverage.
Why Do My Clients Track My Insurance Coverage?
There are many reasons why single-person business owners and large corporations might choose to track insurance coverage. Some of the more important reasons include:
- reviewing your contractual obligations with ease
- ensuring that you are taking necessary precautions in the client’s best interest
- allowing the client’s insurance company to perform audits smoothly and potentially lower your clients’ insurance costs
- guaranteeing that you are adhering to your client company’s service model and meeting with local coverage requirements
- minimizing the need to contact customer support or insurance experts in the case of a coverage question or compliance issues
Who Handles My Certificates of Insurance?
It is natural to ask about who handles insurance documents, as they often contain sensitive information. If you’re worried about who is overseeing this information, ask your customer. In most cases, a dedicated employee at your insurance company, experienced in insurance tracking software and certificate management, handles your documents.
How Long Do My Clients Keep Documentation of My Certificate of Insurance?
Your certificate of insurance is only valid for the length of your coverage, which means that updating your client about the cessation of your coverage or transfer of coverage is optimal during the tracking process. If your coverage lasts for a long time, or if you have no need to update your coverage terms, you might not need to update your provider about the terms of your insurance. Typically, certificates stay in large-scale tracking systems for no more than five years.
Always make it a point to discuss the terms of your work with your customers. If you have a long-term contract with them that requires continuous proof of coverage, ask for an updated certificate of insurance. Not only will this keep your insurance compliance iron-clad, but it will make you appear highly professional in the eyes of your client.
Do you have a question about the relationship between the customer and the certificate holder? Contact ContractorsLiability.com to speak to your dedicated insurance expert about your proof of insurance today.