Having a legitimate and highly-detailed Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a good way to make sure you succeed in overall compliance. Being compliant also assures that your company or organization is protected against any internal or external factors. But although COIs are issued to protect the insured, it can become the source of different types of risks as well. A company can be compliant to a certain COI, but the liabilities might not cover all there is to insure or the details on it might not be accurate, causing more trouble than help. To help you identify the catalysts of these risks, we’ve come up with a list of things you need to check before you finalize a COI…

Are my COI providers licensed?

Being issued a COI is one thing. But being issued a COI by a licensed provider is another. You or your compliance staff must make sure that you’re getting your COIs from someone who’s given the authority to issue them. Not having the license to do so can open up several issues such as misunderstandings in coverages or incorrect terminology usage that can lead to liabilities not being covered by the insurance or delays caused by errors found in the issued COI. To remedy this, do your own research about the issuing company and check for licenses or anything compliance-related before signing agreements or establishing partnerships associated with insurance.

Are your COIs issued without any supporting documents?

A COI should never stand alone. It’s important to have supporting documents that can map out the primary details listed on the COI. Having these documents will also help represent evidence that the company might need in the event of an insurance claim. Each supporting document should accurately reflect the same details and dates included in the COI issued. No matter how long the supporting documents may appear, each of them needs to be checked especially the subrogation endorsements, additional insured, and etc.

Are your COI’s details accurate? 

One major issue that any company issued with a COI will encounter is inaccurate information on the certificate itself. This issue is among the most common as there is always the possibility of making a mistake somewhere along the lines of adding in the details. Any information or detail missed will add to the problems that you may incur from this particular issue. If claims for liabilities would arise, the possibility of losing a case that proves your company isn’t fully insured is probable. Because we’re all fond of human error, it’s a good step to back your insurance certificates with a reliable COI tracking system that lets you scan, read, capture, and organize your COIs the safest and easiest way possible.

Are my COI providers legitimate?

As much as any company wants to avoid them, COI fraud is a real issue. And they can come from even the most unexpected sources. The legitimacy of your providers lies in conducting initial checks surrounding the company issuing the COI and the agent/vendor involved. To get started, it’s best to consult with the state departments of insurance’s website and check for the agent/vendor’s license. Through the website, you can check for the insurance company’s customer reviews, assets, and all the details that can help with your validity checks. You may even check for the financial strength rating of the insurance company to see if their finances are more than enough to cover the liabilities included in your COI. Not all states will have websites to check for insurance provider legitimacy, but there are telephone numbers handled by the insurance division of the insurance company to help with any inquiries. Some fraudulent COIs are difficult to detect but with the extra effort, it’s possible to avoid any illegitimate certificates that may create more damage than good.
Most companies have complete confidence that they are fully insured and that there are no problems should claims arise. But what they don’t know is that errors might be found in some of the COIs they’ve been issues with and they’ll only become discovered once the need for the coverage becomes apparent. Don’t wait around for these risks to endanger your company. Manage the risks when you request a demo from COI Tracker today!